Art & Hue’s round-up of 2021 anniversaries.
60 years of The Avengers
2021 marks 60 years of the cult TV show “The Avengers”. On the 7th of January 1961, audiences were introduced to Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel and Patrick Macnee as John Steed in the first ever episode of the new series of “The Avengers” called “Hot Snow”.
55 years of Mrs Peel USA
2021 marks 55 years since the Mrs Peel episodes of The Avengers debuted in the USA on ABC.
Whisky Galore! ship
80 years ago, on the 5th of February 1941, the cargo ship SS Politician ran aground Eriskay with over 250,000 bottles of whisky which inspired a book & the classic Ealing comedy film “Whisky Galore!”.
Caravaggio 450 years
Born 450 years ago on the 29th of September 1571, Caravaggio reinvented painting with his dramatic contrasts between light and dark. As the art historian Bernard Berenson noted, “with the exception of Michelangelo, no other Italian painter exercised so great an influence”
2021 marks 100 years since Stan & Ollie first appeared in the same film “The Lucky Dog”; 100 years since Chaplin’s first full-length film “The Kid”; 100 years since Harold Lloyd’s first feature-length film “A Sailor-Made Man”; 95 years since the birth of Jerry Lewis; & 75 years since Norman Wisdom became a professional entertainer.
Las Vegas Anniversaries
2021 marks 110 years since Las Vegas was incorporated, 90 years of Nevada gambling, & 80 years of the first Strip resort.
First British Grandmaster
45 years ago, Tony Miles became the first chess player born in Britain to become an International Grandmaster at the tournament in Dubna, USSR.
2021 marks 190 years of the Lewis Chessmen discovery & exhibition in 1831. Discovered on a beach in 1831 and subsequently exhibited by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland on the 11th of April in the same year.
The Queen 95
The Queen celebrated her 95th birthday this year.
Eisteddfod 845 years
2021 marks 845 years since the first documented Eisteddfod. the festival and literary competition, which was hosted by Lord Rhys ap Gruffydd of Deheubarth at Cardigan Castle on Christmas Day, 1176.
75 years of Choir Practice
Broadcast on the 7th of March 1946 at 9.30pm in a “Musical Theatre of the Air” slot, the radio play “Choir Practice” was later made into the film “Valley of Song” starring Rachel Roberts, Rachel Thomas, Clifford Evans, John Fraser, Maureen Swanson, & Kenneth Williams.
National Eisteddfod 160
2021 marks 160 years of the first National Eisteddfod of Wales which was established in 1861. It took place in Aberdare on the 20th, 21st, & 22nd of August 1861
505 years of Postal Service
Knighted by Henry VIII in 1516, Brian Tuke became the first Master of the Posts, marking the start of the Royal Mail. Tuke established post towns across the country and built a formal postal network.
145 years of phone calls
In March 1876, Alexander Graham Bell filed his patent for his talking device then in August 1876 made the world’s first long distance telephone call, followed by the first two-way long distance call in October the same year.
95 years of TV
On the 26th of January 1926, John Logie Baird made his first demonstration of television images to Royal Institute members in Frith Street, Soho.
70 years of Festival Hall
On the 3rd of May 1951, the King & Queen, with the Princesses, officially inaugurated the new Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank, part of the Festival of Britain.
60 years of the Jag
On the 15th of March 1961, the classic Jag was unveiled to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show.
55 years World Cup 1966
On the 30th of July 1966, Alf Ramsey’s England squad won the World Cup.
The Lavender Hill Mob 70
70 years ago, on the 28th of July 1951, the classic Ealing comedy “The Lavender Hill Mob” premiered in London at the Odeon Marble Arch, starring Stanley Holloway, Alec Guinness, John Gregson, Sid James & Audrey Hepburn. The film won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film, the Academy Award for Best Story & Screenplay, and Alec Guinness was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar.
The Galloping Major 70
70 years ago, on May 5th 1951, “The Galloping Major”, an Ealing comedy in all but name, premiered at London’s Plaza cinema, with Janette Scott, Basil Radford, Hugh Griffith, Joyce Grenfell, Sid James, & Charles Hawtrey.
