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Cultural highlights of 1958

Television: Australia
New shows
• Bandstand (TCN-9). Music. Runs until 1972.
• Swallow Juniors (HSV-7). Children's drama. Runs until 1971.

Television: UK
New shows
• Black and White Minstrel Show (BBC from 14 June). Non-stop songs with performers in black-face make-up.
• Blue Peter (BBC from 16 October). Children's magazine. (Still running in 2008.)
• Grandstand (BBC, Saturday afternoons from 11 October). Sports. (Series to be phased out by 2009.)
• Monitor (BBC from 2 February). Arts, introduced by Huw Wheldon. Runs for seven years and includes some of the best television films ever made.
• Oh Boy! (ABC for the ITV Network, from 13 September). Fast-paced pop music show, starring Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, the Dallas Boys, Harry Robinson Sound (aka Lord Rockingham's XI), etc; compered by Jimmy Henney, produced by Jack Good.
• Quatermass and the Pit (BBC from 22 December). Six-part science-fiction drama, later filmed.

Top-rated programmes in ITV-receiving homes only
1 Dotto (ATV for ITV Network). Join-the-dots quiz show from a US format (axed in US on August 15 amid quiz show scandals). Runs until 1960.
2 Wagon Train (ITV network). US filmed western.
3 Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV for ITV network). Variety.
4 The Army Game (Granada for ITV network). Military service sitcom.
5 Television Playhouse (various for ITV network). One-off dramas.
6 Twenty-One (Granada for ITV network). Quiz show based on the soon-to-be-infamous US version. Ran for only one season because of unproven corruption claims.
7 Spot the Tune (Granada for ITV network). Musical quiz show in its third year. Runs until 1962.
8 Take Your Pick (Associated-Rediffusion for ITV network). Quiz show produced by independent Arlington Television & Radio, runs from 1955 until 1968 (and revived 1992-1998).
9 Double Your Money (Associated-Rediffusion for ITV network). Quiz show produced by independent Arlington Television & Radio, runs from 1955 until 1968.
10 Murder Bag (Associated-Rediffusion for ITV network). Crime series in its second year.

Radio: UK
Single productions
• The Ballad of John Axon by Ewan MacColl and Charles Parker (BBC Third Programme, 2 July). A 'radio ballad', blending actuality recordings with folk music. Seven more radio ballads are produced by Parker and MacColl between 1959 and 1964.
• Rhinoceros by Eugθne Ionesco in a translation by Derek Prouse (BBC Third Programme, 20 August). Theatre of the absurd play which later has its stage premiere at the Schauspielhaus, Dόsseldorf, Germany on 31 October.
• Unman, Wittering and Zigo by Giles Cooper (BBC Third Programme, 23 November). Black comedy.

Television: US
New shows
• The Andy Williams Show (ABC, from 3 July). Music. Later transfers to CBS and then NBC
• 77 Sunset Strip (Warner). Private eye series.
• Young Dr Malone (from 29 December). Soap.

Other: stage
• The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter opens in London (19 May)
• The Hostage by Brendan Behan opens in London (14 October)

• Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui) by Bertolt Brecht, weritten as a satire on Hitler in 1941, is premiered in Stuttgart (10 November)

Other: print
• Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak published in English translation in the US (5 September). Pasternak refuses the Nobel Prize for Literature on 29 October.


Chronomedia 1958

Page updated 14 October 2008
© David Fisher