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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 8:18 am   #61
The Philpott
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

As someone who is unwillingly subjected to brief but regular bursts of TV 'The One Show' the term 'BBC Light Programme' has a double meaning for me! They have been gamely struggling for content (in vain) for 4 months now.

The thing is- it would (sort of) work on radio at its current level.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 10:06 am   #62
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

I have been trying to remember what (if anything) we listened to on the Light Programme in the 1960s. I guess we weren't much of a 'wireless household' because I don't recall much 'listening' at all. My father would tune into the news and then race to turn it off again before the first bar of the 'The Archers' theme tune had finished. I often wondered why 'The Archers' was so despicable that we couldn't listen to it

Sunday is about the only day we listened to anything and I do remember 'Two Way Family Favourites' on the Light Programme and being fascinated with all the long distance, fading signals coming from across the other side of the globe. That was great, I loved it and it was a fixture before Sunday lunch. Other than the ubiquitous 'Top Twenty' that was about it.

As for now, I rarely use BBC radio output and only occasionally TV. Guess I'm just somebody Reith would have liked to 'educate', but I have done that and there's still not much other than BBC4 (the old Open University) which we listen to or watch. Times have inevitably changed, I guess.

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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 12:52 pm   #63
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

My earliest recollection of the Light Programme is Listen with Mother at 1.45pm with Daphne Oxenford which thanks to this forum I now know was emanating from a KB Rhapsody MP151/1. I can't help but be taken back to that time when I hear Fauré's Dolly Suite. I could never work out why the programme that followed LWM always seemed to be about a female Russian leader.

Two-way Family Favourites "Hello, can you hear us in Cologne?" with Jean Metcalf sticks in the mind well. It gives rise to another musical memory, It might as well rain until September by Carole King which seemed a popular choice. Also on Sundays I seem to remember light dramatic spy and detective stories in the evening after Pick of The Pops. I would have taken the radio to my bedroom for POTP as my parents would be watching TV and I could also conveniently avoid the inevitably depressing and dismal Dickens dramatisation, Meeting Point and Songs of Praise that characterised Sunday evening telly from the BBC.

Daytime programmes I remember well are Music While You Work and Housewives' Choice. How we cringe at such a title today! It's probably qualifies for 'don't mention the war' treatment in Broadcasting House these days. (Or perhaps 99% of the organisation have never heard of it.) At lunch time there was Workers' Playtime with Joe Loss & his Orchestra or a similar band trying to emulate the pop tunes of the day and I seem to remember another similar programme called Pop North I think with the North Dance Orchestra 'NDO' which I now recognise as a very good set of musicians.

There were some record shows in the afternoons, I certainly remember hearing them in the school summer holidays on my Philips Electronic Engineer set - three transistors with long wave coil and a speaker! Spring into Summer and Swingalong are names I remember but they only played the more melodic current pop songs and releases by the likes of Vince Hill or The Seekers*. Of course at night I would commandeer the household radio once Caroline started to come in...

Despite its limitations for a pop-mad kid I don't have unpleasant memories of the Light programme.

*My mother liked The Seekers and though my parents weren't much into records - we only had a little player mainly for my benefit - she bought an album or two. I preferred The Beatles, etc., of course but I have all the vinyl from my parents' house and The Seekers gets played frequently these days.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 12:54 pm   #64
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

One program my mother would not miss and I don’t know if it was Light or Home that is was on, Mrs Dales Diary, had to be quiet when that was on, better still go out of earshot.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 12:58 pm   #65
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

"I'm worried about my Jim..."

Yes, the Light Programme, I'm certain. I think Waggoner's Walk replaced it?

My recollection of The Archers is Radio 4/Home but perhaps it crossed over at some point.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 1:05 pm   #66
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

So the Light programme is the same age as me. I remember listening on weekdays in the mornings to Housewifes Choice, Sandy McPherson at the organ and of course Music While You Work.
Weekends Henry Halls Music night and Semprini Serenade, Family Favorites, Billy Cottons Band Show, Ronnie Ronald show and many more.
As for Luxembourg I preferred it before the Pirates started as the had quiz shows and Dan Dare etc back then.

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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 1:23 pm   #67
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Housewives' Choice. How we cringe at such a title today! It's probably qualifies for 'don't mention the war' treatment in Broadcasting House these days.
But, incredibly, we've still got Woman's Hour! How do they justify that these days?

