BBC Non-Wrestling Shows

The following broadcasts on BBC radio and television dealt with British professional wrestling subjects during (and immediately after) the ITV era.

29 December 1938:

Stagshaw Searchlight Review (BBC Stagshaw Radio, Northumberland)

A recorded programme of some of the most interesting interviews in this year's Stagshaw Searchlight, including... A French Onion Man, A Tattooist, A Worm and Maggot Breeder, An All-in Wrestler,. A Bamboo Pipe Band, A Clown, A Woman Stevedor. Arranged and presented by E. S. Williams. Produced by Cecil McGivern

23 August 1947

I Want To Be A Wrestler (BBC TV)

with McDonald Hobley , assisted by Vic. Coleman and Johnny Lipman

17 January 1952

Film Time (Home Service Radio)

Introduced by Leslie Mitchell This week's edition includes the following recorded items: Pastimes of the Picture-Makers: Jeanne Heal introduces this week's guest: Harry Fowler. Walter Talun , the giant all-in wrestler, describes his part as Goliath in the biblical melodrama ' David and Bathsheba'. " The Film Part I Would Most Like to Play'— 1: Margaret Rutherford enacts a scene from her choice. Some scenes from the sound-track of the Twentieth Century-Fox domestic comedy ' Love Nest.' starring June Haver. William Lundigan , Frank Fay. and Marilyn Monroe. Script written by Michael Storm. Produced by Pat Osborne

25 November 1958

Charlie Drake ' Grandad was a Wrestler'. The third of a new series of weekly adventures. Written by DAVE FREEMAN and CHARLIE DRAKE. Produced by ERNEST MAXIN

1 August 1961

People Today (Home Service Radio)

A gallery of portraits in close up. Big Bill Benny wrestler, theatrical agent, and night-club proprietor. Compiled by Norman Cresswell Produced by David Glencross . Recorded broadcast of October 18, 1960, in the Midland Home Service

23 May 1962:

Woman's Hour (Light Programme radio)

Introduced by Marjorie Anderson and including... Is Wrestling Phoney T: Tim Bowden enquires 

22 January 1964

Mid-Week TheatreNo Holds Barred by William Collins. A great classical wrestler in middle age descends to staging all-in wrestling and finds himself grappling with unrehearsed emotional holds and locks. The action takes place in Paris, London, and Birmingham. Produced by R. D. SMITH

26 January 1965

Fyfe Robertson reports on female all-in wrestling in Victoria Hall, Halifax. Wrestlers in action include Mitzi Mueller and “Naughty” Nancy Barton.

13 July 1965

Jimmy Savile (BBC One)

A documentary about ten days in the life of Britain's No. D.J. Personal appearances by: BRIAN JONES of The Rolling Stones .TWINKLE. GENTLEMAN JIM LEWIS (G. J. Lewis appears by permission of Joint Promotions Ltd.)

29 August 1968:

Home This Afternoon (Radio 4)

A family magazine introduced by TIM GUDGIN and including: Three Falls to Win:  DEREK PARKER looks at the world of professional wrestling 

20 January 1969:

It Takes All Sorts (Radio 4)

A series in which you meet interesting and unusual people from all walks of life.

Wrestler. Mick McManus, ex-southern welter-weight champion, talks to DEREK PARKER about the profession to which he has dedicated his life, and about his reactions to the public who loves to hate him.

20 January 1970:

Woman's Hour (Radio 2)

Introduced by Marjorie Anderson. Personal Philosophy - 5: YEHUDI MENUHIN on a Sense of Purpose. One-time Lady Wrestler: MOLLIE MINTZ talks to JOHN EAST. Reading your Letters. A Family in Need: they talk to JUNE rose, and find some of the help available. Woman Bites Dog: ANNESUTER GABRIEL WOOLF reads They Were Defeated by ROSE MACAULAY (10)

13 September 1970:

Cricket (BBC Two)

The John Player League Essex v Surrey. The final day of the 1970 League programme with a star-studded ' local derby.' During today's tea interval at approximately 4.0 pm Lord's Taverner Mick McManus will read Ashes Regained by A. A. Thomson. 

