BEYOND OUR KEN

Originally broadcast on the BBC Light Programme from 1958 to 1964, the series was principally written by Eric Merriman (with Barry Took for the first two series), and starred Kenneth Horne, Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden throughout the run, with Bill Pertwee joining in the second series. Music was provided initially by the Malcolm Mitchell Trio (series 1, eps. 1-16) then later by the Fraser Hayes Four, Edwin Braden, and the BBC Variety Orchestra conducted by Paul Fenouhlet. The show was produced by Jacques Brown for the first 5 series, and then John Simmonds for the remaining two.

The following is the basis for a complete listing of all the shows of Beyond Our Ken. I do not have anywhere near the whole series so it will be very patchy for the time being. I am indebted to Glenn Mitchell for supplying most of the information that follows, and also to Tony Lang for writing it! Shows missing from the BBC Archives are indicated in red.

Series: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Series One.

For convenience, this series will be catalogued by the musical break

This series consists of 21 half hour episodes, plus a Xmas special. The cast for this series were Kenneth Horne, Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden, Stanley Unwin (first show only) and Ron Moody, with Pat Lancaster appearing for the musical breaks. Also appearing musically were the Malcolm Mitchell Trio for the first 16 episodes, and the Fraser Hayes Four, for the rest of the series, with the Music played by the BBC Revue Orchestra conducted by Harry Rabinowitz. The scripts were written by Eric Merriman and Barry Took, with the series produced by Jacques Brown (except the 20th, and 21st which were produced by Charles Maxwell). Broadcast was on the Light Programme. I have contradictory information about the days and times. One source says that the entire series was broadcast from 8pm on a Tuesday evening, whereas another source says that this was the case for the first 13 shows, and then after it was at 7pm on Wednesdays. Watch this space for confirmation.


Episode Trans. DateSong Title Notes
1 1/7/58 A Cockeyed OptomistT40455b1, Rx. 18.6.58, Also held by TS
2 8/7/58 Iím Not At All In LoveHeld by TS
3 15/7/58 So Long, Itís Been Good To Know You Malcolm Mitchell Trio, held by TS
4 22/7/58 I AmÖHeld by TS
5 29/7/58 Lover, Come Back To MeHeld by TS
6 5/8/58 Today Has Been A Lovely Day
7 12/8/58 A Wonderful Thing To Be LovedT40455b2, Rx. 6.8.58, Also held by TS
8 19/8/58 Beat Up The TownT24905, Rx. 13.8.58, As held by TS, listed as show No. 7
9 26/8/58 Thatís What Makes Paris, PareeT24906, Rx.20.8.58 , As held by TS, listed as show No. 8
10 2/9/58 Come Dance With Me
11 9/9/58 The Trolley Song
12 16/9/58 Itís a Wonderful Day
13 23/9/58 Too Close For Comfort Hugh Paddick Absent
14 1/10/58 Show MeHeld by TS
15 8/10/58 That Old Devil MoonHeld by TS
16 15/10/58 My Resistance is LowHeld by TS
17 22/10/58 In Love For The Very First Time
18 29/10/58 Itís LoveHeld by TS
19 5/11/58 Happy Is The Bride
20 12/11/58 The Lady Is A TrampHeld by TS
21 19/11/58 A Lovely Night
22 24/12/58 The Jolly Bear Inn Xmas Special

Series Two.

For convenience, this series will be catalogued by the "book tiltles", mentioned in the shows opening.

This series was one short of the previous with only 20 half hour episodes, plus a Xmas special. There were slight changes to the cast with Ron Moody leaving, but with Bill Pertwee joining. The music was supplied by the Fraser Hayes Four and Edwin Braden, and played by the BBC Variety Orchestra under the conduction of Paul Fenoulhet. The scripts continued to be written Eric Merriman and Barry Took, with the series produced by Jacques Brown throughout. Broadcast was on the Light Programme. The shows were broadcast on a Thursday evening at 8pm, with a repeat on the following Sunday. This was at 7pm for the first show, and then the earlier time of 2.15pm for the subsequenct shows. The Xmas special was broadcast on the Home service on 21st December 1959 at 8.30pm, with a repeat two days later at 1.10pm.

Episode Trans. DateBook Title Notes
1 19/3/59 The Ringer
2 26/3/59 RafflesHeld by TS
3 2/4/59 The Caine MutinyHeld by TS
4 9/4/59 Sanders of the River
5 16/4/59 Forever AmberHeld by TS
6 23/4/59 The Innocents AbroadHeld by TS
7 30/4/59 She Stoops to Conquer
8 7/5/59 A Farewell To Arms Held by TS
9 14/5/59 Frenchmans Creek
10 21/5/59 Trader-Horn Held by TS
11 28/5/59 Every Boys Book Of BirdsT40456b1, Rx. 13.5.59, Also held by TS
12 4/6/59 The Rain's ComeT40456b2, Rx. 20.5.59, Also held by TS
13 11/6/59 Deep Are the RootsT40457b1, Rx. 3.6.59, Also held by TS
14 18/6/59 How Green Is My Valet
15 25/6/59 The Sea WolfT40457b2, Rx. 17.6.59, Also held by TS
16 2/7/59 Tom Sawyer
17 9/7/59 The Cruel SeaHeld by TS
18 16/7/59 Black BeautyHeld by TS
19 23/7/59 The Speckle'd Band
20 30/7/59 Great ExpectationsHeld by TS
21 21/12/59 Treasure IslandT, Rx. , Also held by TS

Series Three.

