TV Shows We Used To Watch – Christmas 1959
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Christmas Eve 1959 – Thursday 24th December 1959 BBC Television
2:30pm Watch with Mother
(Watch With Mother was a cycle of children’s programmes created by Freda Lingstrom. Broadcast by BBC Television from 1952 until 1973, it was the first BBC television series aimed specifically at pre-school children, a development of BBC radio’s equivalent Listen with Mother, which had begun two years earlier. In accordance with its intended target audience of pre-school children viewing with their mothers, Watch With Mother was initially broadcast between 3:45 pm and 4:00 pm, post-afternoon nap and before the older children came home from school.
The choice of Watch With Mother for the title of the series was intended "to deflect fears that television might become a nursemaid to children and encourage ‘bad mothering’"
2:45pm "The Man from 1997", comic fantasy with Charles Ruggles
3:30pm Faraway Look
4:40pm "The Apple Tree with the Golden Apples", a Czechoslovak film
5pm Children’s Newsreel
(Crackerjack was a British children’s comedy/variety BBC television series. It started on 14 September 1955 and ran for over 400 shows, first in black and white and later in colour, until 21 December 1984.)
5:55pm News and Weather
6:25pm Christmas Fare
6:30pm Carols from Canterbury
7:5pm James Stewart in the film "Trail to Christmas"
7:30pm Julie Andrews in "The Gentle Flame", by Francis Essex
8:15pm Menotti’s Christmas Story with "Amahl and the Night Visitors"
9pm News Summary
9:5pm Rosalind Russell in the film "Sister Kenny"
10:55pm-12midnight Midnight Mass of the Nativity, from the Roman Catholic Bergkirche, Eisenstadt, Austria
Christmas Eve 1959 – Thursday 24th December 1959 ITA – Associated Rediffusion (London)
4:45pm For Children – Small Time
5pm For Children – Canadian Friends
6:15pm Close Up with Herbert Lom
6:45pm Children’s Carol Service
7pm Rawhide (western series)
8:25pm This Week
8:55pm The Deputy (western series)
9:35pm Merry With Medwin
10:30pm Dial for Music
11:2pm Dick and the Duchess
11:25pm Crooked Path
11:50pm-1:5am The First Communion of Christmas – Midnight Mass
Christmas Day 1959 – Friday 25th December 1959 BBC Television
8:30am George Mitchell Glee Club and Dennis Wilson Quartet
9-9:3am The Queen’s recorded Christmas Message to the Commonwealth (sound only)
11pm Morning Service from St. George’s Parish Church, Stockport
11:45pm Programme from the International Pestalozzi Children’s Villages
12:15pm "Meet Mr. Kringle" film comedy
1pm News Summary
1:5pm Max Jaffa’s Trio, Alicia Markova and the Linden Singers
1:35pm "Day’s Before Christmas" Canadian film
2pm Boots and Saddles (western series)
2:25pm While Angels Watch
3pm Chipperfield’s Circus Festival
4pm Billy Cotton’s Christmas Party
4:45pm Barrie’s "A Kiss for Cinderella"
5:15pm News Summary
6:20pm Christmas Night with the Stars
7:35pm Harry Belafonte in "Songs of Many Lands"
8:20pm Gary Cooper in "High Noon"
9:45pm News Summary
9:50pm "Bleak House" (part 11 final episode)
10:20pm Make May for Music
10:50pm Epilogue followed by Weather Report
Christmas Day 1959 – Friday 25th December 1959 ITA – Associated Rediffusion (London)
10:45am The Nativity
11:10am Christmas Morning Service from the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster
12noon This Wonderful World
12:30pm The Dickie Henderson Half-Hour
(Dickie Henderson, OBE (30 October 1922 – 22 September 1985) was a London-born entertainer.)
1pm Christmas Box
2pm Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra
3pm The Queen
3:5pm "A Girl in Every Port" starring Groucho Marx
4:15pm Happy Christmas
4:45pm Richard Todd presents
5:30pm Educating Archie
(Educating Archie was a BBC Light Programme comedy show broadcast from June 1950 to February 1958 on Sunday lunchtimes featuring ventriloquist Peter Brough and his doll Archie Andrews. The programme was successful despite a ventriloquist on radio seeming strange, though in the United States, Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy had also undertaken radio work. Educating Archie averaged 15 million listeners, and a fan club boasted 250,000 members. It was so successful that in 1950, after only four months on the air, it won the Daily Mail’s Variety Award.)
