(Picture Credit: Wikipedia)

Dick Barton – Special Agent was a radio thriller serial broadcast in the BBC Light Programme between 7th October 1946 and 30th March 1951. Produced and directed by Raymond Raikes, Neil Tuson, and Charles Lefaux, it was aired in 15-minute episodes at 6.45 (later 6.15) each weekday evening.  In all, 711 episodes were produced and the serial achieved a peak audience of 15 million.

The serial followed the adventures of ex-Commando, Captain Richard Barton MC (Noel Johnson, later Duncan Carse and Gordon Davies) who, with his mates Jock Anderson (Alex McCrindle) and Snowy White (John Mann), solved all sorts of crimes, escaped from dangerous situations, and saved the nation from disaster time and again.  Dick Barton’s (played by Don Stannard) has plans for a relaxing seaside holiday with his friends but is thwarted when they stumble upon a sinister Nazi plot to unleash a deadly chemical virus and bring the nation to its knees. Listen to the episode here as Dick and his team try to save the day.

(Picture Credit: Wikipedia)

Journey into Space was a classic 1950s sci-fi from Charles Chilton set in the unimaginably far-flung (at the time) future of 1965.

Journey into Space, first aired in 1953, was the last radio programme in the UK to attract a larger evening audience than television. The programme was translated into 17 languages (including Hindustani, Turkish and Dutch) and broadcast worldwide.

Listen to Episode 1 of Journey Into Space: The Red Planet at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1syT-0763bA

Opportunity Knocks – Not to miss an opportunity (forgive the pun), Opportunity Knocks was a British television and radio talent show originally hosted by Hughie Green, with a late-1980s revival hosted by Bob Monkhouse, and later by previous winner Les Dawson.  It was first launched on BBC radio in 1949 when it gave a lift up the ladder of fame to (amongst others) Spike Milligan and Frankie Vaughan.  Listen to an early recording, here.

Hughie Green presented the programme on TV from 1956 through to 1977. Thousands of hopefulls auditioned for the show and of those who appeared on the show some went on to become famous such as Les Dawson, Freddie Starr, Little and Large, and Frank Carson.

Carroll Levis and his Discovery Show – Carroll Richard Levis (1910 to 1968) was a talent scout, impresario and television and radio personality. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and brought up in Vancouver, he moved to England in 1935 and joined the BBC, where he hosted a regular programme showcasing unknown performers discovered through his touring stage show – a bit like wartime Britain’s Got Talent. In the 1950s he hosted a talent competition for young people called The Carroll Levis Discovery Show.

Watch what it was like at: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-discoveries-1939-online

Martin Pollins
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