3 November 1970

Does The Team Think? (Radio 4)

A radio happening with Jimmy Edwards , Ted Ray Arthur Askey , Rey Hudd In the chair PETER HAIGH. Special guest Jackie Pallo from an idea by JIMMY EDWARDS Produced by EDWARD TAYLOR

27 November 1970:

You and Yours (Radio 4)

Joan Yorke presents the Radio 4 series that tackles topics of direct concern to you Today's main feature: The Wrestling Phenomenon: how lucrative? How painful? MONTY MODLYN lifts the lid off one of the most successful spectator sports in the country - especially among women.

13 February 1971:

Mister Pybus Yorkshireman - Security Officer (Radio 4)

The last in a series of plays written by ANTHONY SCOTT VEITCH featuring William Gaunt Catch As Catch Can. An old friend of Frank Pybus , Pinkie Ambler , runs a gambling club in Lowood - a clean club until an ex-wrestler, Sid King , tries to take over not only the club but Pinkie's wife.

3 November 1971:

Man Alive (BBC 2)

Reporters JEREMY JAMES JEANNE LA CHARD , JOHN PITMAN DENIS TUOHY , DESMOND WILCOX HAROLD WILLIAMSON This week: Soho Newspapers call it the 'square mile of vice.' Few tourists fail to visit it. Football supporters ' up for t'Cup ' always seem to wind up there - in their cups. But Soho is being tidied up, threatened with replannlng. ' Miss Whiplash' will have to find new premises - so will some of the restaurants, theatres, strip clubs, discotheques. But still there will be newspapers in 15 languages; cheroots from Burma; samovars from Samarkand. It seems impossible to consider Soho in any other terms than the centre of the British film industry; the London Orchestral Association; the meeting place of artists, sculptors, stunt men, wrestlers - and the stamping ground of Lord Longford's stern-minded committee. Soho is a place of character - full of characters, FRANK NORMAN wrote a book about it.HAROLD WILLIAMSON , a Tynesider, has come to know and love it. CHARLIE SQUIRES has always been fascinated by it. Now they have been there together. Director CHARLIE SQUIRES Editors DESMOND wilcox and BILL MORTON

20 May 1971:

Times Remembered (Radio 2)

GILLIAN STRICKLAND talks to May Ronaldson. Her father was a bare-fisted fighter and she herself managed six lady wrestlers and a boxing booth. Now, after a lifetime travelling the fairgrounds, MAY RONALDSON runs a permanent side show at the Battersea Fun Fair. Producer TOM CONWAY

8 March 1972:

Man Alive (BBC 2)

Reporters JEREMY JAMES JEANNE LA CHARD, DENIS TUOHY DESMOND WILCOX and HAROLD WILLIAMSON This week: If the Spirit is Willing  In Loughton a demonstration against demons; a Pentecostal minister's protest against the spirits who help Harry Edwards at his spiritual healing meetings. In Hove a medium goes into a trance; through her - she says - a Chinese doctor who has been dead for 500 years carries out ' psychic ' surgery. In a darkened room in Belgrave Square spirits manifest their faces and voices through a medium, or so he says. In a Birmingham suburb an ex all-in wrestler lays his hands on a spina bifida victim and claims she is beginning to walk, because of him. This country has become the world centre of spiritualism, faith healing, and ' making contact ' with the dead. Americans even organise ' psychic ' package tours to London, the new international capital of the occult. JEREMY JAMES and a Man Alive team have been looking at the business of faith, the critics of the whole thing and those who believe the spirit is willing. Director HARRY WEISBLOOM Editors DESMOND WILCOX , BILL MORTON

13 April 1973:

Woman's Hour (Radio 2)

Introduced from Bristol by Daphne Hubbard. Real Men: AMANDA THEUNISSEN among the wrestlers. Dr Rowse and the Dark Lady: PAMELA HOWE hears about a discovery. Champion Against Odds: MARGARET GIBBS talks to ROBERT FORBES. ELIZABETH MORGAN reads Cat and Mouse by CHRISTIANNA BRAND (8)

9 May 1973:

It Takes All Sorts (Radio 4)

Mick McManus, in the world of wrestling, is the equivalent of the pantomime demon king - cunning, malevolent, ruthless and unscrupulous. He talks to RITA DANDO about the hazards of his profession and why he fosters the image of the man they love to hate. Producer MICHELL RAPER  (This appears to be a second appearance for McManus on the show.)

