Best on the Box for Sunday, January 19th sees Talking Pictures TV return to ATV’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium.

Hughie Green will be seen hosting the earliest ATV London Palladium show on TPTV.


ONE TO WATCH: SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM: THE ORIGINAL SERIES, TALKING PICTURES TV at 9pm

Sunday Night at the London Palladium has been revived a number of times over the years and various similar spin-offs from other theatres in the capital. However tonight its the original series from ATV London to the ITV network back in the 1950s that makes its return to telly screens after sixty years in a vault.

The programme has been released on DVD previously however this is the first time that the series has been re-screened on British television in full since its original transmission.

Now I say ‘in full’; the sad fact is that at the time ATV either didn’t record, or wiped, 100s of episodes of the programme so what Talking Pictures TV will be screening is all the editions that survive from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Devised by then MD of the London Palladium Val Parnell in 1955, Sunday Night at the London Palladium entertained millions of viewers for over a decade and saw numerous spin-offs, imitations and even revivals over the years. The show aired live from the iconic theatre with a weekly variety bill which played host to big name stars of the day, new debut acts and quirky vaudeville routines.

Most famous host, Sir Bruce Forsyth.

Star names were keen to appear, here The Osmond’s perform in 1974.

The series became famous for its opening sequence which starred the shows dance troupe the Tiller Girls, game show segment Beat The Clock and the farewell at the end of the show which saw all the performers waving as the centre of the stage revolved around and around. The show at its 1960s peak cost £8,000 to produce; that’s £150 per minute. While presented by ATV London the theatre was staffed by crews from ATV Midlands for most of its run.

Launched in September 1955 the series ran until February 1969 and had already spun-off successful sister shows such as The New Palladium Show. Hosts of the television Palladium shows included comedians Tommy Trinder, Bob Monkhouse, Ted Rogers and Jimmy Tarbuck, performers Des O’Connor, Norman Vaughan, Jim Dale and most famously Bruce Forsyth – the series launched his orbit into TV stardom. Sadly non of the Bob Monkhouse episodes survive in a broadcast format, so won’t be making an appearance on TPTV.

In the first surviving programme Hughie Green presents an edition from the 24th November 1957, just over a year into its run. Guests include Les Maturines, George Holmes, Les Maragones and Mario Lanza.

“A television set is another front door to your house. Open it and you admit someone into your home. In sending people to your front door we shoulder a delicate responsibility to maintain a service of entertainment which will hold the public’s preference. You, our audience, are the people I’m aiming to please. You are the people who make this whole vast industry possible. You are here to enjoy yourselves, and for our part we intend to make that possible.” – Val Parnell

The Tiller Girls on a 1970s episode.

Left: Val Parnell and Inset: A promotional item for Sunday Night at the London Palladium from the 1950s.


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