For convenience, this series will be catalogued by the "play tiltles", mentioned in the shows opening.

Following the trend, this series was shorter still at 14 shows (taking the running total to 57!). The cast remained as it was for the last series, as did the musical accompaniament. The scripts, however, were written by Eric Merriman only with Barry Took departing over a disagreement, but Jacques Brown was still there as the producer. Broadcast was on the Light Programme on a Friday evening at 7.30pm, with a repeat on the following Sunday at 2.15pm. There was no Xmas special associated with this series.

Episode Trans. DatePlay Title Notes
1 15/4/60 Tobacco RoadHeld by TS
2 22/4/60 Look Back In AngerT40458b2, Rx. 20.4.60, Also held by TS
3 29/4/60 Nude With ViolinT50128, Rx. 27.4.60
4 6/5/60 A Touch Of The Sun Held by TS
5 13/5/60 Hay Fever * BOK VOL 1, SIDE 1, T50647, Rx. 11.5.60
6 20/5/60 Ah Wilderness Held by TS
7 27/5/60 The School For ScandalT40459b1, Rx. 25.5.60, Rx. , Also held by TS
8 3/6/60 The Iceman ComethT40459b2, Rx. 1.6.60, Also held by TS
9 10/6/60 The Reluctant Debutant *BOK VOL 1, SIDE 2, T50648, Rx. 8.6.60
10 17/6/60 This Happy BreedHeld by TS
11 24/6/60 Dear OctopusHeld by TS
12 1/7/60 Love From A StrangerT26215, Rx. 29.6.60, Also held by TS
13 8/7/60 Charley's AuntHeld by TS
14 15/7/60 The Most Happy Fella *BOK VOL1, SIDE 3, T50644, Rx. 13.7.60

Series Four.

This series can be catalgued by the "Film worth remembering" annouced at the start of the show by Kenneth Williams.

This series saw an increase in numbers with a total of 20 episodes (taking the running total to 77!) and was the second in 1960. There were slight changes to the cast with Janet Waters joining. The music was supplied by the Fraser Hayes Four, the Hornets and Edwin Braden, and played by the BBC Variety Orchestra under the conduction of Paul Fenoulhet. Eric Merriman stayed at the helm writing the shows and Jacques Brown produced throughout. Broadcast was on the Light Programme. The shows were broadcast on a Thursday evening at 7.30pm, with a repeat on the following Sunday at 6.30pm.

Episode Trans. DateFilm Title Notes
1 20.10.60 Suddenly Last SummerHeld by TS
2 27.10.60 Spring in Park Lane
3 3.11.60 The Gentleman's AgreementHeld by TS
4 10.11.60 Three Coins In A FountainHeld by TS
5 17.11.60 Man With The Golden ArmHeld by TS
6 24.11.60 House Of WaxT40460b1, Rx. 17.11.60, Also held by TS
7 1.12.60 Desire Under The Elms Held by TS
8 8.12.60 Brief Encounter Held by TS
9 15.12.60 The Thirty-Nine StepsHeld by TS
10 22.12.60 Gale Warning (followed by Scrooge) Used as Xmas Special. Held by TS
11 29.12.60 Room At The Top Held by TS
12 5.1.61 "Thames Suicide Attempt"
13 12.1.61 The Horse Soldiers * BOK VOL 1, SIDE 4, T50645, Rx. 4.1.61, Also held by TS
14 19.1.61 All Quiet On The Western Front *Rptd. R4 21.1.99, 9.00pm, T27122, Rx. 11.1.61, Also held by TS
15 26.1.61 Charge of the Light BrigadeT50646, Rx. 18.1.61, Also held by TS
16 2.2.61 A Hatful of RainHeld by TS
17 9.2.61 Twelve O'Clock HighT40460b2, Rx. 5.2.61
18 16.2.61 Tea And Sympathy Held by TS
19 23.2.61 Some Come Running Held by TS
20 2.3.61 Tunes Of Glory

Note: Episodes 12 and 13 are not in the film worth remembering series.

Series Five.

The same theme of "A Film Worth Remembering" was used on this series and will be used to catalogue the episodes.

This was a further series of 20 half hour shows. By now the cast were well and truly established, but Pat Lancaster left and was replaced by Jill Day. The music was supplied as before, Eric Merriman wrote the scripts, and Jacques Brown produced (this was the last series of BOK which he did produce though!). Broadcast was on the Light Programme. The shows retained their Thursday evening slot at the slightly later 8.30pm, with a repeat on the following Sunday at 2pm (with the exception of week 20 which was 30 minutes later at 2.30pm).

