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

All shakin’ and quakin’

An Honours degree in English and the ability to quote Chaucer and Beowulf would appear to be compulsory for the Light Entertainment producer of today. Jack Good, another Oxford graduate, was the galvanising spirit who brought a new dimension in quality production to beat music shows on television with his three ABC programmes, Oh Boy!, Boy Meets Girls and Wham!!

As the nation rocked to the beat of Lord Rockingham’s XI, teenage audiences stamped and squealed and the TV critics gasped and reeled.

But everyone admired the hard professionalism that Jack Good brought to this dynamic new form of presentation. With his director, Rita Gillespie, he established a record for camera cutting to illustrate the beat of the music; from the artists he demanded a distinctive form of showmanship, demonstrated above, left for Billy Fury to follow

The dramatic use of spotlights and silhouette effects was a signature of all three shows, as was the integration of the audience with the action: in Wham!! they actually became a background for the artists

Oh Boy!
Boy Meets Girls
Wham!!
1960 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM