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Weekly Newsletter

Talking Pictures TV on BBC News

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

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

Dear Friends and Supporters of Film & TV History, 

What’s in this week’s newsletter?

  • Buy the Up Pompeii Audio CD!
  • All your premieres from 26th July to August 1st!
  • New Look at Life shorts!
  • More Laurel & Hardy!
  • Bit of a technical change on Freesat and Sky – Don’t panic! Some of you probably wont even notice.

Don’t miss Sid James's last appearance on film (probably)! this evening at 7pm in premiere The World of Budgerigars with Sid James (1976). Sid learns of the joys of owning a budgerigar in this very rare, ‘lost’ short film – possibly the last footage of him.

We have so much quality entertainment coming up for you this week. Our Laurel and Hardy season continues and this week includes the classic Block-Heads (1938). Make a date for that on Saturday at 4.25pm.

This week’s Saturday Morning Pictures kicks off in the traditional way, with a good old sing song. Be in good voice at 9am, and ready to join in with The ABC Minors Song.

Look at Life is proving very popular with so many of you, and we have more new episodes for you this week, including a look at London’s traditional wholesale markets.

From our postbag, we know that Friday ‘Fright Night’ is also making many of you very happy and bringing back memories of staying up late as youngsters to watch those horror classics with your hands almost covering your eyes. Coming soon, ‘scream queen’ Caroline Munro will be introducing the Friday night thrill in The Cellar Club -  We are filming with her at the moment and can’t wait for you to hear from her.

This week, as ever, there are plenty of premieres for you to enjoy. So let’s introduce some of them with a few fascinating FILM ANORAK FACTS.

  • Peter Cushing, then an unknown actor, tried his luck in Hollywood in the late 1930s. His first film role was as Louis Hayward’s double in The Man in The Iron Mask (1939). Hayward was playing a dual role, so when he was required to talk to ‘himself’, Peter stood in. From this, he went on to star alongside Laurel and Hardy in A Chump at Oxford (Sunday at 4pm).
  • Talking of Laurel and Hardy….did you know the boys both appear on the cover of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Stan is in his trademark bowler, but Ollie is wearing a yellow hat!

Comedian Bud Flanagan, star of Alf’s Button Afloat (Sunday at 10am) is perhaps best known now for singing the Dad’s Army theme tune. It was pretty much his last professional engagement, and he died just months after the series was first broadcast.


For our FULL LISTINGS for 7 days with full details 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.

Remember you can see the full schedule for several weeks ahead on our website. On the schedule page, just click on the dates for your chosen week. The first week you are taken to will be the current one, don’t panic just select the next week on the tab!

FOR THE WEEK  26th July – August 1st


Take your seats in the best cinema in the land for a great mix. There truly is something for everyone.

The Main Chance on Monday at 8pm. Stars John Stride. In this week’s episode, David becomes suspicious when he is invited to set up a million-pound property deal. With special guest stars, Peter Jeffery and Bernard Hepton.

Alf’s Button Afloat (1938) on Sunday at 10am. Lots of laughs with The Crazy Gang, a group made up of Britain’s foremost comedians of the 30s and 40s – Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen, Jimmy Nervo, Teddy Knox, Charlie Naughton and Jimmy Gold.  A sailor discovers a button on his uniform is made from the metal from Aladdin’s lamp – complete with genie! (Also showing on 5th August at 7.50am.)

Upstairs, Downstairs on Sunday at 6pm. An evening out, a few beers and some downstairs gossip give Edward a bigger headache than any hangover ever could. With guest star, Bernard Archard.

The Champions on Sunday at 9pm. Medical researcher, Prof Martes, is placed under house arrest by her country’s corrupt government. They want her to continue her work so they can take the credit. With guest stars Frances Cuka and Philip Madoc.


TEATIME WITH LAUREL & HARDY – Saturday 31st July

4pm. Towed in a Hole (1932). Fish salesmen, Stan and Ollie, decide to cut out the middleman and become fishermen themselves. 

4.25pm. Block-Heads (1938). It’s 1938 and soldier Stan finally discovers that World War I is over. Ollie and his wife take in the heroic veteran, in one of the duo’s most famous films.

5.35pm. The Finishing Touch (1928). There’s a 500 dollar bonus on offer if the boys can finish building a house quickly. This can’t possibly end well.


4pm. A Chump at Oxford (1940). After Stan and Ollie avert a bank robbery, the grateful bank manager pays for their university education, in this acknowledged comedy classic. Look out for Peter Cushing in a small role.

5.15pm. The Laurel & Hardy Murder Case (1940). Laurel & Hardy get involved in a murder case after the death of Stan's rich uncle Ebeneezer.

5.55pm. Oliver Hardy Interview. Oliver Hardy reminisces about his 23-year relationship with Stan Laurel and his early career before the famous partnership was formed,


9am. The ABC Minors Song. Join us as we sing the ABC Minors Song and get ready for this Saturday’s show.

9.05am. The Green Hornet Strikes Again. Is Brett Reid the next victim of an ‘accident’ waiting to happen?

9.35am. Bush Christmas (1947). Chips Rafferty & Stan Tolhurst star in this very rare CFF film, set in Australia. A group of children track down rustlers they accidentally helped to steal their father's horses.

11.05am. Fury. Stars Peter Graves, Bobby Diamond & Ann Robinson. Pigott resorts to trickery when Jim refuses to sell Fury.

11.35. Phantom Empire (1935). Stars Gene Autry, Frankie Darro & Betsy King Ross. Wanting everyone off Radio Ranch so they can investigate in private, Beetson frames Gene for murder.


The usherette has put the kettle on and there might be biscuits too. Settle down with our choice of daily pre-lunchtime classics.

