Showing posts with label BBC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BBC. Show all posts

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October 26: Happy Birthday, Winston Churchill

October 26: Happy Birthday, Winston Churchill

One of the most quotable men of all time, Winston Churchill, contributed to old time radio with his amazing speeches.

One such speech came on the occasion of Hitler's invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941. "Hitler is a monster of wickedness," Churchill intoned into BBC microphones, "insatiable in his lust for blood and plunder. So now, this bloodthirsty gutter snipe must launch his mechanized army at the new fields of slaughter, pillage, and devastation."

Also broadcast on the BBC were speeches that go by the titles "War of the Unknown Warrior," "Give Us the Tools," and "These are Great Days," "We Shall Never Surrender."

Some rumors hold that it wasn't Churchill himself who delivered the speeches, but an actor, perhaps Norman Shelley, who did actually claim to have done so. In either case, it was Churchill who wrote the inspiring words.

The Prime Minister's first radio address came as German forces were marauding across France, and he took it as one of his most solemn duties to do his best, through his oration, to boost the morale of the Allies.

Churchill, the son of Lord Randolph Churchill and an American mother, became British Prime Minister in 1940.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 16: Happy Birthday, Oscar Wilde



Scandalous author, incurable wit, and patron saint of cheeky wags, Oscar Wilde was born on this day in 1854.  His work became a mainstay on radio, with plays such as An Ideal Husband, The Importance of Being Earnest, and The Picture of Dorian Gray being regularly adapted.

His biting aphorisms make his work ideal for delivery by comedic radio actors.  Though he may have found the sentiment trite, we bid a happy birthday to playwright Oscar Wilde.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 17: Happy Birthday, Ronald Knox

February 17: Happy Birthday, Ronald Knox!

Ronald Knox was that rare combination of radio host, crime novelist, and priest. If you know someone who was all three of those things, you probably know Ronald Knox.

He wrote a collection of ten commandments for detective fiction stories, translated the St. Jerome Latin Vulgate Bible into English, and published a pseudo-historical study on Sherlock Holmes.

His British radio program in the 20's mostly broadcast his sermons. However, a program in 1926 called "Broadcasting the Barricades" was a hoax portraying a revolution in London, complete with interviews with witnesses. It went over the airwaves on a snowy day when newspaper delivery was delayed, so many Londoners believed the reports. Fine job, Monsignor Knox.