6pm "Once Upon a Christmas" starring Mavis Traill
6:30pm News and Sports Results
6:45pm The Christmas Hour with Hughie Green
7:45pm Emergency – Ward 10
(Emergency – Ward 10 is a British television series shown on ITV between 1957 and 1967. Like The Grove Family, a series shown by the BBC between 1954 and 1957, Emergency – Ward 10 is considered to be one of British television’s first major soap operas.)
8:15pm The Army Game
(The Army Game is a British sitcom that aired on ITV from 1957 to 1961. Made in black-and-white, it is about National Service conscription to the post-war British Army. It was created by Sid Colin. Many stars, like Charles Hawtrey, William Hartnell, Bernard Bresslaw, Alfie Bass and Dick Emery became household names, and appeared in the Carry On films, which began with Carry On Sergeant, virtually a spin-off. It was made for the ITV network by Granada Television.)
8:45pm Take Your Pick
(Take Your Pick! was a United Kingdom game show originally broadcast by Radio Luxembourg in the early 1950s. The show transferred to television in 1955 with the launch of ITV, where it continued until 1968. As it was the first game show broadcast on commercial television in the UK (and the BBC did not at that point offer monetary prizes on its game shows), it was also by default the first British game show to offer cash prizes.)
9:15pm The Macomber Affair
10:50pm The Turn of the Screw (Act 1) followed by the Weather
11:45pm The Epilogue
Boxing Day 1959 – Saturday 26th December 1959 BBC Television
– Horse Racing from Kempton Park
– Motor Racing from Brands Hatch
– Football and Racing Summaries
(Whirlybirds (sometimes called The Whirlybirds or Copter Patrol) is a syndicated American drama/adventure television series, which aired for 111 episodes — broadcast from February 4, 1957, through January 18, 1960. It was produced by Desilu Studios.)
5:25pm "The Three Princes" by Rex Tucker
6:15pm News Summary and Weather
(Laramie is an American Western television series that aired on NBC from 1959 to 1963. A Revue Studios production, the program originally starred John Smith as Slim Sherman, Robert Fuller as Jess Harper, Hoagy Carmichael as Jonesy and Robert L. Crawford, Jr., as Andy Sherman.)
7:10pm Dixon of Dock Green
(Dixon of Dock Green was a BBC television series following the activities of police officers at a fictional Metropolitan Police station in the East End of London from 1955 to 1976. Some episodes were later remade as a BBC radio series in 2005 and 2006.)
7:40pm Mother Goose with Frankie Howard
(The Boxing Day pantomime, recorded before an invited audience of 1,500, was Mother Goose starring Frankie Howard in his first role as a pantomime dame.)
9:10pm News Summary
9:15pm Quatermass and the Pit (Part 1)
(Quatermass and the Pit is a British television science-fiction serial, originally transmitted live by BBC Television in December 1958 and January 1959. It was the third and last of the BBC’s Quatermass serials, although the character would reappear in an 1979 ITV production simply entitled Quatermass. Like its predecessors, Quatermass and the Pit was written by Nigel Kneale.)
10:45pm Old-Time Music Hall
(The Good Old Days was a popular BBC television light entertainment programme which ran from 1953 to 1983.
It was performed at the Leeds City Varieties and recreated an authentic atmosphere of the Victorian–Edwardian music hall with songs and sketches of the era performed by present-day performers in the style of the original artistes.
The audience dressed in period costume and joined in the singing, especially "Down at the Old Bull and Bush" which closed the show. The show was compered by Leonard Sachs. In the course of its run it featured about 2,000 performers.)
Boxing Day 1959 – Saturday 26th December 1959 ITA – Associated Television (ATV London)
1:15pm Ballroom Dancing, Horse Racing, Ice Show, Wrestling & Sports Results
5pm Patrick O’Hagan (songs)
(Patrick O’Hagan Songs was an Australian television series starring the Irish tenor. It was produced by station ATN-7 in November 1958, and began being broadcast in early 1959. Unlike most Australian-produced series of the era, which were live, Patrick O’Hagan Sings was produced directly on film, with a total of 26 episodes made, each of which was designed to fit in a quarter-hour time-slot. Patrick O’Hagan sang songs in the series.)