18 February 1974

Romark (BBC One)

A singer, a wrestler, a comedian, a selection of toys - and an amazing assessment of personal choice. Designer KENNETH LAWS9N Director PEGGY WALKER Producer PETER RIDSDALE SCOTT (from Manchester)

1 September 1974:

The Grunt and Groan Men (BBC Radio London)

The private and public battles of those Londoners who make their living from wrestling Producer FIONA CAMPBELL

28 September 1974:

Grandstand (BBC One)

1.15* Harvey Smith - Wrestler. An exclusive Grandstand report on the other world of HARVEY SMITH , for many years one of the most successful and controversial characters of show jumping, who has now become as well a star of the professional wrestling ring. Reporter TONY GUBBA 

5 October 1974:

Larry Grayson Show (Radio 2)

starring Larry Grayson , with his guests Jackie Pallo The Spinners, and The Brian Fitzgerald Octet Script by BERNARD SHARP Producer DAVID HATCH 

11 January 1975:

Lulu (BBC One)

with her guests Ian Lavender Jackie Pallo. Bernie Clifton and The Shadows singing A Song for Europe with THE NIGEL LYTHGOE DANCERS . (Jackie Pallo is in ' Goldilocks and the Three Bears ' at the Wimbledon Theatre)

11 July 1975, 9 July 1976, 16 August 1977, 21 August 1978, 29 August 1979, 11 July 1980, 31 August 1981

As part of the Lord's Taverners, Mick McManus appeared on It's A Celebrity Knockout seven years in a row.

19 July 1975:

4th Dimension (Radio 4)

4.40* Forecast

The radio game devised by IAN MESSITER Host Tony Blackburn Special guest Jackie Pallo with some Scouts and Guides


News report on Mitzi Mueller

6 August 1979:

Pick of The Philpott File (BBC Two)

A Right Pair of Villains. A film report by Trevor Philpott. Their wrestling programme says the Klondyke Brothers were born in the toughest, farthest-flung corner of Alaska. You have to be careful what you believe, but they are certainly the most massive and probably the most monstrous pair of entertainers on the boards. Between them they weigh 56 stones and every ounce of it Is villainous. Every night the crowds fill the halls in the hope of seeing these two ugly, misshapen, merciless men take a long overdue beating. 

25 October 1979:

The Secret Life... of Brian Maxine (Radio 4)

In which Paul Heiney visits a professional wrestling champion as well as a country and western singer. It odd, since they both have the same name of Brian Maxine - maybe they're related. 

16 November 1979:

Are You Being Served?

(This episode appears to have guest starred Jackie Pallo)

1 January 1980:

Is This A Record? (Radio London)

Another chance to hear DAVID MCGILLIVRAY 'S selection of some of the most offbeat - and sometimes off-key - records stored in the darker recesses of the BBC Gramophone Library, and explanations of how they came to be made from such rarely heard singers as ARTHUR MULLARD, DAVID HAMILTON , BILLY WALKER and JACKIE (Mr TV) PALLO. Producer MIKE SPARROW

11 June 1980:

The Big Time (BBC One)

Another series of the programme which gives an amateur the chance to join the professional world of his dreams. Keith Rawlinson - wrestler Reporter Paul Heiney Keith Rawlinson is a schoolmaster in Burnley-but he has always longed to be a professional wrestler. Now The Big Time gives him the chance. It takes three months of strict training and body building during which Keith is advised by some of the biggest names in wrestling including KENT WALTON, BIG DADDY and World Lightweight Champion, JOHNNY SAINT. His big moment is a match - in an all-star bill at the most glamorous wrestling venue in the country - London's Royal Albert Hall.  Producer ESTHER RANTZEN Film editor ROGER GUERTIN Director NICK HANDEL

18 October 1980:

Desert Island Discs (Radio 4)

Brian Glover , the actor, playwright and ex-wrestler (under the name Leon Arras ), chooses the records he would take to a desert island and discusses them with ROY PLOMLEY. Producer DEREK DRESCHER 

1 June 1982:

Looking Good, Feeling Fit (BBC One)

The last of the present series with Richard Stilgoe, Gillian Reynolds and Dr Mike Smith. Bubbly Clare Grogan reveals the secret of her endless vitality, and Mitzi Mueller , blonde bombshell of the wrestling ring, muscles up for a fight.

