Jackanory First Broadcast
The 13th of December 1965 AD
The original format for Jackanory was elegant in its simplicity: an actor or occasionally a TV personality like Clement Freud or a figure from an entirely different world like Prince Charles reading a book out loud to children, with occasional illustrations shown on screen (often by Quentin Blake ). Magical.
It captivated children from toddlers through to their primary school years, becoming a fixed element of every weekday for millions of families, quarter of an hour of almost guaranteed peace for any adult looking after them: the insistent theme-tune – Jackanory Jackanory - acted like an off-switch for play, a signpost pointing towards bedtime.
Over the years – the original series came to an end in 1996 – some great names appeared as readers: Kenneth Williams perhaps the most frequent; Spike Milligan ; Bernard Cribbins; the genius that was Arthur Lowe ; Michael Hordern and Joyce Grenfell to list but a few of the finest.
The very first programme on December 13 1965 featured Lee Montague, an actor better known for his hard-man roles on TV and in films.
Naturally when the BBC revived the idea in 2006 it had to be tampered with – animation used, and multiple actors; and no fixed slot to give that blessed routine that makes life with children so much easier. Perhaps it takes imagination to believe in the power of imagination.
More famous dates here
6753 views since 11th November 2010