Talking Pictures TV on BBC News

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

Talking Pictures TV channel by Cole Toury

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

Dear Friends and Supporters of Film & TV History

We hope you are all keeping well.

December’s here and that means much to celebrate. Yes, the TV Heroes are back soon with adventures new to the channel. Watch out for new episodes of Robin Hood, William Tell, SirFrancis Drake and Sir Lancelot starting from 12thDecember. That’s a real festive gift.

This week also has its share of archive gems. We have some classic British films premiering, all with big star names. There’s Michael Craig, Leslie Phillips, Sylvia Syms, John Mills and, of course, our own Sam Kydd.

Why not dip into our specially selected daytime films too?

Robin’s Nest is back! Watch all the fun at the Fulham bistro every weekday at 10am. See more about the series below.

Upstairs, Downstairs continues every Sunday at 6pm and Friday at 5pm, which we know makes us all very happy.


Upstairs and Downstairs (1959) on Saturday at 1.20pm. No, not the TV series (that’s on on Sunday), but a delightful farce about newlyweds struggling to hire domestic help. If your dream cast is Sid James, Sam Kydd and ….Claudia Cardinale(!), this is the film for you. In fact the whole cast is a dream. There’s Michael Craig, Joans Hickson and Sims, not forgetting Irene Handl. Keep your eyes peeled for Oliver Reed and Shirley Anne Field in early cameos. Directed by Ralph Thomas and Betty Box, the team behind the ‘Doctor’ comedies.

Doctor in Clover (1966) on Sunday at 7pm. Did someone say ‘Doctor’ comedies? Here’s a later offering in that series, with Leslie Phillips once again as the medic with a chaotic love life. After getting the sack, he enrols on a refresher course given by his old mentor, Sir Lancelot Spratt. Unsurprisingly, things don’t go well.

Flame in the Streets (1961)on Sunday at 10pm. John Mills, Sylvia Syms and Earl Cameron star in this tense drama of racial tensions in 1960s London. There is some brilliant location shooting of the then down-at-heel Camden Town. This was the fourth film John Mills made with director Roy Ward Baker. Their first was The October Man, recently seen on Talking Pictures TV.


Grab yourself a cuppa and your favourite biscuit and settle down with our choice of daily pre-lunchtime classics.

Dual Alibi (1947) on Monday at 8.20am. Not one, but two, Herbert Loms as he plays twin trapeze artists conned out of a winning lottery ticket by a faithless woman. A very classy British noir.

The Floating Dutchman (1954) on Tuesday at 10.30am. When a body is dragged from the Thames, Scotland Yard detective, Dermot Walsh, must go undercover with a gang of jewel thieves who may be responsible for the murder.

Happy Go Lovely (1951) on Wednesday at 10.30am. Edinburgh is the setting for this delightful musical comedy starring David Niven as Scotland’s richest man, with Vera-Ellen as the dancer mistakenly thought to be engaged to him.

Grand National Night (1953) on Thursday at 8.25am. Horse trainer, Nigel Patrick, kills his spiteful wife in a fight, then tries to cover up the murder. Co-stars Moira Lister and Beatrice Campbell.

Operation Amsterdam (1958) on Friday at 10.30am. More jewel thieves, but this time they’re the good guys. An English major and two gemstone experts plan to smuggle diamonds out of Amsterdam before the Nazis invade. With Peter Finch and Tony Britton.


Who says you can’t have two cups of tea and two bourbons in one day? We have top-class films on in the afternoon too, so get comfy.

Carve Her Name with Pride (1958) on Monday at 1.35pm. Lewis Gilbert directs Virginia McKenna in a magnificent performance as Violette Szabo, in this true story of a young woman sent to Nazi-occupied France as a spy.

Hue and Cry (1947) on Tuesday at 12.05pm. Only just the afternoon we know, but who can resist one of Ealing’s finest comedies? A gang of kids foil a master crook with the help of comics writer, Alistair Sim.

The Pot Carriers (1962) on Wednesday at 3.50pm. Paul Massie stars as a young prisoner struggling with life on the inside. Set largely in Wandsworth Prison, the story was based on writer Mike Watts’ own prison experience. Co-stars Ronald Fraser and Alfred Burke.

A Windowin London (1940) on Thursday at 2.30pm. Michael Redgrave thinks he sees a murder as he commutes to work. Patricia Roc, in a very early role, plays his wife. The location shooting is one of the highlights of this rarely-seen film. As well as the construction work on Waterloo Bridge, we see superb shots of old Westminster.

Wonderful Life (1964) on Friday at 2.45pm. This fun, upbeat musical stars Cliff Richard and The Shadows, alongside Robin’s Nest’s own Richard O’Sullivan. When the boys are stranded on the Canary Islands, they get to work on a movie.

(These may not be listed in your TV guide of choice)

Nobody else offers the unique, and eclectic, range of short films that we do. This week we have some real rarities and plenty from our friends at the Imperial War Museum (IWM).These shorts may not always make it into the TV listings, so we’re highlighting them here for you. Make a note so as not to miss your favourites, or to set your recorders.


Marconiphone at 6am. A premiere showing of this 1930s silent film about the ground breaking radio set. It shows British manufacturing at its best.

School Dinners and Kitchen Safety at 8am. Bernard Cribbins presents this focus on safety in the school kitchens of the 1970s. For all those with fond (or otherwise) memories of hairnetted dinnerladies.

1960s Torquay – The Perfect Holiday Destination at 3.55pm. A full-colour reminder of the joys of holidaying in the UK. Narrated by TV legend, Johnny Morris. (Also showing on Thursday at 6.30pm.)