5:15pm Robin Hood
(The Adventures of Robin Hood is a British television series comprising 143 half-hour, black and white episodes broadcast weekly between 1955 and 1959 on ITV. It stars Richard Greene as the outlaw Robin Hood and Alan Wheatley as his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The show followed the legendary character Robin Hood and his band of merry men in Sherwood Forest and the surrounding vicinity. While some episodes dramatised the traditional Robin Hood tales, most episodes were original dramas created by the show’s writers and producers.)
(Cannonball was a 1958 Normandie Productions and ITC Entertainment co-production half-hour family drama series. Filmed in Canada but starring two American actors, the series followed the adventures of Mike Malone and Jerry Austin as they drove trucks across the US and Canada for the fictitious C&A Transport Company Ltd. The truck depicted in the series is believed to be that of a GMC Model 950 COE (cab-over engine) diesel tractor built and sold in the same decade by General Motors.
The series would appear to be unusual, as sources say it is one of the few ITC productions to air on ABC Weekend TV in the UK. Because Associated TeleVision (ATV) owners of ITC, also ran the London weekend and Midlands weekdays ITV companies, they tended to hold the rights for ITC series in order to show each one in the Midlands (where ABC was the weekend operator) during the week.
The series ran for 39 episodes in monochrome. In the last episode, Austin who was Malone’s co-driver on the truck has a chance to go back and finish college. Malone knows this and knows he won’t because Austin doesn’t want to split their partnership. In his yearly medical, Malone pretends to have tunnel vision (lack of peripheral vision) which means he can’t drive trucks any more. This means Austin is now free to go to college.)
6:30pm Boy Meets Girls
(Boy Meets Girls was a UK popular music TV show which was launched in September 1959 replacing the earlier show Oh Boy!.
The show was presented and produced by Jack Good. Marty Wilde was the principal resident male artist and The Vernons Girls were the female residents. Joe Brown made regular appearances. Other artists appearing included Terry Dene, Freddy Cannon, Little Tony & His Brothers, Adam Faith and Cliff Richard.
The director was Rita Gillespie for ABC Weekend Television part of the ITV network.
It closed in 1960; all 26 episodes were subsequently wiped, and none survives in ITV’s archive as of 2009.)
7pm Wyatt Earp
(The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp is a western television series loosely based on the life of frontier marshal Wyatt Earp. The half-hour black and white program aired for 229 episodes on ABC from 1955 to 1961 and featured Hugh O’Brian in the title role.)
7:30pm Tommy Steele in This Particular Show
(Tommy Steele OBE (born Thomas William Hicks, 17 December 1936), is an English entertainer. Steele is widely regarded as Britain’s first teen idol and rock and roll star.)
8:25pm The Voodoo Factor (Episode 3)
(Hard-driven scientist David Whittaker finds himself battling for the survival of the world against a disease spreading from a tropical island caused by a legendary spider-goddess.
Stars: Maurice Kaufmann, Maxine Audley, Philip Bond)
9pm The Four Just Men
(The Four Just Men was a 1959 Sapphire Films production for ITC Entertainment. It ran for one season of 39 half-hour monochrome episodes.)
9:30pm Movie Time: "Counterblast" with Robert Beatty
(Counterblast is a 1948 British thriller film directed by Paul L. Stein and starring Robert Beatty, Mervyn Johns and Nova Pilbeam. It was made by British National Films at Elstree Studios.)
11:15pm The Invisible Man, followed by Weather Forecast and Epilogue
(The Invisible Man (later known as H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man) is a British science fiction/adventure/espionage television series that aired on ITV from September 1958 to July 1959. The series was networked on CBS in the United States. It ran for 26 half-hour black-and-white episodes for two series and was nominally based on the novel by H. G. Wells, one of four such television series. The deviation from the novel went as far as changing the main character’s name from Dr. Griffin to Dr. Peter Brady who, in this version, remained a sane man, not a power-hungry lunatic as in the book or the 1933 film adaptation. None of the other characters from the novel appeared on the series.)
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