Talking Pictures TV on BBC News

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Talking Pictures TV channel by Cole Toury

Watch on Sky 328 | Freeview 81 | Freesat 306 | Virgin 445

Dear Friends and Supporters of Film and TV History

We hope you are all keeping well. We have plenty to keep you glued to your plush seats with this week’s excellent premieres. Look out for Talking Pictures favourites, Geoffrey Keen and Gordon Jackson in a lost classic, a whole afternoon with the legendary Bette Davis, witchcraft in 70s Notting Hill and a short film by one of the great pioneers of British film.

It’s been a great week for Talking Pictures TV in the media. Poet and ‘National Treasure’, John Cooper Clarke, chose us as one of his cultural highlights in last week’s Observer. You can read the article HERE

And our very own Sarah was a guest on the 2 Voices Podcast, talking about what makes the channel so special. You can listen to it HERE

In other good news, lovers of derring-do will be pleased to know that we have more episodes featuring your TV Heroes coming soon. Keep an eye out for the return of Robin Hood, Sir Lancelot, Francis Drake and William Tell in new adventures.


Now grab your hot chocolate and your popcorn as the show is about to begin…

Beware My Lovely (1952) on Wednesday at 10pm sees Ida Lupino as a lonely widow terrorised by psychopathic handyman, Robert Ryan. It was produced by Ida Lupino’s own company, Filmakers. The director was Harry Horner, best known as an Oscar-winning art director.

Sabotage at Sea (1943) on Saturday at 4.15pm features a stunning roster of well-known British faces. A captain discovers that there are enemy agents aboard his ship. But who is on whose side? Felix Aylmer, Martita Hunt and William Hartnell star, alongside Margaretta Scott, who also features in our daytime TV show, Together.

Is Paris Burning? (1966) on Saturday at 6pm. This is an epic in every sense of the word and we’re very excited to be showing it! Multi-award winning French director, RenéClément,helms this story of the last days of the Occupation of Paris. Filmed in the city with permission from President de Gaulle, the glittering international cast includes Kirk Douglas, Leslie Caron, Charles Boyer and Orson Welles.

Devil’s Bait (1959) on Saturday at 9.15pm. Long thought to be lost and unseen for many years, this was voted one of the UK’s best ever ‘B’ features. It’s a race against the clock after a baker accidentally bakes rat poison into a loaf of bread. Can he and the police trace the loaf before it is too late? Geoffrey Keen is the baker, with Gordon Jackson as the police sergeant. Residents of Beaconsfield may recognise their home town, which provided the setting.

Secret Rites (1971) on Sunday at 00.10. How about some witchcraft in 1970s Notting Hill? Occult rituals, psychedelic music and the King of the Witches feature in this film which stars Penny Beeching and Shirley Harmer.

Sunday’s spectacular Afternoon with Bette Davis begins with the documentary, The Unsinkable Bette Davis (1963) at 2.50pm. Was there ever a bigger Hollywood star than Bette? We don’t think so. This documentary, narrated by her two-time co-star, Joseph Cotten, looks at the professional and personal life of this great lady and kicks off a whole afternoon of Bette. It’s followed by Another Man’s Poison (1951) at3.15pma UK-made film, which reunites her with Now, Voyager (1942) director, Irving Rapper.

Then she leads the cast in Dark Morning, a classic episode of The June Allyson Show at5pm. If you’re a fan of Bette, and who isn’t, you won’t want to be anywhere else on Sunday.

Tom Brown’s Schooldays (1940) on Sunday at 6.20pm is the Hollywood-made version of Thomas Hughes’s novel. It stars Jimmy Lydon as Tom and Freddie Bartholomew as Ned, with Sir Cedric Hardwicke as the kindly headmaster. ‘Hardwicke’s performance is one of the best he has ever given on the screen’ (Variety)

Fear Strikes Out (1957) on Sunday at 10pm stars Anthony Perkins in the true story of Jim Piersall, who battled mental illness to achieve stardom in baseball. Karl Malden stars as his domineering father. It was the first film of director Robert Mulligan, who would later direct Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).

