Brian Tesler

Light Entertainment and Features Supervisor

Ours is probably the only combined Light Entertainment and Features Department in television, but, since the function of light entertainment is to attract and entertain a majority audience which will then stay tuned for the more serious programmes, the combination makes for a pretty useful interaction of purpose. In a few months this department has expanded its output from two to six live hours a weekend. It believes in extending the attack and vigour of light entertainment to its treatment of features, and already has several distinguished firsts and mosts to urge it on to an enterprising future.

To The Book Man, the first regular series on books and writers, it has added the top-rating science programme in British television, You’d Never Believe It! With the startlingly popular Candid Camera it has coupled the world’s first successful sixty-minute situation-comedy show, Our House. To the first and most successful teenage religious series, The Sunday Break, it has added the searching investigations of Living Your Life and two of the most respected and popular serious magazine programmes in regional television, ABC of the North and ABC of the Midlands. Our responsibilities range from Advertising Magazines to Family Bulletins, from Family Hour to Foo Foo, from the rock and roll of Wham!! to the Dixieland of Steamboat Shuffle, from quiz games like For Love or Money to all-star musical spectaculars like Sammy Davis Meets the British.

As we continue to expand, we look ahead to new ventures in children’s entertainment, new angles on comedy and music, new showcases for star performers and writers, new departures in documentary and educational programmes. To the time-honoured Light Entertainment dictum ‘Make ’Em Laugh!’ we add the Features exhortation ‘Make ‘Em Think!’ To entertain superlatively and to instruct entertainingly is our aim. If the ideas, enthusiasm, and sheer hard work of our directors and writers mean anything at all we should achieve it

The Book Man

The first British TV programme to be devoted solely to books, authors and publishers has brought many famous names to ABC since it started three years ago.

Among them was Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita, seen right with the programmes’s former director, Guy Verney.

One of the popular features of the programme is The Book Man Choice of the Month, made when the picture below was taken by G.B. Stern, L.P. Hartley, Christine Brooke-Rose and Alan Pryce-Jones.

In the foreground the former Book Man, J.W. Lambert of The Sunday Times, interviews two guests

James Archer
Mark Gerson

Men of politics

Lord Morrison of Lambeth discusses his autobiography the day before publication, and Mr Emmanuel Shinwell discussed Lord Morrison’s remarks about Labour leaders

▼ The new Book Man panel choosing the Book of the Month is left to right John Betjeman, John Braine, Elizabeth Jane Howard, David Daiches and programme editor Kenneth Young.

The programme’s director is now Brian Robins

Baldpates and blondes

The television camera is no respecter of persons.

Whether you are a leading churchman, a distinguished man of letters or a blonde bombshell of the movies, the make-up girl will still have to take the shine off that Yul Brynner head and advise little grains of powder, little dabs of paint for the pretty face

Left, above the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney gets a make-up lesson on ABC’s Religious Training Course;
below Sir Charles Snow is made up for The Book Man;
lower Jayne Mansfield prepares for her guest spot in After Hours;
bottom Diana Dors shows how it’s done to Deborah Buchan, granddaughter of the famous novelist, who made her TV debut with Miss Dors in Armchair Theatre

 

Stanley Allen
1960 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM