Friday, 27 February 2015
First watched : 1972
My mum and gran's sniffy attitude towards ITV was all the more ironic given that we were living in the Granada Television region during its golden age under the stewardship of David Plowright whose commitment to innovative and quality television was the equal of anyone at the BBC. And so they made things like Clapperboard, a serious programme about film and scheduled it amongst the childrens' shows.
The programme was produced by Muriel Young who was also responsible for Lift Off With Ayshea and presented by Plowright's World in Action colleague Chris Kelly. He was a very likeable host , a little dry perhaps but never patronising to his young audience. The programme had a fairly loose format. One week it would be a round-up and review of current films, the next a technical documentary , then an exploration of how films had treated a particular subject or maybe an appraisal of an individual director. Therefore whether it interested me or not varied widely but it was always worth checking out.
The one caveat of course was that X -films couldn't be featured. Perhaps that was actually the reason for the early time slot; Kelly and/or Young didn't like horror films and this excused them from having to watch any.
The series lasted ten years. Chris Kelly was there for the duration. When the series finished in 1982 he remained gainfully employed as the usual narrator of World in Action and a presenter on Wish You Were Here. In the nineties he got more involved with writing ( episodes of Minder and Lovejoy ) and production, where he enjoyed two big hits in Soldier Soldier and Kavanagh QC, while still working as a prime time presenter with Food and Drink . Since that finished in 1998 he's been largely off screen and now 74. he's been pretty much retired for the last decade.