By Joe Moran
Yet what does your furnishings aspect at?' asks the nature Joey within the sitcom neighbors on listening to an acquaintance has no television. It's a great query: when you consider that its beginnings in the course of WW2, tv has assumed a relevant function in our homes and our lives, simply as satellite tv for pc dishes and aerials became good points of city skylines. tv (or 'the idiot's lantern', reckoning on your emotions approximately it) has created controversy, introduced coronations and international Cups into residing rooms, allowed us entry to 24hr information and media and supplied 1000 dialog starters. As indicates come and move in attractiveness, the historical past of tv exhibits us how our society has changed.
Armchair Nation unearths the attention-grabbing, lyrical and infrequently remarkable heritage of small screen television, from the 1st demonstration of tv by way of John Logie Baird (in Selfridges) to the terror and pleasure that greeted its arrival in families (some audience nervous it may well keep watch over their thoughts), the controversies of Mary Whitehouse's 'Clean Up TV' crusade and what JG Ballard considered enormous Brother. through journeys down reminiscence lane with Morecambe and clever, Richard Dimbleby, David Frost, Blue Peter and Coronation highway, you could flick among interesting nuggets from the unusual part of television: what occurred after a chimpanzee known as 'Fred J. Muggs' interrupted American photos of the Queen's marriage ceremony, and why extraterrestrial beings will be tuning in to The Benny Hill exhibit.
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Additional info for Armchair Nation: An intimate history of Britain in front of the TV
Beatlemania caused young women to go into hysterics and young boys to buy guitars. The show opened with Sullivan announcing that the Beatles had received a congratulatory telegram from Presley and Colonel Parker. He followed this with a boast that he believed the Beatles would be as big as his other discoveries, Topo Gigio the puppet mouse and the Singing Nun. With a minimum of mumbling he introduced the band and before they hit the first note the segment opened with 01 (001-024B) chapter 1 20 5/25/05 10:49 PM Page 20 TV a-Go-Go the shots that had been missing from all of Presley’s Ed Sullivan performances; finally the TV audience could see the screaming girls.
Once an episode of Shindig (ABC, 1964–1966) took off, it was gone. One song segued into another; the camera would cut from one performer to another just as the first performer’s song was finishing; one, two, or three other artists might join the singing star; one tiny Neil Sedaka piano would sit atop one grand Jerry Lee Lewis piano as both artists pounded out a duet. Yes, Shindig had dancers, but instead of some regular kids doing their thing, it featured a unit of highly trained go-go dancing girls.
But that would change on February 9, 1964, when Ed Sullivan once again emerged as the patron saint of TV rock, despite not being particularly fond of the music. 6 The Beatles were Sullivan’s new superstars. Always on the lookout for overseas talent and impressed by their good manners (though not necessarily by their songs) he had signed them up early. His timing was impeccable, and he secured them for a pittance ($3,500 per show as opposed to more than $16,000 per show for Presley eight years prior) just before America succumbed to Beatlemania.