Pool of London 70
70 years ago, on the 22nd February 1951, the classic British film noir “Pool of London” starring Earl Cameron premiered in London at the Leicester Square Odeon.
Secret People 70
70 years ago, the film “Secret People” was released, featuring Audrey in her first main film role, and director Thorold Dickinson filmed Audrey‘s successful screen test for William Wyler’s “Roman Holiday” at Pinewood.
Yield to the Night 65
65 years ago, on the 14th of June 1956, “Yield to the Night” had its world premiere at London’s Carlton cinema. Regarded by Diana Dors to be her best film, it was released as “Blonde Sinner” in America.
Carry On Regardless 60
60 years ago, on the 18th of March 1961, the London premiere of “Carry On Regardless” was held at the Odeon Marble Arch cinema.
Carry On Screaming 55
55 years ago, on the 18th of August 1966, Carry On’s pastiche of Hammer horror films, “Carry On Screaming” premiered at the New Victoria Cinema in London, the final Carry on film produced by Anglo-Amalgamated.
Carry On Cowboy 55
55 years ago, on the 24th of March 1966, the Western film comedy “Carry On Cowboy” premiered in London at the Carlton Cinema.
65 Years Who Done It?
65 years ago, on the 18th of March 1955, the Ealing comedy “Who Done It?”, starring Benny Hill, opened at the Dominion & New Victoria cinemas in London.
60 years The Rebel
The Frightened City 60
The Young Ones 60 years
60 years ago, on the 13th of December 1961, Cliff’s film musical “The Young Ones” premiered at the Warner Cinema in London.
Invasion 55 years
55 years ago, on the 15th of May 1966, British sci-fi film “Invasion”, starring Edward Judd, Yoko Tani, Tsai Chin, & Ric Young, opened at the ABC Lime Street cinema in Liverpool.
St. Trinan’s 55 years
55 years ago, on the 11th of March 1966, “The Great St. Trinan’s Train Robbery” premiered at London’s Studio One cinema on Oxford Street, starring Frankie Howerd, Margaret Nolan, Meredith Edwards, & Reg Varney
Percy 50 years
55 years Modesty Blaise
55 Years Alfie
50 years Get Carter
50 years Mummy’s Tomb
50 years Up Pompeii
50 years On the Buses
45 years The Likely Lads
45 years ago, on the 8th of April 1976, “The Likely Lads” film, starring James Bolam & Rodney Bewes, held its World Premiere at the ABC 1 cinema in Newcastle.
Diamonds are Forever 50
At the Earth’s Core 45
45 years ago, on the 15th of July 1976, “At the Earth’s Core”, starring Hammer-icon & Bond-girl Caroline Munro, premiered in London at the Odeon Marble Arch.
35 years Clockwise
35 years ago, on the 14th of March 1986, John Cleese‘s “Clockwise” premiered when it opened in seven central London cinemas.
Matter of Life & Death
75 years ago, on the 1st of November 1946, “A Matter of Life & Death”, starring David Niven, held its world premiere, the first ever Royal Command Film performance of a film, at Leicester Square’s Empire cinema in the presence of the King and Queen and the Princesses.
Joan’s 70 year career
On the 17th of January, Dame Joan Collins celebrated 70 years of her career in show business.
Diana Dors 90th
2021 marks 90 years since the birth of British film icon Diana Dors on the 23rd of October 1931.
40 Years Joan Dynasty
As well as marking 70 years in show business, this year marks 40 years since Joan Collins appeared in “Dynasty” for the first time on the 11th of November 1986.
66 Years of ITV
66 years ago, on the 22nd of September 1955, the first independent British TV station, Associated Rediffusion, started broadcasting. The ITV network would go on to launch classic shows including The Avengers, The Saint, The Persuaders, The Prisoner, Callan, Department S, Thunderbirds, & more…
65 Years of Granada
65 years ago, on the 3rd of May 1956, Granada studios went on air for the first time with its launch programme at 7.30pm called “Meet the People”.
