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The Interludes and The Announcers

Consisting mainly of live broadcasts, timings were not always accurate in early 1950's BBC programmes, so interludes would be inserted between programmes to keep the audience amused. Typical interludes included: The Potter's Wheel, The Spinning Wheel, The White Kitten, Angel fish, Horses ploughing a field, and of course the classic "London to Brighton in 4 Minutes"

The Potter's Wheel - the potter, who's hands we see, was George Aubertin
The Potter's Wheel
Click on picture for Real Movie

Potter's Wheel Interlude Music
(The Young Ballerina by Charles Williams)

  The Spinning Wheel
The Spinning Wheel
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The music accompanying the video clip is
called 'Table Talk' by Dolf van der Linden. This was sometimes followed by
Spinning Wheel Interlude music
(Muse in Mayfair by Vivian Ellis)

The White Kitten - The kitten's name was Snowy and he was owned by Mr Martin of Barnet, Herts
The White Kitten
Click on picture for Real Movie

White Kitten Interlude music
(Prunella by Leslie Bridgewater)

  Angel Fish -  filmed at Regents Park Zoo
Angel Fish
click on picture for Real Movie
Click here for music
(Rippling Waters by Donald Thorne)

Ploughing - filmed at Tillingham, Essex - 5 teams with horses plough a field, into the distance
Ploughing
Click on picture for Real Movie
(Music: Downland by Cecil Milner)

  Pakenham Mill - Nr. Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Windmill
Click on picture for Real Movie
(Music: Pastoral Montage by Gideon Fagan)

Loch Reflections
 
River and Birds

Sea and Rocks
 
Tapestry
Click Here!
Church, Mill and Stream Interlude music
(Starlings by Charles Williams)
 

MORE....

Information about the music which accompanied the above interludes and others can be found here

Guild Music produce CDs containing interlude music plus many other TV and Radio themes of the period

London to Brighton in 4 minutes, Click here for the full version

This longer interlude used trick photography to make, as David Lloyd James noted on the soundtrack, an average effective train speed of 765 miles per hour. The cameraman sat in the front of the locomotive hand-cranking the 35mm camera at 2 frames per second (instead of 25fps).
When he ran out of film and had to reload the 100ft. magazine, the sections of the journey missed during this procedure were covered by inserting a cutaway of the train driver at the controls.

London to Brighton in 4 minutes, Click here for the full version London to Brighton in 4 minutes, Click here for the full version London to Brighton in 4 minutes, Click here for the full version
Click on one of the the pictures above
for YouTube video of the Interlude.

The Testcard Circle Information about testcard music etc. can be found at The Testcard Circle website.
There are two particular articles of interest on The Testcard Circle website about 1950s trade test transmissions:
Back to the 50s - BBC tv Trade Tests 1953 - 1955
An Evolving Triad of Reels - BBC tv Trade Tests 1955 - 1959

TV Announcers of the 1950's included:

BBC: Sylvia Peters, Peter Haigh, MacDonald Hobley, Alex Macintosh, Mary Malcolm, Robert Dougall and Valerie Pitts.

ITV: Redvers Kyle

Sylvia Peters
Click on the picture above for video clip

Sylvia Peters : Sylvia Peters A former musical actress, Peters joined the BBC in 1947 after answering a newspaper advertisement for a continuity announcer and was one of the post-War trio of announcers who stayed until 1958. She was also a presenter of BBC TV's Come Dancing in 1954 and between 1958 and 1958. She also fronted BBC Children's TV's For Deaf Children in 1956.
Retired and later ran a dress shop in Wimbledon but came out of retirement to work as a presenter on the Channel 4 series Years Ahead. She also re-appeared in November 1986 as an in-vision announcer on BBC Two to celebrate TV50, the 50th anniversary of BBC Television. One of her most notable achievements, however, was when she worked to coach HM The Queen in broadcasting skills to make the Queen's Christmas broadcasts.

MacDonald Hobley
MacDonald Hobley : Macdonald Hobley One of the post-War trio of BBC TV in-vision announcers appearing from 1946 to 1956. Became one of Granada's first announcers and presenters. On its first night of broadcasting, Granada paid tribute to the BBC, and it is fitting that a well-known BBC announcer was with Granada for its opening celebrations. The occasion merited the front page of the TV Times.
Hobley was a presenter of BBC TV's For Deaf Children between 1953 and 1955, and It's A Knockout in 1966. He re-appeared in November 1986 as an in-vision announcer on BBC Two, to celebrate TV50, the 50th anniversary of BBC Television. MacDonald Hobley died on 30 July 1987.

Alex Macintosh
Alex Macintosh : BBC TV in-vision announcer from 1955 to 1961. He later contributed to many BBC programmes, including a spell as a regional presenter on 'Come Dancing' from 1957 to 1966 and between 1968 and 1972. His voice was heard on the very first advert for Gibbs SR Toothpaste shown at 8.12pm on the opening night of ITV on September 22 1955.
He presented the London area news magazine 'Town and Around' in 1961. He was a BBC TV relief newsreader in March 1961. Later he worked for an Australian TV company in Sydney and eventually retired to Norfolk and became a very good portrait painter.

Robert Dougall
Robert Dougall

Mary Malcolm
Mary Malcolm : Mary Malcolm BBC Radio Home Service/Third announcer in 1942 and 1957. One of the post-War trio of BBC TV in-vision announcers appearing from 1947 to 1958. Presenter, BBC TV's Picture Parade in 1950. She also appeared on BBC Children's TV - she was commentator on the Children's Newsreel in the early 1950s and a presenter of Monday Magazine in 1955 and For Deaf Children in 1956. She returned to the BBC as an in-vision announcer in November 1986 to celebrate TV50, the 50th anniversary of BBC Television, on BBC Two.

Peter Haigh
Peter Haigh : BBC TV in-vision announcer 1952 to 1962; Regional presenter of BBC TV's Come Dancing in 1960 and 1971. Presenter, BBC Light Programme from 1965 to 1967. Re-appeared in November 1986 as an in-vision announcer on BBC Two, to celebrate TV50. Peter Haigh died in January 2001, aged 75.


"You and your MacDonald Hobley! Are we eloping or are we not!?"

More Information about the announcers can be found at
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