In my East Knowstone farmhouse in the 1950s there were certain wireless programmes we never missed. A favourite, was a show with Wilfred Pickles and his wife Mabel. We joined in, and sang the introductory song with the audience – "Have a go Joe, come and have a go," and laughed as audience members were asked if they were courting, and if they had ever had an embarrassing moment. Mabel told us how much was on the table, and we gasped as one, when a contestant won the grand sum of five shillings for answering correctly. When there was more than a pound in the jackpot our amazement at such a prize knew no bounds. "Fancy that," said my aged maiden aunt, "a whole pound".
I was forced to listen to Top of the Form as, my aunt said, "You'll be as bright as a button. That's where you want to be, at the top, not down with the dunces." I'd far rather have been in the corner reading the Dandy. We enjoyed The Clitheroe Kid, my aunt believing he was a schoolboy. When I informed her he was a dwarf she replied, "In that case he's old enough to know better."
We always missed Educating Archie because it was on during our Sunday roast, and we only had religious programmes on the Sabbath. "How do we know Peter Brough's lips aren't moving when he says a bottle o' beer? Anyone can be a wireless ventriloquist. His lips are probably moving all the time. An easier job than being a farmer," said my father.
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