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A Life of Bliss

The late Barry Took told the story of the series 'A Life of Bliss' in his book 'Laughter In the Air'. Basically, Godfrey Harrison (now deceased, who also wrote some episodes of the ATV TV Hancock series of '63), was apparently a shambolic writer who would still be writing the script when the cast assembled to record the show on Sunday nights. They would record what was available, and then the show would grind to a halt.

The producer (probably John Browell) would come to the microphone and apologise and say words to the effect that "we have a slight technical problem, inasmuch as we don't have a complete script tonight". Then Percy Edwards (Psyche, the dog) would dosome of his bird impressions. After half an hour of this Harrison, supported by his wife, would lurch out with another few pages of script. At this point when the second break happened most of the studio audience would beat a retreat down Villiers Street (it was at the Playhouse).

On one memorable occassion, Barry Took said, the recording ended at midnight (four hours after it started) with about four people left in the audience. During the following week the poor producer and editor had to dub in laughter from other shows, because the 200 strong audience at 8pm had dwindled to the point where there could hardly be heard any audience reaction.

The programme lapsed for several years, but amazingly (given the problems) they revived it for one series of six in the very late sixties (68 I think). I am rather glad to say I never worked on it!. I do recall Colin Gordon was in it (he had a small moustache, and looked something like Alan Whicker) - he often played rather pompous officials on TV and film.

Extracted from a posting on the Whirligig Message Board by Alan Giles.

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