Some amazing variety in this week’s premieres, we think you’ll agree. Set your recorders to ensure you don’t miss any of them.

(THESE WILL NOT BE LISTED IN ANY TV GUIDES)Talking of variety, nobody brings you the range of short films and documentaries that we do, including the unique Glimpses strand that you won’t find on any other channel. These shorts don’t make it into the TV listings, so we’re highlighting some of the very best. Make a note so as not to miss your favourites, or, once again, to set your recorders.

The Coveted Coat (1924) on Monday at 8am. You definitely don’t want to miss this very rare short, produced by film pioneer, Cecil Hepworth at Walton Studios. He directed the legendary Rescued By Rover (1905), which really changed the way films were made. This is one of his last films and all the more interesting for that.

Today and Every Day on Tuesday at 6am. This rare short film from the late 1940s is full of glorious vintage locomotives.

A Day in The Life of the Head Keeper (1954) on Friday at 7.30am. Actor Robert Beatty narrates this delightful look at the work of the Head Keeper at London Zoo in the 1950s.

A-Bob-in-the-Pound (1943) on Friday at 4.10pm. Comedian Tommy Handley gets us to sing along and start saving for the war effort, and the brighter days to come.

Precision Makes Perfect on Saturday at 2.45am. This 1930s promotional film from Austin shows us the accuracy needed to make the perfect car.

Along Pilgrims Way on Saturday at 6am. Made around 1940, this travelogue takes us along the 120-mile long Pilgrims Way Walk, featuring the cathedral cities of Winchester, Guildford and Canterbury.

Glimpses- Petula Clark on Sunday at 12.40pm. A behind the scenes look at a day in the working life of the young star in 1948, from a lost news piece. (Follows Vote for Huggett (1949) at 11am, which features Petula.)

I Know What I Like (1973) on Sunday at 6pm. This previously lost short features Bernard Cribbins as multiple members of his ‘family’ taking us through the beer brewing process.


For those of you who would like to see a full list of this week’s programming WITH SUBTITLES AVAILABLE click HERE

For our FULL LISTINGS for 7 days with all film and episode synopses click HERE

To see more HIGHLIGHTS, click HERE

If ever post-war Britain needed a hero, it was Dick Barton – Special Agent, a former commando regularly foiling the plots of dastardly criminal masterminds. The 1980s TV series of Barton’s adventures begins on Talking Pictures TV on Monday night at 8.30pm and continues every night until Thursday at the same time. On Friday, the episodes begin at 8pm.

Each episode lasts only fifteen minutes, a nod to the length of the original 1940s radio series, so we’re giving you two episodes each night – a double helping.

We guarantee that, even if you haven’t seen Dick Barton before, you’ll be humming the iconic theme tune, The Devil’s Gallop, before long. First used in the radio series, it brilliantly captures the verve of Dick and his fearless allies.

The radio series was enormously successful, spawning three B films at the end of the 1940s, but Barton ‘retired’ until Southern TV resurrected the character and his sidekicks, Snowy and Jock in 1980. Virtually unknown actor Tony Vogel played Dick but, with his good looks, was ideal casting.

The series’ chief writer was Clive Exton, who went on to pen every episode of Poirot with David Suchet.

In the first adventure, guest stars include ‘Bond Girl’, Fiona Fullerton.

It’s a series the whole family will enjoy, so get everyone around the TV at 8.30pm on Monday for episode one.

Don’t forget that there’s classic TV on every day, including Together at 2pm every weekday and Burke’s Law every day at 5am for all you night owls.

The Ghost of Greville Lodge starsGeorge Cole and Prunella Scales in this cracker of a Christmas ghost story. Perfect for family viewing or a winter afternoon by the fire!

