TELEVISION / Briefing: Times to make a cup of tea

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The Independent Culture
THERE NOW FOLLOWS . . . (7.15pm BBC2), courtesy of those tireless archivists at BBC2, is a potted history of the party political broadcast - and it is as if you were drowning and Britain's post-War political history were flashing in front of your eyes. The Liberal peer Lord Samuel delivered the first ever PPB in 1951. The broadcasts were live and strictly timed, and his lordship was faded out while trying to find his place in his notes. In 1953 Ernest Marples was in Cholmondeley-Warner mode ('Hello, Mrs Philpot . . .' he says, visiting a new council house tenant), and 1955 saw Anthony Eden fluttering his eyelashes ('I thought I'd like to talk to you alone tonight about our plans'). The Sixties saw Wedgie Benn looking very modern on a swivel chair, while the Seventies introduced the '10 bob pound' (anti-Labour inflation message) and the 'three shilling loaf' (anti- Tory inflation message). Alas the Eighties, Tim Bell, Hugh Hudson et al - although, no doubt, 'Kinnock, the Movie', 'John Major, Brixton Lad' and the rest will one day look quaint, instead of just cynical.

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