Documentary looking back at 1959 through the eyes of the long-running BBC current affairs programme Panorama, recalling a time when Britain finally realised that the old world was fast disappearing. The game was up with the Empire and attitudes to class, race and gender were beginning to shift, while television was entering a golden age, with Panorama playing a key role in documenting the birth of modern Britain.
In the 1950s, politicians cared little for what Churchill called the 'idiot's lantern'. Now television is central to a political leader's image and his chances of winning an election. This is the story of how politicians abandoned the soapbox for the studio - from the early performances of the two Harolds, Macmillan and Wilson, through the TV campaigns of Margaret Thatcher to the spin-doctored presentation of Tony Blair. Has television finally reduced our politicians to actors spouting soundbites? With six decades of fascinating archive from television's longest running current affairs programme - Panorama - this is the story of how television has changed British politics.
In a special edition, Panorama travels with British doctors inside Syria to exclusively reveal the devastating impact of the war on children caught in the conflict. The doctors witness the aftermath of the bombing of a school by a suspected napalm-like incendiary device and medical facilities constantly under attack - both war crimes under international law. Filmed in the north of the country after the chemical weapons attack in Damascus which inflamed world opinion and brought America, Russia and the UN to the table, the film shows how the conventional war is intensifying with children bearing the brunt of this humanitarian catastrophe.
Inaugural edition. Leads with a report on the "brainwashing" of British spy Edgar Sanders after he was captured by the Soviets. Other items include a National Coal Board representative answering complaints about the quality of coal, a discussion about the state of the fishing industry and an art review section.
Including a roving eye report on the work of the BBC's Outside Broadcast Unit.
Panorama hosts a discussion on the hydrogen bomb, with guests including physicist Joseph Rotblat, historian Bertrand Russell, the Archbishop of York and senior military and political figures.
Including a filmed interview with writer W Somerset Maugham.
Malcolm Muggeridge talks with Spanish surrealist artist, Salvador Dali, who says that even if viewers only understand a little of his poor English, it will be a wonderful thing for them. Muggeridge questions him about how he cares for his magnificent moustache, his career as an artist and his interest in 'nuclear mysticism'.
In a segment entitled "Your Vote", the returning officer for Fulham talks with Max Robertson about various aspects of voting; Grace Wyndham Goldie talks about the BBC's plans for the reporting of the results of the upcoming election; and we are given a preview of some of the visual presentation methods that will be used in presenting the results. In "Queen of the Air", Max Robertson speaks with British Overseas Airways Corporation hostess Anne Price about winning a contest in Johannesburg. In "The Viscount", George Edwards of Vickers and J.H. Carmichael of Capital Airlines discuss the recent purchase of sixty Viscount planes by Capital Airlines.
First transmitted in 1955, Malcolm Muggeridge talks with American broadcast journalist Ed Murrow about the art of interviewing, commercial television, sponsorship and his memories of Britain during the war years. Including a filmed interview with Ed Murrow.
Poet John Betjeman participates in a discussion about canals.
This edition marks the re-launch of the programme in a weekly format. Including a report by Woodrow Wyatt from Malta whose leaders are engaged in round table talks with Britain on the island's future independence. Also also featuring filmed interviews with foreign tourists in Britain and a direct line to France using the Eurovision terrestrial microwave network.
Including a report about the popularity of coffee bars in Britain.
Including an item in which reporter Max Robertson dresses as Santa Claus in Selfridges and attempts to discover what is top of the Christmas wish lists for children in 1955.
Includes an item on the Sadler's Wells Theatre.
Including a filmed item on guided missiles.
Bob Pelham takes part in a roving eye report from the British Industries Fair.
Panorama visits the southern US state of Virginia, where racial segregation is still rigidly enforced.
Including a live demonstration of the "saw through" illusion by magician P. C. Sorcar.
In the week of the tenth anniversary of the BBC Telivision Service's resumption of transmission after the War, Panorama devotes a large part of this edition to a behind the scenes look at television broadcasting.
