The Showbiz Set[24/09/2002] (2002)

Film details


First programme in a three-part documentary series tracing the history of light entertainment and the creation of the modern-day television celebrity. When ITV launched in 1955 with Lew Grade at the helm, it caused an overnight revolution. Viewers were captivated by a new genre of entertainment programmes and the glamorous showbiz clique associated with them. The likes of Bob Monkhouse, Bruce Forsyth and Max Bygraves soon became household names and unlikely sex symbols, while The Royal Variety Show and Sunday Night at the London Palladium became British institutions and lured huge audiences. The BBC needed to sharpen up its act - and fast. Then there were the scandals. Actress Diana Dors' infamous parties made her the first victim of the tabloid expose; while gruff presenter Gilbert Harding was to experience the flipside of his new-found fame in a harrowing television interview - from which he would never recover... []

In addition to those noted the programme also includes contributions from Brian Masters (a friend of Gilbert Harding), Anita Land (niece of Lew Grade), Johnny Gold (Soho night club owner), and Kim Waterfield (former boyfriend of Diana Dors).

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top