Eighty years ago tonight, the first episode of a BBC radio talk show that would run for nearly thirty years, cross over to the junior medium (the one with pictures) and provide a model for those that transfix us still.
In Town Tonight's format brought together the very grand, the truly fabulous and the ever-so humble and was a massive hit in its day and a compulsory stop for every celebrity visiting London with a movie to sell. There are dozens and dozens of pictures in the archive. This representative sample shows, from top to bottom:
- Chief Yeta III, Paramount Chief of the Barotse, Zambia, and members of his staff, 1937.
- Carmen Miranda, Brazilian Hollywood megastar, 1948.
- Old Joe Patts, Parish clerk of Ilford for 61 years, 1935.
- Legend Mae West, 1948.
- Singer, composer, pianist (and pop star) Hoagy Carmichael, 1948.
- Jack Benny, American comedian and TV star, 1948.
- Movie stars Gregory Peck and Rosalind Russell, 1949.