Including a filmed report by Woodrow Wyatt from Bahrain.
Writer Brendan Behan accidentally swears on television during a drink fueled interview. Other items include an interview with War Office staff on civil defence and a discussion on finishing schools.
Including an interview with the Prime Minister of Ceylon and an account of modern Sweden.
Including an appearance by English playwright John Osborne.
The programme leads with a review of developments in the Suez crisis. Also includes a report on labour shortages on the British Railways.
Including an interview with Foreign Secretary Selwyn Lloyd.
Woodrow Wyatt investigates the chances of surviving a hydrogen bomb attack and asks whether civil defence could help.
Including a filmed report on the Dalai Lama and Buddhist ceremonies in Tibet.
Includes interviews with British car drivers on the eve of the Motor Show.
Including a report from Hungary filmed in October, narrated by Hungarian writer George Mikes. The film shows a population joyful of a seemingly successful revolution, unaware that by the time of the film's transmission, Soviet tanks were to move into Hungary. The programme, in its coverage of the escalating Suez crisis, takes the novel approach of cutting to a news bullitin during the transmission of this edition to give the added impression of urgency. This was done at the behest of Cecil McGivern, then Deputy Director of Television Broadcasting.
Including a report by Adrian Crawley from Baghdad, Edward Ward speaking from the Hungarian Frontier, an interview by Christopher Chataway of an Australian newspaperman and a broadcast by Alistair Cooke from the United Nations in New York.
Including a live appearance by jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong.
A human birth is broadcast live on television.
Featuring a notorious film about the abundant spaghetti harvest in the Swiss valley of Ticino, near Locarno, caused by a mild winter and the near elimination of the spaghetti weevil. Also featuring a report from Poland by Chris Chataway; wine tasting with Josceline Dimbleby and a panel of experts; and a discussion of Makarios III, Archbishop of Cyprus
Including a discussion of the Spanish dictatorship with Woodrow Wyatt.
Including a look at the problems plaguing the city of Naples.
Including discussions concerning the recent poll on the various Christian denominations practiced in Britain.
Woodrow Wyatt investigates the impact of new apartheid laws, such as the Group Areas Act. Wyatt interviews politicians from all parties, including Prime Minister JG Strijdom and the president-general of the ANC, Chief Albert Mvumbi Luthuli.
Including a discussion on the health impact of smoking.
Malcolm Muggeridge visits Lourdes and discusses the reported healings with various religious experts.
Including an interview with Nigerian sculptor Ben Enwonvot, displaying his statue of Queen Elizabeth II, commissioned for the Federal House of Representatives in Lagos.
Woodrow Wyatt investigates allegations of ballot rigging in the Electrical Trades Union. Also including a report on family budgets across the country. Households from County Durham, London and Devon are compared and housewives explain how they make their housekeeping money last throughout the week.
Including a report on the spiralling costs of drugs prescribed by NHS doctors and whether the bill could be reduced using cheaper non-brand alternatives.
Including the first public demonstration of the BBC's Vision Electronic Recording Apparatus.
Including an interview with musician Lonnie Donegan.
The Panorama team explore the problems of the Middle East with interviews of significant personalities from Middle Eastern countries.
Including a report on Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution.
Including an interview with President Nasser of Egypt and filmed reports on the teaching of Latin in schools and high pressure salesmanship.
Robert Kee looks at foreign policy an interviews various diplomatic and political figures. Also including a report by Christopher Chataway and Larry Parnes on the rock and roll industry.
Panorama reports on the ultra-right wing White Defence League and the response to its call for mass non-white repatriation. The programme speaks with leader Colin Jordan about his extreme policies and a campaign group set up to oppose them.
Including a filmed report by Christopher Chataway on the new town of Harlow where experiments are being tried in mixing working and middle class residencies.
Panorama reports from India, Africa, America and Russia to highlight the problems and challenges that the next ten years will bring. The contributors include the Prime Minister of India and Proffessor J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Including a report on relations between the police and the public by James Mossman, featuring an interview with the Chief Constable of Liverpool. Also including a discussion on the merits of cremation of the dead as opposed to burial chaired by Ludovic Kennedy. In addition, Robin Day interviews Denis Healey MP and Peter Kirk MP on the subject of nuclear arms for Germany.
