To some this was the very first British sitcom a subject we discussed in an earlier post.
Take It From Here was the popular Sunday BBC Radio comedy program, written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden. It ran from 1948 until 1960. The show is perhaps most famous for introducing The Glums.
In 1953 Joy Nichols, one of the show’s stars, married an American, and settled in New York City in the hope of becoming a success in Broadway theatre. Because she had worked on the show both as singer and actor, she was replaced by two people. Alma Cogan the singer, and June Whitfield the actress (Prunella Scales was also considered as a replacement).
Other cast changes: character actor Wallas Eaton was brought in to play minor male roles, replacing Clarence Wright from the first series.
The first series of TIFH, broadcast in 1948, was set in a commercial radio station office. Although this first series was not the success they hoped it would be, producer Charles Maxwell persuaded BBC management to persevere for one more series.
For the second series, Muir and Norden changed to a three-act format.
First there was a topical discussion, followed by music from The Keynotes close harmony group.
For the second act came what Frank Muir termed a “gimmick”, which might be Hamlet done as a pantomime, or an operatic weather forecast.
For the third and final segment there was another song from Joy Nichols or Dick Bentley, after which there was a situation comedy sketch put together from the clichés of a literary or cinematic genre.
In 1953 The Glums appeared for the first time. They appeared as part of the discussion segment at the beginning of the show. The Glums was effectively a take-off of the sagas of ‘nice’ families such as the Archers or the Lyons that abounded on the BBC at the time. They were so popular that in 1978 they were still remembered and appeared as part of the unsuccessful Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night program, a year later, in 1979, The Glums was made into it’s own television series (consisting of eight episodes) by London Weekend Television and broadcast on ITV
We’re sorry unfortunately the clips we had have been removed from You Tube for copyright infringement.
Joy Nichols (until 1953)
Alma Cogan (from 1953)
June Whitfield (from 1953)
Radio Channel: The Light Program
Frank Muir and Denis Norden (until 1959), Barry Took and Eric Merriman (1959 -60)
Original Transmission: 1948 – 1960