Smile You’re On Candid Camera

Judging by the response we get to this post Candid Camera is as popular now as it was when it last appeared on our TV screens over 40 years ago.

Candid Camera was adapted from the original American TV series of the same name that had started life on American radio in 1947 as the Candid Microphone, switching to TV in 1948.

Candid Camera arrived on British TV screens in 1960, presented by Bob Monkhouse (indeed a famous clip, featuring the car that had no engine was screened on An Audience With Bob Monkhouse).  It featured Jonathan Routh and Arthur Atkins as pranksters and ran for seven years.

After a quick one off episode return in 1971, the show returned for two series in 1974.  Returning again in 1975 only briefly for two shows, a series of classic moments from the show’s archives hit the screen in 1976 for six episodes.  By now the show had notched up eight series.  Later in 1976 series nine would be the last.

Candid Camera has been hugely influential on both TV and Radio.  How many radio shows have used telephone pranks to great effect (Noel Edmunds immediately springs to mind), then there’s Beadle’s About, Just For Laughs and so it goes on.

Summary

Hidden cameras catch the reaction of unsuspecting members of the public  as the pranksters play practical jokes.

Clips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starring

Bob Monkhouse – Host – (2 episodes 1960 – 1961)
Jonathan Routh   – The Practical Joker (18 episodes, 1960-1976)
Dolly Parton  –  Herself (2 episodes, 1975)
Peter Dulay  – Himself – Host (29 episodes, 1974)
Arthur Atkins – The Practical Joker (29 episodes, 1974)
Sheila Bernette – The Practical Joker (29 episodes, 1974)
Bill Lynton  – The Practical Joker (29 episodes, 1974)
Eve Polycarpou – The Practical Joker (29 episodes, 1974)
Jonathan Routh  – The Practical Joker (18 episodes, 1960-1976)

Details

Channel: ITV
Created By: Allen Funt
Original Transmission Dates: September 10th 1960 – December 17th 1976

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12 Responses

  1. Zoë Green

    The wonders of the Internet! My grandfather Bill Lynton passed away years before my birth but tonight I saw him for the first time in these candid camera clips…. If any British comedy expert remembers him in other shows please get in touch.

    Reply
    • Colin Bissett

      I worked with Bill for (2 seasons I think)…I was in a couple. The only one on Youtube is the smoking stove. Great couple of years!

      Reply
    • mike mcdonagh

      i remember cc in the 1960’s. it was great then. now it’s absolutly fantastic. why doesn’t the bbc repeat them. ive never laughed so much in my life. i never thought the bbc could better fawlty towers but cc wins by a mile.. jr rip.

      Reply
  2. Dave Hearne

    I have always been curious about what became of the various stars from the British Candid Camera series. I know that Jonathon Routh (died 2008), Peter Dulay (died 1999) & Arthur Atkins (died 2010) are no longer with us. However, Sheila Bernette & Eve Adam (now known as Eve Polycarpou) are still alive. I assume that Ken Wilson is no longer with us either – if anyone has any information I would love to know? Zoe – do you mind if I ask what year Bill Lynton passed away? I have searched numerous times on the internet but there is very little information on him. I have several episodes of Candid Camera that I copied from VHS to DVD & he is featured in quite a few of them. I particularly like the one where he is dictating a threatening letter to an unsuspecting secretary to type out. How he keeps a straight face is beyond me.

    Reply
      • Andy Lawrie

        Ken Wilson you were a hero of mine in the 1970s when CC was on, along with all the other great people, I remember the ballet one at Butlins and the film shop when you are “destroying” customers films !!! and so many more.
        Thanks ever so much for all the laughs,luckily I bought 5 videos in the 1980s that were “the best of” CC and moved them on to DVD before VHS left us !!
        I treasure them !!

  3. Resa

    Hi, my mother was an unsuspecting member of the public on one of the 1960s UK shows. Do you know where I might be able to find an archive copy please?
    Many thanks.

    Reply
    • admin

      we’ve had e few queries relating to archives. Candid Camera was made by ABC Television, ABC Weekend Television and London Weekend Television. As your Mother was a hit in the 60’s it would probably be ABC. However ABC became LWT both franchises of ITV and now defunct. If you are a regular reader you’ll know that much TV output in the 1960’s was junked and therefore does not exist in the archives. I have no idea if this is the case with Candid Camera. Your best bet would be to try emailing ITV with your query they might be able to point you in the right direction or even resolve your query. Hope this helps and do let us know how you get on

      Reply
  4. Julian

    Does anyone know the exact location of the “Bournemouth Landlady” prank? I just wondered if the building still exists and whether it’s still a guest house. Thanks. Julian

    Reply
    • admin

      Sorry Julian,nobody here, however we have had the most amazing response to this post with comments coming in almost weekly since we put it out,so if anyone out there can help Julian with his query please let us know

      Reply
  5. Paul Guerin

    Back around 1973 whilst touring round the UK I was asked by a “portrait artist” to hold his spot at a crafts exhibition in Stratford-On-Avon as he needed to use the loo. I was approached by a “passerby” who desired a portrait. I delayed as much as I could but then was pressured into a miserable attempt at creating “art”…finally the truth was revealed and this poor innocent Yank was shown to be another victim of twisted British humor…I’ve yet to recover.

    Reply

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