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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 1:36 pm   #68
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But, incredibly, we've still got Woman's Hour! How do they justify that these days?
Ummmm. Let's not go there...

How did I forget Billy Cotton's Band Show and Alan Breeze.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 2:17 pm   #69
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Starting with "Wakey wakey!" , followed by a few bars of "Somebody stole my girl" , if I remember correctly.

Some other non- music shows featured The Goons, The Glums, Educating Archie, and A Life Of Bliss , where Percy Edwards played a dog (Psyche?). I don't remember much about Mrs. Dale's Diary (mum was a regular listener), other than her gardener, called "Monument", would develop "diplomatic deafness" when asked awkward questions: " your lips are moving but there's no sound coming out".

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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 2:27 pm   #70
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

I must be honest and state that I do not listen to the radio anymore.
My music is on records and CD's played when I want to hear it. I don't want to listen to another persons usually alien choice of music. What is the point?

As far as News goes we have far too much of it. 24 hour news programmes mostly filled with clips that are not news. They just scrape the barrel to find anything that will fill the 24 hours, then repeat it.

The Home Service and Light programme were very much part of my childhood and I remember many if not all of the programmes. That was real radio when the BBC were highly respected. I think the BBC has 'lost it' when it comes to radio.

It's an age thing. As young kids we would have turned off in horror had they played old Music Hall songs. The exception was television's 'Good Old Days'. It was a really popular programme but got axed with considerable complaint.

At 72 years of age I don't want to be educated anymore especially by the BBC!
Regards, John.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 2:51 pm   #71
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I took a look at Wikki re the Advent of R1 and 2 [something I lived through as a teenager when the Light Program ceased] right at the peak moment in the sixties, on September 30th 1967. I think the BBC were keen to catch up with "Flower Power" but behind the real curve as usual [that was pretty much all over by 1968]. The comment by the late Joe Strummer [not my favourite person] on the Wikki Radio 2 page is reasonably accurate but I'm not sure he was all that working class himself. Adjacent to that, it's pointed out that R1+2 had to share airtime at first!! They were still too establishment for many of the younger audience and not fully committed to, didn't get, or want to, the real musical changes going on-trying desperately to stay in the middle of the road all the time. Look at the heavily edited anodyne TOTP's repeats they put out even now [in 2020] for example and "Pop Prom's" in the park etc

I didn't know there was the usual financial issue even about such a major change then ie not enough funds to even run the Station and a subsequent License fee increase to cause ripples. Just like the "free" over 75's "debate" in 2020. I don't think they learn or even want to from a cosy position.
As I said, in my attempt at an overview of the Beeb as a subsidised P S Broadcaster [Post 34] , there is a constant muddying of the waters. LBC Listeners rang in indignantly last night but it was all bogged down in repeated detail [mainly about how you don't need a License if you watch a streaming [but maybe more expensive] service-with no recognition at all of of the broader live broadcasting issues. At least that was clearer in the sixties-something more modern was required on at least one Radio Channel but promises turned into a BBC fudge. The fact that it eventually became popular is beside the point. It's called conditioning! The younger audience got something out of it yes but I suspect, only inadvertently!

Wikki has a useful list of notable former programs through to the period when The Light Program put on a Kaftan [or tried to]. Some of these were popular with the young as well [eg Round The Horn]. Other, music based, regulars were "Trojan Horses" allowing exciting contemporary music to be heard even before September 67! EG "Pop Go The Beatles" 1963, Ticket To Ride 1965, Pick of the Pops 1955-67, Saturday Club [in particular 1957-69] and Top Gear [1964-75]. Not everything was separated out but the main new addition to Radio really was a celebrity, often greasy, DJ culture-John Peel excepted of course!

Some of us younger folks, looking at the Science as well as the social change [Amps. Early Wha Wha and effects panels, Radio Receivers TX's etc] had a lot of time for young Tony. Not the other one, Mr Benn who was the Post Master General at the time. Sadly, he lost all credibility with us when he led the charge against Pirate Radio [not that I was a great devotee] and then even changed the W T Act to outlaw speech modulated light transmissions. A design had been published in Practical Wireless for street to street comms, not broadcasting. [I think it used a headlight?]. Why the panic? Did they think it was the start of a Revolution? This seemed to be an oppressive and deliberate act against us delicate post-war "yoof".