Fans of the The Amazing Mr Blunden will love this film, which also travels between eras in time, uncovering a past mystery that haunts all those connected with it. Buy the DVD now for just £10 with FREE UK Postage. Click HERE

The latest episode of our popular podcast is out now with a glimpse of what’s coming up on Talking Pictures in the next two weeks. Cary Grant, Petula Clark and all the news from your favourite TV channel. Click HERE to listen.

We do love hearing from our viewers, especially your stories of encounters with stars of classic film and television. Please keep them coming.

Of course, we also love to hear what you’ve been enjoying about the channel. Thanks to Elizabeth and Anthony Gibbs for sharing their favourites with us.

We’ve been loving Van der Valk, as we couldn’t afford a TV first time it was on, (or for many years) but I remember my mother saying how much she enjoyed it at the time.

We love all the glimpses programmes and the wartime information films.

Back in 1969 when my husband’s parents retired to Lowestoft, they left his brother in charge of packing up and sending on all the ‘odds and ends’. He threw away all the boxes of cine films that they’d taken over thirty years. Wouldn’t it have been great if we could now have shown our grandchildren what grandad was like as a child on all the holidays they went on to various places home and abroad? His father worked on the railway so got many free travel passes each year… including one foreign trip.

He remembers going to Venice and other such places before cruise ships ruined the experience!

Anyway, more power to your elbows… keep the old films coming, we love them!

Ahh, we feel for you. We would also love to have seen those old cine films of their travels. If any do pop up somewhere, let us know!


No quiz this week, instead we’re testing your knowledge with a crossword.

Letters within the circled squares in the completed puzzle can be arranged to form the title of a 1947 British film with a memorable music theme, sometimes shown on Talking Pictures TV.

Send the name of that film to us at with CROSSWORD (25/10) in the subject line by 9am on Wednesday 28th October and we’ll pick one winner to receive a Talking Pictures prize. We look forward to receiving all your entries.


1 & 10. Hitchcock 1932 thriller starring John Stuart (6,9)

4. ——– & Ollie (4)

7. First name of renowned British actor who commentated

in the 1953 film version of The War of the Worlds (6)

8. Night ——- : acclaimed British documentary film of 1935 (4)

10. See 1 across.

13. ——- of Fear. X-rated British horror film of 1961 (5)

15. An ——- Husband. 1947 comedy starring Michael Wilding

based on a play by Oscar Wilde (5)

16. Hotel ——– : 1944 British thriller with James Mason, from

an Eric Ambler novel (7)

18 & 6 down. Storm Over ——— : 1955 remake of The Four Feathers,

starring Laurence Harvey (3,4)

19. Hitchcock’s final film (6,4)


1. Turned Out —– Again. 1941 George Formby comedy (4)

2. ——– of the Heart. 1949 British drama starring Margaret

Lockwood (7)

3. The ——- : swashbuckling adventure of 1947, starring Douglas

Fairbanks Jr (5)

5. Director Carol Reed’s first Hollywood film (7)

6. See 18 across.

9. ——— the Band. Busby Berkeley musical of 1940 starring Mickey

Rooney and Judy Garland (6,2)

11. ——– the Circus. British drama of 1938 starring John Clements


12. Time —— : radio comedian Tommy Handley’s second and final

film (5)

14. First name of Australian born Hollywood actor who famously

played Robin Hood in 1938 (5)

17. Alastair —– : prolific British actor who was a memorable Ebenezer

Scrooge in 1951 (3)

18. ——- Cities. British film production company formed in 1937 (3)


Congratulations to the winner of last week’s quiz, Rhiannon Cain. A prize will be winging its way to you soon.

Last week’s answers:

1) Alan Ladd

2)  Alfred Hitchcock

3)  Gainsborough
We really can’t thank you enough for your constant support for Talking Pictures TV. It means a lot to us. Please keep spreading the word. Share this newsletter with friends, neighbours and family, and get them to sign up. We want everyone to enjoy all that Talking Pictures TV has to offer in these difficult times. Talking Music is below!

With very best wishes

Sarah, Noel and Neill