That Was the Week That Was, 1962

The fore-runner to The Frost Report, That Was The Week That Was, ran for two series in 1962 and 1963.

November 1962: Britain was changing, deference was on the way out, The Beatles were on their way in.  The “satire boom” was in full swing, revue “Beyond the Fringe” had stormed to success on both sides of the Atlantic, Private Eye had just launched and the Establishment club was up and running in Soho.

That Was The Week That Was, came about after the appointment of a new BBC Director-General, Hugh Carleton-Greene, who was keen to keep up with the times and move away from the traditional BBC.  Carleton-Greene was determined to sharpen up BBC output.

To this extent it was decided to move away from the ‘cosy’ early evening news programme and create “a live, late-night show to “prick the pomposity of public figures”.  The result – That Was The Week That Was.

The show was an instant success with opening ratings of 3.5 million reaching 10 million viewers by the end of it’s first season.

Summary

Cameras. microphones, crew were all kept in shot to add to the feeling of a live show.  Each programme would start with Millicent Martin belting out the theme tune, its words altered each week to reflect that week’s news.  It then went on to a topical monologue with host David Frost and then onto a series of sketches, invective from journalist Bernard Levin, songs, cartoons drawn live, monologues and studio debate.

Clips

 

 

 

 

Cast

David Frost
Millicent Martin
William Rushton
Roy Kinnear
Lance Percival
Kenneth Cope
David Kernan

Details

Channel: BBC 1
Written By: Various
Original Transmission Dates: 24th November 1962 – 28th December 1963

 

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