Just to reinforce my comment about Licensing in relation to costs circa 1967 and now in 2020 [Manifesto Post 34* again] I found this clipping, while looking for something else entirely last night- "Pensions at BBC to cost more than RADIO STATIONS" [extracts from the BBC in-house Ariel Magazine]. The Telegraph, 18/8/10

Dave W

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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 3:15 pm   #72
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

Radio Luxembourg started out quite similar to the Light Programme with the Ovalteenies and Programming Sponsored by the Infra-Draw Method (Horace Batchelor, Department One, Keynsham, spelt K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M, Keynsham, Bristol).
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 3:26 pm   #73
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Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
even changed the W T Act to outlaw speech modulated light transmissions. A design had been published in Practical Wireless for street to street comms, not broadcasting. [I think it used a headlight?]. Why the panic? Did they think it was the start of a Revolution? This seemed to be an oppressive and deliberate act against us delicate post-war "yoof".

Dave W
I didn't know they'd tried to stifle the modulated light brigade - sledgehammer, nut!

I think that might have been more about preserving the GPO's monopoly (communication was seen as a public utility, like water and electricity, back then). So any form of transmission would have been stamped on. CB radio was illegal back then, as was, I think, running a communication wire from your own property to your immediately adjacent neighbour (even though it was just across a fence).

Mike
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 3:29 pm   #74
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I don't want to listen to another persons usually alien choice of music. What is the point?
You might find that you like something you've never listened to before. My choice of music isn't governed by a cut off date. I discover new stuff which I like all the time, along with old stuff I haven't heard before.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 4:03 pm   #75
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I think the BBC were keen to catch up with "Flower Power" but behind the real curve as usual [that was pretty much all over by 1968].
I seem to remember the BBC were still under the "needle time" restrictions when Radio 1 was a new station though, which must have made it difficult to really be like the pirates were.

I remember Jimmy young made recordings for his show, whilst there was nothing wrong with them they werent really for a teenage audiance.

Steve.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 4:50 pm   #76
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

Am I correct when I seem to remember that for several years after its demise the Radio 4 announcers would open the service in the morning by saying "This is Radio 4, the BBC Home service"?

To me Radio 4 is about the best service the BBC provides including TV.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 5:12 pm   #77
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I don't want to listen to another persons usually alien choice of music. What is the point?
You have a point Graham but at my age you do not want to listen to an hour of dross music in the hope you might enjoy one tune.
I have a very wide liking of most music but cannot get along with the majority of 'young persons music'.
This is fully understandable. I was a great fan of the Rolling Stones, The Who and all those ground breaking groups of the 60's. Our parents HATED them and I even had a customer that made me promise not to play a Rolling Stones record on her record player after I had repaired it! She said it would 'damage the stylo'.
To be fair the BBC did cover young music especially with Top of The pops but that was of course television.
We lost the 'Dance Band years' on Radio 2 on Saturday nights, about the time I gave up with BBC radio. As I said I think it is an age thing but I can't help thinking the BBC has lost direction when it comes to radio.
The local radio is also a sorry state of affairs. John.
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 5:40 pm   #78
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

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Am I correct when I seem to remember that for several years after its demise the Radio 4 announcers would open the service in the morning by saying "This is Radio 4, the BBC Home service"?

To me Radio 4 is about the best service the BBC provides including TV.
The weirdest mistake like that a saw was early one morning a female BBC1 presenter regressed to "BVSH HOUSE" style, and announced the time as "Eight hours Greenwich Mean Time".
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 5:44 pm   #79
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Am I correct when I seem to remember that for several years after its demise the Radio 4 announcers would open the service in the morning by saying "This is Radio 4, the BBC Home service"?

To me Radio 4 is about the best service the BBC provides including TV.
The weirdest mistake like that a saw was early one morning a female BBC1 presenter regressed to "BVSH HOUSE" style, and announced the time as "Eight hours Greenwich Mean Time".
The best one I heard about was a very young Home Service presenter saying: "And now it is nine-o'clock Greenwich. Meantime, here is the news"

Mike
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Old 2nd Aug 2020, 5:49 pm   #80
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Default Re: The BBC Light programme

I think Reith did an excellent pioneering job for the BBC (mostly) but it was probably a good thing he gave it up when he did, in 1938.
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