Journalists And Actors

Heres an odd thing.
The Fitzjames Horse family got our first TV set…an Echo (might have been spelt EKCO) in September 1959. It was Black and White of course.
Only two channels in those days, the BBC and the new, commercial ITV. Its local franchise of ITV was just about to start at the end of October. indeed its first production was the Joe Tumelty play, “All Souls Night”.
So when Mr Sweeney, the TV Man delivered the TV that Saturday in September 1959, we sat fascinated at….the Farnborough Air Show, commentry by Raymond Baxter.

The early announcers included Brian Durkin,Adrienne McGuill (the first Presenter of Romper Room) and James Greene. They had mostly been involved in local amateur dramatics but Greene was given a role reading news and reporting. Back in the early 1960s of course, nothing was happening in Norn Iron.
Yet Jimmy Greene shows up sometimes on British television. Last night he showed up again. He has a role in the new David Walliams comedy “Big School”. He plays a veteran teacher who is suffering dementia.
Occasionally he lands a featured role as about ten years ago, in a Martin Clunes vehicle “William and Mary” but mostly he shows up in uncredited roles (“Little Britain” with Walliams or getting knocked off a bicycle in “Band of Brothers”).

The point I make here is that …in the old days TV news-reading was regarded as a form of entertainment …the newsreaders had a background in dramatics. Newsreaders with a background in Journalism has happened gradually.
Jimmy Greene is not the only old UTV face that shows up in Dramas.
Helen Madden…the legendary Miss Helen ….from Romper Room. I think she married a BBCpolitical reporter and a few nights ago, I saw her playing Bobby Sands mother in “Hunger”.
Funny Old World.

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4 Responses to Journalists And Actors

  1. Political Tourist says:

    1959, was the tv bought or rented?
    Can still remember trailing out in the snow to walk two miles to a TV Rental shop to pay, hmm was it a £1 a week.
    Then there were slot TVs, we’d call it “pay as you go” nowadays.
    Well kind of, you still had to cough up a certain amount when your man arrived to empty it.
    Most people had emptied it long before the chap arrived.
    Last non tv household i visited was in the mid 80s.
    The father of the house thought tv was full of smut and sex.
    If only.
    Seems like nonsense now in the age of the Net.

    • It was actually bought. I suspect my Uncle Jackie might have arranged it.
      He and his wife had no kids.
      It was a bit temperamental for a TV.
      Years later we did RENT a colour TV. It was the night before the Leeds v Arsenal Cup Final.
      Some of the Rental firms in Belfast did not hire to West Belfast.
      Again …Uncle Jackie used to say how he went into a TV shop and was asking about colour TV and the guy in shop said that they would not hire to his address.
      And allegedly Uncle Jackie took a wad of cash from his pocket and said that he had intended to pay cash.
      Dont actually know if the story is true. Not everything that Uncle Jackie said could be guaranteed.

  2. bangordub says:

    Does Julian Simmons not occasionally read the news on UTV?
    Comedians may be the new trend

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