BFI: Post Haste (1934) at 6pm. This informative overview of the British postal service was the first film directed by Humphrey Jennings.


Benefits of Owning a Fridge -1950s at 8.10am. This delightful cartoon information film is another premiere. Everything you need to know about owning a fridge, including advice on how to buy one. (Also showing on Thursday at 6.00am.)

Sea to Plate and Billingsgate in 1956 at 6.30pm. A fascinating look at the distribution of fresh fish across England. From the small boats who go out to sea daily to the clamour of Billingsgate at dawn.


Sheffield Steel 1950s at 6.30pm. This brief history of British steelmaking takes us to its home town in Yorkshire, with stops in Essex and on a tram crossing Westminster Bridge on the way.

Sheffield Anglers in the 1960s at 8.45pm. This time we leave the city of steel in the company of the hundreds of men who travel to Lincolnshire every Sunday for the weekly fishing competition.


IWM: Albert’s Savings (1940) at 12.05pm. An appeal to the public to save for the war effort takes the form of an ‘Albert’ monologue by the wonderful Stanley Holloway.

Brighton in the 1950s at 8.55pm. Rare footage of one of the country’s favourite seaside resorts. See the Pavilion, Victoria Gardens and the Promenade, along with the trolleybuses that are sadly no more.


How a Bicycle is Made at 12.35pm. A designer talks us through the creation and manufacture of a late 1940s bicycle and shows us the workings of Nottingham’s Raleigh factory.


IWM: Farnborough (1966) at 6am. If you’re excited by names like Short Skyvan, Hadley Page Herald and Vickers VC10, then don’t miss this documentary on the famous air show. All of these are featured, and lots more besides.

IWM: Night Shift (1942) at 11am. We travel to Newport in Wales to watch the night shift at the Royal Ordnance Factory as they produce tanks for the army.

IWM: From the Four Corners at 3.25pm. Leslie Howard explains to soldiers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada why the Empire is at war.


Song Hits on Parade at 8.50am. Some of 1936’s biggest tunes, including These Foolish Things by Freddie Rich and I Can’t Escape You by Jerry Cooper.


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

To see more HIGHLIGHTS, click HERE.

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



Richard O’Sullivan had been a child star since the 1950s and had even played Elizabeth Taylor’s Pharaoh brother in Cleopatra (1963). But it was the character of chef, Robin Tripp, that really put him on the map, first in Man About the House and then in Robin’s Nest. After the success of Man About the House, writing team Brian Cooke and Johnnie Mortimer crafted a series around Robin and his Fulham bistro. His business partner in this venture was his girlfriend’s irascible father, played by Tony Britton. Girlfriend, later wife, Vicky, was played by O’Sullivan’s then-partner Tessa Wyatt. So successful was the show it ran for six series from 1977 to 1981, with Christmas specials added along the way. Richard O’Sullivan, meanwhile, was in huge demand, also playing Dick Turpin in the prime time series of the same name. He retired from acting in 1996 and since a stroke in 2003 has lived in a residential home for entertainers.

Join Robin, Vicky and the bistro team every weekday at 10am.

Don’t forget that there’s classic TV on every day, including Out on Friday at 9pm and Burke’s Law daily at 5am for all you early risers.


DVD: The Christmas Tree – only £15 with free UK postage

This charming 1960’s British film from The Children’s Film Foundation is about a group of children determined to bring a Christmas Tree to the children’s hospital in time for the party. The cast includes familiar faces such as Brian Blessed and Geoffrey Whitehead. The DVD also features bonus short films of Christmases gone by and makes a perfect gift. Click HERE to buy now.


The popular podcast featuring music, reviews and fascinating insights into the films and TV on your favourite channel appears fortnightly. Click HERE to listen.


Kick off your festive celebrations with this fun quiz you can do from the comfort of your home. Podcast hosts, Mel, Scott and Daniel will test your knowledge of the classic film and TV we all love. Make a date – Thursday 17th December at 7pm. Book your FREE ticket HERE.


We do love hearing from our viewers, and encourage you to send us your emails and letters. We get lots of lovely messages every week like this one from Andrew Bailey. Andrew contacted us to say he had seen a very familiar face on the channel.


My mother-in-law is in two of the ‘cinema queue’ clips you show as a segue into advertising breaks.

The lady in question is called Betty who is 84, widowed, and lives alone in Kensworth, Bedfordshire. She was visiting the pictures at the time the clip was filmed with her husband in the early days of her marriage. She watches you daily (as do I!).

Thank you so much for sharing that, Andrew, and do wish Betty the very best from us.


Congratulations to last week’s winner Jill Feetham from Norfolk. A prize will be on its way to you soon.

For your chance to win a Talking Pictures TV prize, answer the three questions below and send your answers with QUIZ 29/11 in the subject line by 9am on Tuesday 1st December. Don’t forget to include your postal address so we can send you your prize if you’re the lucky winner.

1) Richard O’Sullivan of Robin’s Nest played a schoolboy in which of the Carry On films?

2) Peter Finch (seen in Operation Amsterdam on Friday at 10.30 am) was born in the UK, but began his acting career in which country?

3) Vera-Ellen stars in Happy Go Lucky on Wednesday at 10.30am, but which seasonal classic does she star in alongside Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney?


1) The Lady Vanishes (1938)

2) The Third Man (1949)

3) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935)

Please share this newsletter widely – click ‘forward’ and pass on to friends. We want everyone to enjoy all that Talking Pictures TV has to offer in these difficult times.

If you haven’t already, sign up too for our Renown Pictures monthly newsletter and join the FREE film club. Click HERE to sign up now.

Sarah, Noel and Neill