Entertaining television challenges the idea that the BBC in the 1950s was elitist and 'staid', upholding Reithian values in a paternalistic, even patronising way. By focusing on a number of (often controversial) programme case studies - such as the soap opera, the quiz/ game show, the 'problem' show and programmes dealing with celebrity culture - Su Holmes demonstrates how BBC television surprisingly explored popular interests and desires. She also uncovers a number of remarkable connections with programmes and topics at the forefront of television today, ranging from talk shows, 'Reality TV', even to our contemporary obsession with celebrity.
The book is iconclastic, percipient and grounded in archival research, and will be of use to anyone studying television history. -- .
Su Holmes is Reader in Television Studies at the University of East Anglia -- .
List of Figures Acknowledgements Introduction 1 Public Service and the Popular: Debates and Developments 2 'Neighbours to the Nation': 'Soap Opera', the BBC and (Re)visiting The Grove Family (1954-57) 3 'The "Give-Away" Shows - But Who is Really Paying?' Rethinking Quiz and Game Shows on 1950s British Television 4 The Problem Show - 'An.. Unmarried mother sat in a wing-backed chair on TV last night.'BBC Television asks Is This Your Problem? (1955-57) 5 From 'Serialitis' to 'Torture, Treacle, Tears and Trickery': Framing Television Fame 6 Conclusion: 'There's nothing really better than what you're used to, is there?' Bibliography -- .