1 June 1982:

Gloria Hunniford (Radio 2)

with special guest Mick McManus

14 September 1982

Spare Moments (Radio 4)

The first of four programmes in which Jenni Mills talks to people who spend their working lives in the public eye and their spare time in somewhat unexpected ways. Today: Mick McManus , ex-wrestler and antiques collector.

25 October 1982:

Woman's Hour (Radio 4)

From Crosby Civic Hall. Introduced by Sue MacGregor , who meets " The Blonde Bombshell Mitzi Mueller , British and European Ladies Wrestling Champion.

26 November 1982

Children In Need (BBC One)

Terry Wogan hosts the BBC's annual appeal for children throughout the United Kingdom.  BBCtv and radio studios up and down the country remain 'on air' during the evening to receive your donations  Over £1-million has been distributed to children since last year's appeal and tonight's programmes include reports on the wide variety of projects helped during 1982. At the Operations Centre celebrity guests include: Big Daddy, Natasha, Captain Sensible, Toyah Chas & Dave, Kim Wilde,Roy Kinnear. 

28 December 1982 & 14 January 1983

Superteams (BBC One)

Jackie Pallo managed "The Fighters" (Brian Jacks, Alan Minter, John Conteh, Dave 'Boy' Green, Pierre Harper, Charles Longdon Hughes & Vic Charles) in this team version of Superstars.

21 January 1983:

Did You See..? (BBC Two)

The weekly review of television on all channels presented by Ludovlc Kennedy , who discusses Forty Minutes: Package Tour (BBC2), Bloomfield (YTV) about an ex-wrestler studying to become a Roman Catholic priest, and Master Photographers (BBC2), a film profile of Bill Brandt , with Standard Travel Editor Jill Craw shaw, ex-wrestler and actor Brian Glover and Tom Hopkinson , who edited Picture Post.  Production assistant SUE EVANS Assistant producer CLARE PATERSON Director STEPHEN GARRETT Producer JOHN ARCHER

20 December 1983:

Afternoon Theatre (Radio 4)

The Girl in the Corner by HOWARD WAKELING with Annette Badland as Brenda. Brenda is bored, overweight and 21. On impulse she decides that the only answer is to take up a career as a female wrestler. The family reaction is predictable and unfortunately. her boyfriend. Kevin, can't stand violence of any kind. Directed by IAN COTTERELL

21 January 1984:

The Little and Large Show (BBC One)

The last in the series starring Eddie Large and Syd Little with Nuts and Bolts  Georgie Fame, Rikki Howard and GIANT HAYSTACKS, OSSIE ARDILES , TREVOR BROOKING , GLEN HODDLE. Special guests The Flying Pickets 

17 May 1984:

Actuality (Radio 4)

A series of montage documentaries. Not a Night for the Squeamish ... it ain't easy: I do 2,000 miles a week, get hated by the punters, thumped by the wrestlers and when it's finished, I have to dismantle the ring ... Frank Casey , ex-pipe fitter, ex-antique shop owner, now works for Brian Dixon Wrestling Enterprises as a referee. Actuality follows him through a harrassed evening as he presides over a theatre of cruelty including Manchester's Flying Sensation, Liverpool's Teenage Speed Machine, Klondyke Kate , Leather Lena , Gaylord Steve Peacock and others. With GEMMA BEST , RAY CRAWLEY , MITZI MUELLER and MONY SWAN 

16 August 1984:

Barnes' People II (Radio 3)