Episode Trans. DateFilm Title Notes
1 12.10.61 Around the World in 80 DaysHeld by TS
2 19.10.61 The Magnificent SevenHeld by TS
3 26.10.61 The Young Lions
4 2.11.61 Oscar Wilde Held by TS
5 9.11.61 The 101 Dalmations Held by TS
6 16.11.61 No Trees in the Street *T40461b1, Rx. 1.11.61, Also held by TS
7 23.11.61 The Bells are RingingT50673, Rx. 8.11.61
8 30.11.61 The Defiant OnesT50674, Rx. 15.11.61, Also held by TS
9 7.12.61 Ferry To Hong Kong *BOK VOL 2, SIDE 2, T50675, Rx. 22.11.61, Also held by TS
10 14.12.61 A Yank at Oxford Held by TS
11 21.12.61 Love in the AfternoonUsed as Xmas Special, T27085, Rx. 6.12.61
12 28.12.61 Anastastia
13 4.1.62 The Great Train RobberyT50676, Rx. 27.12.61
14 11.1.62 Too Late BluesHeld by TS
15 18.1.62 Terror of the Tongs Held by TS
16 25.1.62 Ice Cold In Alex Held by TS
17 1.2.62 The Devil at Four O'Clock
18 8.2.62 For Whom The Bell Tolls
19 15.2.62 Under Two FlagsHeld by TS
20 22.2.62 The Three Musketeers

Series Six.

Again the opening was a "Film Worth Remembering" and is used to catalogue the series.

A further 13 shows makes up the sixth, and penultimate, series, taking the total of shows to 110! Eileen Gourlay replaced Jill Day as the songstress, but otherwise there was no change in the cast. Jacques Brown was replaced by John Simmonds as the producer, and Eric Merriman remained as the scriptwriter. On the musical side of things, there was no change from the Fraser Hayes Four, Edwin Braden, and the BBC Variety Orchestra. The Thursday slot on the Light Programme was retained, with the broadcast time of 8pm, and so were the Sunday repeats at 2pm.

Episode Trans. DateFilm Title Notes
1 27.12.62 Dr NoHeld by TS
2 3.1.63 Sorry Wrong NumberHeld by TS
3 10.1.63 The Corn is Green Held by TS
4 17.1.63 The Loves of CarmenHeld by TS
5 24.1.63 Two Weeks in Another TownHeld by TS
6 31.1.63 Only Two Can PlayHeld by TS
7 7.2.63 In Search of the CastawaysHeld by TS
8 14.2.63 Period of Adjustment *T27681, Rx. 6.2.63, Held by TS
9 21.2.63 Tender is the NightHeld by TS
10 28.2.63 The Miracle WorkerHeld by TS
11 7.3.63 The L Shaped RoomHeld by TS
12 14.3.63 The Pot CarriersHeld by TS
13 21.3.63 Lolita Held by TS, Eileen Gourlay missed this show

Series Seven.

Again the opening was a "Film Worth Remembering" and is used to catalogue the series.

A further 13 shows makes up the seventh, and last, series, taking the total of shows to 123! There there was no change in the cast, and John Simmons remained as the producer, and Eric Merriman as the scriptwriter. On the musical side of things, there was no change from the Fraser Hayes Four, Edwin Braden, except that the BBC Variety Orchestra with Paul Fenoulhet conducting only did the first 7 shows, after which the Malcolm Lockyer Orchestra took over. Broadcast switched to Sundays at 2pm, followed by a repeat on Wednesdays at 7.30pm, but still on the Light Programme.

Episode Trans. DateFilm Title Notes
1 24.11.63 55 Days in Peking *T50677, Rx. 13.11.63, Also held by TS
2 1.12.63 GigiBOK VOL 2, SIDE 4, T40461b2, Rx. 20.11.63, Also held by TS
3 8.12.63 The Longest Day T50678, Rx. 27.11.63, Also held by TS
4 15.12.63 The List of Adrain MessengerT40462b1, Rx. 4.12.63, Also held by TS
5 22.12.63 The Man With the Golden Arm Used as Xmas Special, T28865, Rx. 11.12.63, Also held by TS
6 29.12.63 The Seven Year Itch * BOK VOL 2, SIDE 3, T50679, Rx. 18.12.63, Also held by TS
7 5.1.64 High Noon T40462b2, Rx. 1.1.64, Also held by TS
8 12.1.64 The Great EscapeT50680, Rx. 8.1.64, Also held by TS
9 19.1.64 Nudes of the World *T40463b1, Rx. 15.1.64, Also held by TS
10 26.1.64 Ten Tall Men T50681, Rx. 22.1.64, Also held by TS
11 2.2.64 How Green Was My ValetT50682, Rx. 29.1.64, Also held by TS
12 9.2.64 Forever Amber * BOK VOL 2, SIDE 1, T28868, Rx. 5.2.64, Also held by TS
13 16.2.64 Things to Come T40463b2, Rx. 12.2.64, Also held by TS