BBC Light Program, 1945 – 1967

As the war drew to a close the BBC began to return to full time broadcasting.  At this time television was still very much a luxury item, radio was the popular entertainment medium of the time.

Prior to the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 on the longwave frequency there was the BBC National Program.  With the outbreak of the war it was replaced with the BBC Forces Program (later, the General Forces Program) which had proved popular with both civilian and armed forces audiences in Britain.  On 29th July 1945 the BBC Light Program was launched as a domestic replacement for the Forces programs.

Times change and where the Light Program had provided so much entertainment and been home to some much loved comedy and entertainment, indeed Hancock’s Half Hour is generally regarded as the first British sitcom and had it’s home on the station, by the 1960’s pop music had arrived.

To combat the popularity of the Pirate Radio stations the BBC launched a new service dedicated to popular music BBC Radio 1.  The Light Program  closed at 02:02 on 30th  September 1967. At 05:30 on the same day it was replaced by Radio 1 on its mediumwave frequencies, and by Radio 2 (the renamed Light Program) on its longwave frequency.

Today BBC Radio 1 still caters for the core teen early twentys audience, whilst BBC Radio 2 is Europe’s most listened to radio station catering for all ages.

Summary

The Light Program was home to some classic Radio comedy, and light enteratinment many of which we’ve featured, including:

The Adventures of PC 49
The Al Read Show
The Archers
Beyond Our Ken
Billy Cotton Bandshow
Breakfast Special
Children’s Favourites
The Clitheroe Kid
Dick Barton
Does The Team Think?
Educating Archie
Family Favourites
Friday Night is Music Night
The Goon Show (repeats from BBC Home Service)
Hancock’s Half Hour
Have a Go
Housewives’ Choice
Ignorance is Bliss
ITMA
Journey Into Space
Junior Choice
Life With The Lyons
Listen with Mother
The Man in Black
Meet the Huggetts
Merry-Go-Round
Mrs Dale’s Diary
Much Binding in the Marsh
Music on the Move
Music While You Work
The Navy Lark
Orbiter X
Pick of the Pops
Ray’s a Laugh
Riders of the Range
Round the Horne
Roundabout
Shadow of Sumuru
Sing Something Simple
The Showband Show
Sports Report
Take It From Here
Variety Bandbox
Waggoner’s Walk
Waterlogged Spa
Welsh Rarebit
Woman’s Hour
Workers’ Playtime

Clips

Life With The Lyons

Announcers

Included:

Roy Williams
Franklin Engelmann
Robert Dougall
Peter Fettes
Dennis Drower
John Webster
Jean Metcalfe
Michael Brooke
Marjorie Anderson
David Dunhill
Phillip Slessor
Colin Hamilton
John Dunn
Roger Moffat
Bruce Wyndham
Paul Hollingdale
Bill Crozier
Douglas Smith
Barry Alldis
Sam Costa
Pete Murray

Details

Channel: BBC Radio
Originally Transmitted: 29th July 1945 – 30th  September 1967

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