The Benchmark for UK TV Variety in the 50' and 60's
ITV's flagship variety show that ran for 12 years, boasted the cream of showbiz talent from literally all over the world, including Russian dancers (The Moiseyev Dance Company) magicians, acrobats, Comedians, such as Bob Hope, Benny Hill,Spike Milligan and all styles of music from Opera - Luigi Infantino and even Mario Lanza to Pop legends like The Beatles, Tom Jones and Roy Orbison, Basically anyone who was a star at the time seemed to be on the show. The show traditionally ended with all the acts congregating on the revolving centre stage with the resident dancers The Tiller Girls. The main compare (Bruce Forsythe and Tommy Trinder) had occasional quality stand in's Like Robert Morley and Bob Monkhouse and they would host a mini game section in the middle of the show, The best known being "Beat the Clock" which had been imported from America. One edition in 1966 was even video taped in colour to test out for the US market and it was a strange decision By ATV boss Lord Grade to cancel the show in 1967 when that type of programme was still very popular - A decision he admitted was a big mistake years later . The format has been revived several times with differing levels of success, although the latest revival seems to be popular enough to continue for a while. Sadly the majority of the show's have been wiped, leaving around 20-22 shows remaining in the archive. The existing editions will be screened by The UK TV Channel Talking Pictures TV in 2020.
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