One final nod to the BBC’s centenary year with this programme, broadcast back in 1997 to mark the 75th anniversary.
In Auntie through the Looking Glass Jeremy Nicholas looks at how the BBC has been portrayed in popular culture from films, novels, poems, songs, cartoons and even cigarette cards. We hear about Death at Broadcasting House and The Killing of Sister George and meet novelist Penelope Fitzgerald. There are poems from D.H. Lawrence and Alfred Noyes, a song from Robert Wyatt and a Week Ending sketch.
This nostalgia-fest does tend to focus on pre-war wireless so there’s the usual comic songs: Little Miss Bouncer (Flotsam and Jetsam), We Can’t Let You Broadcast That (Norman Long) and We’re Frightfully BBC (The Western Brothers). But you’ll also hear some less familiar tunes: Auntie Aggie of the BBC by Scottish comedian Tommy Lorne and a couple of songs from the 1938 Herbert Farjeon revue Nine Sharp called Thank God for the BBC and, remarkably, There’s Never Been a Baddie at the BBC.
Auntie through the Looking Glass was broadcast on Saturday 18 October 1997 on BBC Radio 4. The readers aren’t credited but one is certainly Jon Glover. The producer is Sue Foster.
Nine Sharp was a 1938/39 revue for the Little Theatre production company with book and lyrics by Herbert Farjeon and music by Walter Leigh. Part One of the revue included Thank God for the BBC. The cast was Berry Ann Davies as Mother, Michael Anthony as Father, Peggy Willoughby as Daughter, Eric Hoy as Crooner, Eric Anderson as 1st Orator, Gordon Little as 2nd Orator, George Benson as Captain Snaggers (surely based on announcer John Snagge) and the Director, Hermione Baddeley as Miss Bennett, Cyril Ritchard as Vaudeville Eric and Ronald Waters as Radio Val (radio drama producer Val Gielgud?)