Another Time, Another Place (1958) on Monday at 10am. Stars Lana Turner, Glynis Johns & Sean Connery. A New York newspaper woman falls in love with a married BBC war correspondent. Look out for Sid James as Lana Turner’s boss!

Return of the Stranger (1937) on Tuesday at 8.05am. James & Carol plan to elope but a fight with her father's solicitor ends in murder. Stars Griffith Jones and Rosalyn Boulter.

Loser Takes All (1956) on Wednesday at 10.30am. Stars Glynis Johns, Rossano Brazzi & Robert Morley. When Bertrand finds an accounting error at a London firm, the boss sends him on a trip to Monte Carlo.

The Big Blockade (1942) on Thursday at 9.10am. Stars Leslie Banks and Frank Cellier. Propaganda documentary on the allied blockade of Nazi Germany, presented in the form of humorous sketches.

Simon and Laura (1955) on Friday at 8.20am. Stars Peter Finch and Kay Kendall. A TV studio want to feature a famous couple in a new show. Will the couple maintain a happy façade?


You deserve to put your feet up in the afternoon too.  Time for another cuppa and maybe a slice of cake with some fine film choices.

Bank Holiday (1938) on Monday at 3pm. Stars John Lodge and Margaret Lockwood. Londoners travel to the coast for the holiday weekend. For some there will be heartbreak.

It Always Rains on Sunday (1947) on Tuesday at 3pm. Stars Googie Withers and John McCallum. An escaped convict persuades his ex-girlfriend to hide him from the police.

Miracle in Soho (1957) on Wednesday at 4pm. Starring John Gregson and Belinda Lee. Michael is an unhappy road worker, until he meets Julia, and ‘the miracle’ happens.

Paper Tiger (1975) on Thursday at 4pm. David Niven is tutor to the son of a Japanese ambassador. Life changes when the pair are kidnapped for political reasons.

Young and Innocent (1937) on Friday at 3.15pm. Nova Pilbeam and Derrick De Marney star in this Hitchcock thriller. A young woman helps a stranger accused of murder.

Short Films, Glimpses and ‘Look At Life’ 

Nobody else offers the unique, and eclectic, range of short films that we do. 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.


6am. The Dare Devil (1923). PREMIERE. Ben Turpin stars in this silent classic. Purely by accident, an aspiring actor performs a stunt perfectly, but cannot perform on command.

12 noon. Look at Life: Shopping By the Ton (1966). PREMIERE. A look into London’s three great markets; the energy, the market men and the traditions in Covent Garden, Smithfield and Billingsgate.

6.35pm. All Done By Electricity (1968). An award-winning film that outlines the potential dangers of electricity in the home. Part of the Women Amateur Filmmakers’ collection.


7.40am. The Rear Gunner (1943). PREMIERE. Burgess Meredith is a young rural enlistee in the US Army Air Corps disappointed with his job as an air mechanic.


3.35pm. Cambridge in 1945. A Glimpse of the University of Cambridge, student life and the town itself.

6.30pm. Look at Life: Fairs Please (1962). PREMIERE. A Look into contemporary fairs and their popularity.


3.50pm. Aberdeen and Edinburgh in the 1960s. Take a nostalgic trip to Aberdeen - the harbour, the streets, the shops. With a short glimpse of Balmoral and Edinburgh Castles.


7.45am. Star Performance (1952). PREMIERE. The legendary Ida Lupino stars in this TV episode. A woman who works at a fancy dress shop is determined to meet and marry the millionaire whose office is next door.

8.50pm. Look at Life: Out for a Catch (1964). A look into the more tragic side of angling. There are miles of inland waterway so polluted that no fish can live in them.


6am. Talking Pictures With The Man Who Was Konga! Exclusive interview with classic horror actor Paul Stockwell, the man inside the Konga suit! (Followed by the film, Konga at 6.05am.)

2.05pm. Celebrity Crazy Cricket in the 1950s. Spot the many famous faces, including Jon Pertwee, Richard Hearne, Jerry Desmond and Edmundo Ros. Tommy Cooper bats in his fez!


11.50am. IWM: From the Four Corners (1941). Leslie Howard explains to soldiers from Australia, Canada and New Zealand why the British Empire is at war.

7pm. Veteran Cars (1953). Beautiful veteran cars from 1895 to 1916 chasing around London in 1953. Includes a glimpse of Genevieve the car, Kay Kendall and John Gregson!


Tune in to the popular podcast for news, views and reviews of upcoming films and shows on your favourite channel. To listen, click HERE.


We do love hearing from our viewers and encourage you to send us your emails and letters. This week, George Hart shares his admiration for one of Britain’s finest stars

Thank you for showing the rarely seen gem, ‘Sailing Along’. Jessie Matthews looked great both ‘dressed-up’ and in her bargee clothes. Her singing and dancing were to her usual high standard.

This film was new to me but I saw several of her films during a Victor Saville season at the NFT in 1975. I was fortunate enough to attend an on-stage interview she gave during the season. I remember her saying she was delighted her films had been re-discovered by a new generation of cinema goers. She also signed for me a copy of her autobiography.

It would be great if you are able to locate more of her films, especially the musicals.

Thank you, George, for sharing your memories. We can never make any promises about what we can show, as it’s all down to licensing and availability. But we’re big fans of Jessie Matthews too, so never say never!


We have moved to new transponders on Sky and Freesat this week, so some of you may have had temporary difficulty receiving Talking Pictures TV. Rest assured, this is temporary and re-tuning your box should solve the problem. Sky and Freesat’s own websites have helpful information if you are still having difficulties.




Thank you, as always, for all your support for Talking Pictures TV.

Noel, Sarah and Neill