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BBC Documentaries

Season 1963 1963

  • 1963-02-24T21:00:00Z on BBC
  • 60 mins
  • 4 hours, 0 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Documentary, Special Interest

Documentaries produced by or for the BBC.

4 episodes

1963x01 The Solitary Billionaire: J. Paul Getty

  • Season Premiere

    1963-02-24T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Alan Whicker interviews billionaire J. Paul Getty, who discusses reports of his meanness, his unsuccessful marriages, why he keeps working and what he's had to sacrifice to become the world's richest man. Alan Whicker wrote of the interview: "In search of this elusive character who had never revealed himself or his secret and impassive thoughts, I stayed at his new home in Surrey, a Tudor mansion which belonged to Henry VIII. A gracious, somewhat absent-minded host, he lives comfortably in quiet splendour; many less rich men live much grander lives." "Producer Jack Gold and I found Paul Getty the classic anti-interviewer; reluctant, modest, shy, set in his conversational ways, and (as a man who always issues orders) unused to questions - for who would dare question the richest man in the world?) We did - at length. And Paul Getty talked of his money, and how he made it; his attitude towards ordinary folk and the public reaction to him; why he chose to live in England, yet requires Alsatian dogs and bodyguards... he dodged nothing. He was honest and self-searching."

John Betjeman looks at the Evercreech Junction to Burnham-on-Sea railway line in Somerset. Betjeman provides a unique profile of a working steam branch line railway as he travels along the original part of the Somerset Central Railway. Examining towns and stations along the way, Betjeman laments the tragic decline of steam railways. The journey culminates with a stroll around Highbridge Wharf, sentimentally narrated with a poem that sums up Betjeman's despair; 'Highbridge Wharf, your hopes have died...'.

1963x03 Look: A Hare's Life

  • 1963-07-03T20:00:00Z — 60 mins

Early 1960s documentary in which naturalist Peter Scott looks at the behaviour and habits of the brown hare. This is a rare, classic and important documentary from British TV's first wildlife series - Look (1956-69). The series established the BBC's Natural History Unit's impregnable position as the world's leading wildlife production facility, and the BBC's reputation as innovators of this type of programme.

1963x04 Waiting For Work

  • 1963-02-12T21:00:00Z — 60 mins

Politically passionate and one of the first working class reporters at the BBC, Jack Ashley wanted to show the suffering caused by high unemployment in Hartlepool. With no work, no prospects, and little money, Ashley asked how the unemployed reacted to their situation in an increasingly affluent society. The documentary caused a storm when it was first shown in 1963, bringing Hartlepool’s problems to the attention of a national audience. After the programme aired parcels were sent to the contributors containing food, clothing, presents for the children and even an abundance of Christmas turkeys from people all over the UK. (1963)