65 Years of Hancock
65 years ago, on the 6th of July 1956, the first television episode of “Hancock’s Half Hour” with Tony Hancock aired with the episode called, appropriately enough, “The First TV Show”.
55 Years of Thunderbirds
2021 marks 55 years since the end of the original Thunderbirds episodes. Gerry Anderson’s show consisted of 32 episodes which ran from 1965 to 1966.
Mission: Impossible 55
55 years ago, on the 17th of September 1966, the first ever episode of the classic TV series “Mission: Impossible”, starring Martin Landau & Barbara Bain, aired on American TV.
The Frost Report 55
55 years ago, on the 10th of March 1966, the first episode of “The Frost Report” was broadcast & introduced comedy icons John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, & Corbett to TV.
The Two Ronnies 50
50 years ago, on the 10th of April 1971, the first ever episode of “The Two Ronnies” aired on TV.
Bless This House 50
50 years ago, on the 2nd of February 1971, the first ever episode of “Bless This House” with Sid James, called “The Generation Gap”, aired on TV. A film was to follow, with Sid, June Whitfield, Carol Hawkins, Frank Thornton, & Wendy Richard, in 1972.
Man About the House 45
2021 marks 45 years since the final episode of “Man About the House” & 44 years since the first episode of “Robin’s Nest”.
George & Mildred 45
45 years ago, on the 5th of September 1976, the first ever episode of “George & Mildred”, the spin-off with Yootha Joyce & Brian Murphy from sitcom “Man About The House”, aired on the Border TV channel at 8.20pm.
Saturday Night at the Mill
45 years ago, on the 21st of June 1976, the first episode of “Saturday Night at the Mill” aired from Birmingham’s Pebble Mill studios. Jenny Hanley joined the show as co-presenter in 1980.
Dixon of Dock Green
66 years ago, on the 9th of July 1955, the first ever episode of “Dixon of Dock Green” starring Jack Warner aired on television, and 45 years ago, the final episode aired on the 1st of May 1976.
40 years of Sorry!
40 years ago, on the 12th of March 1981, Ronnie Corbett debuted as Timothy Lumsden in the first episode of sit-com “Sorry!” called “For Love or Mummy”. Language Timothy!
35 years of Pat
35 Years ago, on the 12th of June 1986, Pat hit the square when Pam St Clement debuted on Eastenders.
45 years of Perrin
45 years ago, on the 8th of September 1976, the first ever episode of “The Fall & Rise of Reginald Perrin”, starring Leonard Rossiter, aired on British television.
70 years of Goons
70 years ago, on the 28th of May 1951, the first episode of “Crazy People”, which was subsequently renamed “The Goon Show”, with Peter Sellers debuted on Radio.
The New Avengers 45th
Stanley Baxter, 95
Michael Caine, 88
Barbara Feldon, 88
Joan Collins, 88
John Leyton, 85
Ian La Frenais, 85
Ian Kennedy Martin, 85
Nona Gaprindashvili, 80
Joe Brown, 80
Miss Ross, 77
Antonia Ellis, 77
Nedra Talley, 75
Joanna Lumley, 75
Timothy Dalton, 75
Anatoly Karpov, 70
Cindy Crawford, 55
Tatjana Patitz, 55
Una Stubbs RIP
The wonderful Una Stubbs died this year at the age of 84. From Summer Holiday & Worzel Gummidge, to Give Us a Clue & Sherlock, Una was a part of our childhoods & the cultural landscape, always sweet-natured with a cheeky twinkle in her eye.
Mary Wilson RIP
Mary Wilson, one of the trailblazing founding members of the all-time great girl group The Supremes, died this year at the age of 76.
Siegfried Fischbacher RIP
Siegfried Fischbacher, the magician & entertainer of the long-running Las Vegas double-act, died in January at the age 81.
Saint & Greavsie RIP
We lost both Saint & Greavsie this year, Ian St. John in March at the age of 82, and Jimmy Greaves in September at the age of 81. As well as being successful players, they were beloved football broadcasters as the unique pair “Saint & Greavsie” from 1985 to 1992.