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EDITIONS
Breakfast Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 07:58 GMT
That Was The Week That Was
The BBC's that That Was the Week That Was
David Frost's team kick-started the swinging sixties
It's forty years since the first transmission of a ground-breaking, late night, live satire show which launched a host of careers and kick-started the sixties satire boom

Ned Sherrin
Sherrin: directed and produced the show
It is of course "That Was The Week That Was" the show that changed the face of British and later American viewing.

It launched the careers of many household names, including Sir David Frost and Ronnie Barker.

  • Today on Breakfast, we re-lived TW3's past glories, with Millicent Martin, the show's resident singer and Ned Sherrin, who produced and directed the series.

    "The series was not meant to stand the test of time," Ned Sherrin told us. "It was supposed to pick up on things which had happened that week.

    "The brief was to reflect the feelings at the end of the week, like you do at New Year. That's why our song said 'it's over, let it go'"

    According to Sherrin, one of the reasons for the show's success was that it came, not from the BBC's Light Entertainmnet departnment, but its Current Affairs Team.
    Millicent Martin in the studios of BBC Breakfast
    Martin: the show's glamorous singer

    Light Entertainment had strict rules about suitable BBC jokes - you couldn't, for instance, ask what made a Maltese Cross.

    But, as a Current Affairs show, the cast had very little time to rehearse

    Millicent Martin, who sang the show's theme tune recalled: "We got the scripts on Saturday morning and did it on Saturday night.

    "We were running across the studio with scripts in our hands."

    The show has been credited with killing the climate of derence which had persisted since the war in Britain.

    It even led to questions in the house of commons, when a sketch by the future MP Gerald Kaufman named and shamed 13 MPs who had not spoken since they'd been elected.


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    Ned Sherrin and Millicent Martin live on Breakfast
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