Growing up in the 50's and 60's
What it was like being young in the 1950's - Telvision
1950's - Early Kids Television
Children's Television in the 50's was pretty rationed
I mentioned in the Radio page that I listened to radio more than I watched TV.
However, I did watch a bit before going to School in 1953 and the pictures on the right tell the story of what!
What TV did do was to put faces to voices more and belive me, this didn't always work.
All this made it a bit conservative and held back. If you've watched any of Harry Enfield's sketches where he does the 1950's TV interview, that is exactly what it was like, monotone questions with what seemed extremely rehearsed answers!
What was clever though, was that most of it was live and I'm sure there are many Producers nowadays who wouldn't even attempt that.
One broadcast I can remember so well was the first four minute mile by Roger Bannister, someone EVEN HUGGED HIM at the end of the race (1954).
As the 50's progressed, ITV came along and gave the BBC the competition it needed.I'm sure that most people of my age group will remember the adverts more than the programmes! Ads like 'The Esso sign means happy motoring', 'Put a Tiger in your Tank', 'You'll wonder where the yellow went, when you brush your teeth with Pepsadent' all spring to mind and if you're not careful, you'll be going round the house singing them in your head!
By the end of the 50's, TV was established and the old brigade who felt it was just an extra to Radio had to see this was to be the media of the future. Many American Cowboy series were brought in and the nation was to be captivated by Rawhide, Bonanza,
The late 50's also saw the coming of the 'Comedy Series' with 'The Army Game' (Alfie Bass, William Hartnell and *Well, I only asked" Bernard Bresslaw"), 'The Larkins with David Kossof and Peggy Mount,
Some were great programmes and some were memorable for the odd boob ups due to live TV. The odd bit of scenery moving, the door which wouldn't open and the view outside of 'the back door' showing a Stagehand sitting on a chair drinking a cup of Tea.
What did it do to leave a mark on a young boy or girl then? For me, not a lot really. I was still content amusing myself with outside influences such as Boy Scouts, singing in the Church Choir (well I turned up!) and going train-spotting.
Since those days it appears that TV Companies are doing their utmost to stop you going out and doing things and even to this day I probably only watch about two hours tops a day.
But there were some pretty good things though.
Until 1954, newsreaders were anonymous and not Seen. Richard Baker became the first regular 'seen' Newsreader, followed shortly by Robert Dougall
'I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book'.
Growing up in
50s and 60s
1960's Year by Year
More from the 50s / 60s