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Jonathan Bignell

Introduction Beckett’s plays for British television were not screened in drama anthology series on the mass audience channels BBC1 or ITV, but in arts programming slots on BBC2, and this militated against considering them in relation to work by an emerging canon of television writers. So while Beckett’s television plays lend themselves to being considered in the dominant critical discourses around authored drama, the fact that they were not screened in drama anthology slots separates them from the canon being

in Beckett on screen
John Williamson and Martin Cloonan

important events. Its outset saw the start of the reciprocal exchanges with American artists, the passing of the Copyright Act and the start of the Union’s redistribution of the PPL income. Outside the Union – but equally important – was the weakening of the BBC’s broadcasting monopoly with the expansion of the ITV network beyond London and developments in popular music.1 By 1970, the musical landscape had changed somewhat, but the Union’s preoccupations remained largely the same. A feature in Melody Maker (4 July 1970: 22) focused on the age-old issues of needletime and

in Players’ work time
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Looking to the past
Ben Lamb

s police series decidedly worrisome in working through the anxieties surrounding contemporary citizenship. Following the turn of the millennium, however, digital cameras, digital editing techniques and special effects refreshed the police series with a flamboyant visual style to navigate the postmodern condition. Waking the Dead (BBC, 2000–2011), New Tricks (BBC, 2003–2015), and Life on

in You’re nicked
Jonathan Bignell

In December 1967, in five Saturday evening episodes on the BBC2 channel, the first colour drama serial in the UK was broadcast. It was an adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's 1848 novel Vanity Fair , and this chapter evaluates the colour in Vanity Fair using analysis of the programme, archival documentation and public discourses at the time. The significance of colour in this serial relates to the aesthetic frameworks through which literary adaptations, and especially classic novel adaptations, were conceptualised, and to what

in Complexity / simplicity
John Izod, Karl Magee, Kathryn Hannan, and Isabelle Gourdin-Sangouard

Anderson’s final film, simultaneously an on-screen essay and a mock-documentary self-portrait, was commissioned for television by BBC Scotland. It was one in a series ‘The Director’s Place’ in which six film-makers were given complete freedom with their subject: the way they lived and worked. Anderson’s film commences covering a supposedly typical day in his life. Starting with his waking moments, a

in Lindsay Anderson
Darrell M. Newton

. Tight government control of capital expenditures restricted the building of new transmitters and retarded the full nationwide coverage of the BBC’s television signal for several years. There were only 14,560 television licences in 1946, but this number rose slowly to 45,564 the following year. By 1948, there were 128,567 registered throughout the UK. In 1949, the government approved a plan by the BBC to make television available to 80 per cent of the total population, expanding television coverage to nearly forty million people over the next five years.2 By the 1950s

in Paving the empire road
Stephen Tallents and the birth of a progessive media profession
Author: Scott Anthony

Public relations was established in Britain by a group of liberal intellectuals in the aftermath of the slump. This book argues that the development was a product of the Great Depression. It challenges the template of British public relations history popularised by Professor Sam Black. While Civil Servants began to develop ideas about the necessity of public relations, state use of 'propaganda' during the Great War had been a controversial intervention that cast a grim shadow across the postwar period. Sir Stephen Tallents stands at the centre of this story, touching every significant public relations innovation in early twentieth-century Britain. The book tracks the development of public relations through the peaks and troughs of Tallents's career, which is to build a holistic understanding of the discipline's political, professional, organisational and personal genesis. Transferred to the Empire Marketing Board (EMB), Tallents saw an imaginative correlation between Frank Pick's co-ordination of the existing underground railway companies with Britain's relationship to its Empire. The EMB Film Unit established in 1928 was crucial to the development of this radical function of public relations. Introducing public relations at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Ministry of Information pitted Tallents's subtle sensibility against more powerful ideological, institutional and political competition. Under Tallents, the General Post Office (GPO) produced a range of educational materials, supplying schools with educational posters, toy telephone sets, model post offices and instructional pamphlets on the history of communication. He and others formed the Institute of Public Relations in 1948.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (BBC 2, 1979) as a modern classic serial
Joseph Oldham

3 ‘Who killed Great Britain?’: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (BBC 2, 1979) as a modern classic serial From 1955 to 1982 British television broadcasting was organised as a duopoly consisting of the BBC and the ITV companies. Across this period a key point of differentiation between these two broadcasters was broadly accepted; whilst both would compete over popular programming in order to reach a broad audience, the BBC was required to qualify such competitive impulses with a higher degree of cultural aspiration as part of its public service remit. Indeed, with its

in Paranoid visions
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Producing theatrical classics with a decorative aesthetic
Billy Smart

Few producers have ever dominated a single genre of television drama to the extent that Cedric Messina (1920–93) did with the classic theatrical play at the BBC between the 1960s and 1980s. Unquestionably the most powerful and prolific figure in the history of television adaptations of stage plays in Britain, he served as producer of Thursday Theatre (BBC2, 1964

in Screen plays
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Lez Cooke

Drama series 4 By the early 1960s series drama was the most popular form of drama on British television. ITV had largely been responsible for this, for while the BBC had two very popular series, Dixon of Dock Green and Maigret, ITV dominated the ratings with a combination of imported American series, such as Dragnet, Rawhide and Wagon Train, and homegrown series, such as Emergency – Ward 10, No Hiding Place and Coronation Street. Such was ITV’s popularity as the new decade dawned that BBC programmes rarely appeared in the twenty top-rated programmes. In 1960

in Troy Kennedy Martin