Who's on Radio London
"Oh no he isn't!"
"Oh yes he is!"

This document, kindly supplied by Hans Knot, is a booking sheet for a Radio London advertising campaign.

Dated 24th October 1966, the sheet reveals that the campaign, due to air three times daily from Tues, 1st November, was for the Christmas Pantomime 'Puss in Boots', starring "The very famous 'Dr Who', William Hartnell."

Hartnell had in fact appeared in numerous feature films prior to taking the role of the first Dr Who in 1963, but "The very famous 'Dr Who'" was the label he would wear till his death in 1975. Of course, the BBC series was immensely popular and the 'Dr Who' name was guaranteed to be a panto crowd-puller.

Hartnell first came to the attention of TV viewers as Sgt. Bullimore in the early BBC sitcom The Army Game. He quit the role of Dr Who in October '66 and perhaps surprisingly for a man in poor health, soon commenced touring in Puss in Boots.

Radio London commercials voiced by Pete Drummond do not reveal what role Hartnell took in the panto, which played Ipswich, Southend, Cheltenham and Taunton. Those recorded for Big L were specifically to promote the performances at The Gaumont Ipswich and the Odeon Southend. The Gaumont show commenced on December 26th, with ticket prices ranging from four shillings (20 pence) to eight-and sixpence (42.5 pence). At the Odeon from January 2nd, prices were slightly higher, between four shillings and six pence (22.5 pence) to ten shillings and six pence (52.5 pence).

Dum Dum's backing music for the advert is listed on the sheet as 'Jingle Bells' by Ray Conniff and 'Pussycat' by Quincy Jones.

Click on the picture to view a larger version.

To read the text, click on the picture to view a larger version.

The two items on the left come courtesy of Raoul Verolleman – a brilliant source of Radio Scotland memorabilia. Raoul believes the scotty dog on the calendar belonged to Cathy Spence.

A card received by the Knees Club Founder from Radio City DJ, Phil Jay.

Message reads:

'To Mary and all members of the Knees Club, may you have
a very merry Kneesmas!!

Phil Jay'

Christmas at The Upper Cut Club

Ex-boxer Billy Walker's Upper Cut Club in Woodgrange Road, London E7 began its 'Fabulous opening week' on Wednesday, December 21st with a Grand Opening Night, starring The Who. Interestingly the club, promoted regularly on Big L, often had two admission prices - frequently ladies paid half-a-crown (2/6) less! The Grand Opening Night cost 15/- for ladies and 17/6 for gents. A whole pound was charged for both sexes to attend the Christmas Eve Gala, starring Eric Burdon and the Animals.

(Advertisement from the New Musical Express)

The mind boggles at the concept of the shows being promoted as suitable 'for all the family' on the afternoon and evening of Boxing Day. (This time we're talking about a festive occasion, not a fisticuffs competition.) According to the advert, stars of these 'family' events were Jimmy (sic) Hendrix (2.30 to 5.30) and The Pretty Things (7.30 to 11.30). Roger 'Twiggy' Day was the resident DJ here before joining Caroline, so he introduced the Boxing Day show, where he says the audience was sparse.

This was unsurprising, as the two acts performing on December 26th were regarded by the popular press as a source of moral corruption and considered at the time to be akin to the Antichrist. Hendrix was lesser-known, but the Pretty Things in particular, were deemed quite likely to cause the collapse of the family unit and the end of civilisation as we knew it. Hardly a 'family show' and needless to say, neither group featured in the Big L Family Forty!

Jimmy Hendrix is said to have penned 'Purple Haze' backstage at this gig.

We'd love to hear from anyone who went to either of those gigs, especially if they were accompanied by Mum, Dad, Granny and Auntie Flo. Did Hendrix's on-stage capers put anyone off their essential Boxing Day packed lunch of cold gobbler butties! Did Granny leap on stage and jam with the Pretty Things? - Was 'Purple Haze' inspired by someone's new purple Christmas sweater? Nobody has told us since 2000, when this was written, but one day, we're going to find out!

After what seemed a most auspicious start, the Upper Cut Club remained in business for only one year.

See the Fab for 12/03/67 for more on the club and a photo of Otis Redding posing with a great poster.

What was the weather forecast for Christmas Day 1966?

Ed Stewpot and Everett of England will now sing it for you

Bud Ballou enjoyed Christmas Day aboard the Mi Amigo

"We had a really good time – lots of food and a wonderful meal. The crew and staff ate together. There was Harry the Mouse, who spoke great English; he was the ship's engineer. Jan was the cook and there was one other Dutch guy and Captain Peprouk. The captain was so drunk! We couldn't even get him out of his chair at the head of the table. All he would do was just sit there all glassy-eyed, laughing and smiling. He was so wasted that he couldn't even go up to use the bathroom. This went on for hours. Finally, we had to lift him and carry him to his cabin. "

(Webmaster's note: We are open to suggestions as to the spelling of the Captain's name!)

And later still...

In 1972, long after the sad demise of Radio London, a Big L favourite who had stayed with the station to the end was now a 'popular Radio Two DJ'.

Tony Brandon issued this Christmas single Sleep Little Children (Chapter One SCH 178)

Photo courtesy of Hans Knot


Christmas Annual 2001