A series of duologues by PETER BARNES. 6: Moondog Rogan and the Mighty Hamster with Eileen Atkins and Barbara Leigh-Hunt Women's Professional Wrestling - 'ballet with balls' or chess with sweat'. An insight into the wilder shores of show-business. Directed by IAN COTTERELL

18 November 1984:

Paul McDowell (Radio 2)

says Good Morning Sunday with special guest Shirley Crabtree, betterwrestler Big Daddy known including at 7.45 Bishop Bill Westwood Researcher JUDI ROSE Producer HUGH FAUPEL BBC Manchester

20 November 1985

Hartbeat (BBC One)

A different approach to the art of making pictures with Tony Hart , Joanna Kirk and Liza Brown 
Fantasy: Make fantastic pictures from old magazines, cut-outs and photographs. There's Big Daddy, Wham! and The Queen.

15 February 1986:

Another Saturday Night (Radio 4)

Nigel Farrell goes in search of the great British Saturday night out. From early evening cocktails with a peer of the realm to a boisterous bout of female wrestling and a brief stop at a Barbershop Harmony convention. Then on to a gathering of old comrades at a regimental reunion, before ending the night in style with a champagne breakfast at a hunt ball. Advice, too, on alternative entertainment should you be at a loose end tonight. Producer SIMON SHAW 

24 November 1986:

Valerie (BBC One)

One of the Boys. Mark has always been the brains of the family, now he wants to be one of the boys and take up sport. However, when he chooses wrestling Valerie puts her foot down. Written by JACE RICHDALE Directed by ASAAD KELADA

19 August 1987:

200 Not Out (BBC One)

MCC, the most renowned club in cricket - now battling for its rights in the commercial world of sport - is 200 years old. So is the tradition of Lord's. On the eve of the Bicentenary Match between MCC and the Rest of the World, Benny Green , jazz musician, author, critic and cricket lover turns his enigmatic eye on the ground and the club ('an eccentric anachronism - sometimes maddening, always lovable'), Plus their two centuries of brilliant action on the field and colourful goings-on behind the scenes. Sir Donald Bradman, Ian Botham , Denis Compton Sir George ('Gubby') Allen Colin Cowdrey , Lord Home Mick McManus ,Rachael Heyhoe-Flint , Geoff Boycott Brian Close , John Arlott are among those interviewed.

7 February 1988:

Did You See...?

Ludovic Kennedy is joined by his studio guests for a review of Screen Two: Stanley (BBC2) Scottish Eye (Channel 4) First Tuesday (ITV) Guests: Muriel Gray Charles Kennedy Mandy Merck and Jacquie Hughes watches the recording of a tv wrestling match in Burnley and talks to Big Daddy and Kent Walton about the fortunes of their flamboyant sport. Film director KRISHNA GOVENDER Studio director ARCHIE BARON Producer Nicholas BARKER

12 April 1988:

The Ring of Truth (Radio 4)

A comedy in two falls and one submission by ANDREW GOREING with and In his day. Barney Bloodaxe - the man who bit off Eric Rasputin 's ear - was a titan of the wrestling ring. Now he has hung up his trunks and turned pro-gardener, but Harold has other ideas and plans for a bout to end all bouts ... Directed by JEREMY HOWE 

9 March 1989:

40 Minutes (BBC Two)

The way we live now Raging Belles. Miss Nicky Monroe 'Beautiful but Deadly' v Klondyke Kate 'Hell in Boots'. The two top women wrestlers in Britain contend for the British Ladies Championship Belt. In the blue comer - Klondyke Kate. At 15, she ran away from home to train as a wrestler. Kate weighs in at 20-stone and she's the villain of the ring - a jeering, aggressive fighter the crowds love to hate. At home, on a Liverpool council estate, she cares for her 2-year-old son, Adam. In the red corner - Nicky Monroe. She comes from a Bournemouth wrestling family and has fought from the age of 17. Slim and feminine, she's the favourite of the crowds. Outside the ring she does nursing community work in Rhyl with the elderly. In the weeks before the Championship, nerves become taut. It's all set to be a hard, unsparing fight.... Photography LORAINE SMITH , ANNE PARISIO Film editor DENISE PERRIN Producer ANNE PARISIO