Including a report on the preparations for the Paris Summit in May, featuring an interview with Republican Congressman Walter Judd and Democrat Wayne Hays. Also including reports on West German bases in Spain and the British space program.
Including a discussion of overpopulation and the use of the contraceptive pill, with Margaret Pyke (Chairman of the Family Planning Association) and Father Arthur McCormack. Also including reports on the Dominican Republic and GIs in Britain.
James Mossman reports on the relationship between Europeans and Africans in the federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
In a report entitled “Planned Giving”, the director of an American firm which raises money for charity explains how his company operates.
Including an interview with Admiral Arleigh Burke, American Chief of Naval Operations conducted by Ed Murrow regarding the Polaris nuclear missile submarines stationed in British bases.
After being condemned by the Commonwealth for its apartheid regime, South Africa left and became a republic. A range of South Africans express differing views on the situation, ranging from outright defiance from some white South Africans to understandable concerns from one South African of Indian descent.
Including an interview with Major Yuri Gagarin in London, conducted by Richard Dimbleby.
The news and current-affairs programme looks at the implications of the end of the Cuban missile crisis. Hosted by Richard Dimbleby, studio discussions are chaired by Robin Day in Washington and James Mossman at home, with guests including the Right Honourable Harold Wilson and the Right Honourable Earl of Home, who discuss Britain's role in the crisis. John Morgan reports from checkpoint Bravo in Berlin on whether the Soviet position there will change as a result of Khrushchev's climbdown. Sir William Hayter, a former Ambassador to Moscow, is certain that this is not the beginning of world peace.
Panorama tries to predict what the future holds for bank holiday activities
The main feature is a report by Robin Day from Pretoria, where Nelson Mandela and other defendants in the Rivonia Trial have been sentenced. Day interviews people who condemn the trial and sentence, including Helen Suzman, Alan Paton and Winnie Mandela. Additionally, Michael Charlton visits Chicago and speaks with Elijah Mohammed, leader of the militant black separatist group the Nation of Islam.
Richard Dimbleby hosts a discussion on the findings in the Warren Commission report.
Profile of Harold Wilson and Alec Douglas-Home on the election trail from 19 October 1964.
Panorama that profiled Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, and asked him about the music industry in general and the Fab Four in particular.
John Morgan interviews groups of mods and rockers about their lifestyles.
As viewers come to terms with the loss of a great British hero, Richard Dimbleby hosts a collection of tributes to Winston Churchill from his friends and colleagues. Contributions come from Churchill's Foreign Secretary Lord Avon (formerly Anthony Eden, his successor as Prime Minister), Lord Mountbatten, the Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson, Governor Harriman of the US State Department and former Prime Minister of France Paul Reynaud. The programme concludes with an item from an earlier edition of 'Panorama' on Churchill's life.
Richard Dimbleby discusses the future of public transport with Dr Richard Beeching in the wake of his second report into railway provision.
Including a report on life and political oppression in Bahrain.
Film of the opening ceremony of the Volta River Project performed by the President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, and coverage of the building of the project.
Panorma gives over its whole programme to looking at cancer, the disease which the previous year had taken the life of Panorama broadcaster Richard Dimbleby.
Panorama examines the theory of a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.
A look at Britain's social services, including interviews with Professor Peter Townsend and Anthony Crosland.
A special report on Belgium.
An account of mental illness and treatment in England today including several personal stories of cases.
Panorama reports on the Vietnam War.
A look at California's technology industry and its potential impact on the future. The Californian technology industry is by far the most advanced and pioneering of its kind across the developed world. John Morgan investigates how this distinctly Californian industry developed and the questions it raises for Britain and Europe.
Panorama examines Nasser's Egypt, 10 years after Suez and looks at what he has already done for his country and what his ambitions are for the future.