Soup Safari #81: Tomato and Lentil at La Parrilla Mexican Bar & Grill

Lunch. £5.50. La Parrilla Mexican Bar & Grill, 56-58 Lark Lane, Liverpool L17 8UU. Tel: 0151 306 8158.

A History of the BBC in 100 Blog Posts: 1946.

The post-war era begins in earnest. If you haven't already realized, I'm preparing these BBC 100 posts ahead of schedule. To give you an idea of how far ahead I am at the moment, it's currently New Year's Day 2023. I spent the past December posting Christmas links and other things. For you, March is in its early stages (which reminds me I need to change the calendars - done now). Having thought about these posts in the weeks away, I'm pretty happy with the format of only linking to the BBC's website when it's a program about itself or immensely pertinent (see below). I try to steer clear of its own history pages as much as possible. There's no point in replicating what's already there. Anyway, happy New Year to me and rabbits to you.

Letter From America Begins

"Alistair Cooke remembers Lindsay Wellington, the BBC head who came up with the idea of weekly letters to help people in the UK understand American life in 1946."
[BBC Sounds][BBC Programme Index]

"A portrait of the 20th century as viewed through the eyes of one of the world's greatest broadcasters - Alistair Cooke.  Combining extracts from the 2,654 editions of BBC Radio 4’s Letter from America with reflections from Alistair, the programme follows the key elements of what is often referred to as the American century."
[BBC Sounds][BBC Programme Index]

"Every extant episode is now available on the BBC website.  Unfortunately, like In Our Time, they're locked into a programme page format which isn't easily navigable when that many episodes are involved and so I decided to create the following chronology to make them more accessible and create the ability to easily skip to a particular year and re-experience that history through the words of Alistair Cooke."
[feeling listless]

The Dark Tower

"First transmitted in 1946, The Dark Tower is a parable play on the ancient theme of the Quest, suggested by Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came. It was written and produced by Louis MacNeice, with music specially composed by Benjamin Britten, and played by an ad hoc orchestra conducted by Walter Goehr."
[BBC Sounds][BBC Programme Index]

"Incidental music for the radio play The Dark Tower by Louis MacNeice. Signed by Britten on the title page (f. 1). The manuscript is not dated."
[British Library][BBC Programme Index]

"Poet Paul Muldoon recalls a fellow Belfast wordsmith who innovated radio production, loved rugby and drank hard."
MacNeice's first drama for radio was The Dark Tower.
[BBC Sounds][BBC Programme Index]

"Louis MacNeice’s The Dark Tower was heard at the British Library on 13 November 2014 as the fourth in a five-part series of public listenings. Below, Dr Amanda Wrigley of the University of Westminster offers some background to this work."
[In The Dark Presents]

Television Returns

"After World War Two, television returned to British screens on 7 June 1946.  The demonstration film, Television is Here Again, showed prospective viewers what sort of programming they could expect."
[BBC Archive][BBC Programme Index]

"First transmitted in 1946, these are highlights of the films shown on BBC Television since it reopened in June of that year after a seven-year gap caused by World War II."
[BBC iPlayer][BBC Programme Index]

"Muffin the Mule was one of the earliest BBC television shows. It was broadcast at least in 1953, near the time of Elizabeth II's coronation. It involved a human hostess speaking and singing to a puppet mule. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern)"
Muffin the Mule began in 1946.
[TARDIS Data Core]

"The politics behind the return of TV in 1946."


"A look at young 'Just William' actor John Clark as he relaxes at home."


"In this wonderful and detailed essay, Margaret writes about her experience of singing live on Children’s Hour, with the Kendrick School Choir and Orchestra; at the BBC Broadcasting House on Sunday 3rd February 1946."
[Kendrick School]


"With the end of the Second World War in 1945, the BBC went back to normal broadcasting hours and regular working conditions. The corporation now had a colossal listening audience which had grown during the war years, and radio sets were as common in households as television is today. That audience would continue to grow, for there was little luxury or recreation in Britain just after the war."
[Look and Learn]

"Mixing music with drama and the ancient with the cutting-edge, the Third Programme set out to scale the shining peaks of “high culture”, but, says David Hendy in part six of our 13-part series on the history of the BBC, its lofty aims alienated as much as they allured..."
[History Extra]

"Humphrey Carpenter's history of the Third Programme."
[BBC Sounds][BBC Programme Index]

"Tommy Handley and the ITMA gang in farewell party comedy sketch set at Albany Club."

"The British radio station broadcasts its session from a flat of the senior captain HorĂ¡k, who fought as a fight pilot in the UK. A native of Lidice returned to his homeland with his English wife and two children. In total of 50 millions people listened to this radio session."
[CT / Czech Republic]

"The Dutch government offers a diner to some guests of the BBC in castle "Oud-Wassenaar" (Old Wassenaar). Present at the diner are a.o. Prime Minister W. Schermerhorn, the former Prime Minister P.S. Gerbrandy and the English envoy sir Neville Bland."
[Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision]

"One of the most intriguing is a drama called Exercise Bowler which was broadcast on 5 August in a television version produced by Jan Bussell. From the traces that survive in Radio Times and elsewhere in the press, it seems to have been interesting as a response to Britain re-adjusting to peacetime and also strikingly experimental in its use of the television studio."
[Screen Plays]


"The war renewed debate about poetry in public life. In 1941, the weekly BBC magazine The Listener asked Robert Graves (‘as a war poet’) to explain why the war had produced little great poetry so far. Because, Graves said, it was a different kind of war."

"Hugh Morton broadcasting 'Stuff and Nonsense' show from hospital."


Musicians Union open letter in the form of a pamphlet questioning the BBC's use of recorded music and the fees paid to artists.

"LORD BRABAZON OF TARA rose to move to resolve, That this House is of the opinion that before an extension be granted of the B.B.C. Charter, an investigation into the present development be held The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name."

"The third Royal Charter of the British Broadcasting Corporation came into operation on 1 January, 1947. It was a date with more than one significance. Not only were the wartime services of the BBC a matter of the past and safe with history ; the transition period was also over."
[World Radio History]

"The Governors of the British Broadcasting Corporation present herewith their Report for the year ending 31st March 1946."