Talking Pictures TV

April on Talking Pictures TV: Laurel & Hardy, Norman Wisdom, Will Hay, Frank Randle & more.

Lots more goodies on TPTV this month for fans of classic comedy, particularly old British stuff. Here are some of the top picks…

Laurel & Hardy films continue to be shown:

Sun 08 April 19:35   Helpmates

Tue 10 Apr 18 13:35 Brats
Wed 11 Apr 18 10:15 Below Zero
Thu 12 Apr 18 11:20 Towed In A Hole
Fri 13 Apr 18 23:05 Our Relations
Sat 14 Apr 18 9:35 Below Zero
Sun 15 Apr 18 9:35 Tit for Tat Mon 16 Apr 18
4:25 Private Life Of Oliver the 8th
Tue 17 Apr 18 10:20 Pack Up Your Troubles
Tue 24 Apr 18 18:40 Sons of the Desert
Wed 25 Apr 18 18:35 Pardon Us
Mon 30 Apr 18 15:50 The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case

No new titles that haven’t been shown already, but there are rumours that some of L & H’s shorts, including their silents, are to appear soon…


Walter Forde


Speaking of silents, you can see L & H co-stars Charley Chase and Mae Busch in the early Keystone comedy SETTLED AT THE SEASIDE. It’s on at 15.00 on Tuesday 10th April.  Obscure British silent comedian Walter Forde even makes an appearance! His 1922 short WALTER WANTS WORK shows on Friday 13 April at 7.50. Later a notable director of comedy and thrillers, three more of his films are airing: GASBAGS with The Crazy Gang on Thurs 12th April at 8.00, the Jimmy Durante vehicle LAND WITHOUT MUSIC on Thu 26 Apr 18 6:00, and at the beginning of May, ROME EXPRESS: Fri 04 May at 14:30.

There’s also the tail end of TPTV’s Will Hay Season, with


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‘BOYS WILL BE BOYS’ (1935). An early effort, it’s just a notch below his best and he hasn’t found stooges Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt yet, but there are some great examples of his bumbling schoolteacher routine. You also get the amusing Claude Dampier in a supporting role. ‘BOYS WILL BE BOYS’ shows on Thursday 5th April at 10:40, and is repeated at 12pm on Sunday 8th.


The films of another music hall/variety legend also get an airing. The ramshackle works of Frank Randle are a whole lot less polished than the Will Hay films, and can be difficult to sit through in their entirety. Randle was an utterly fascinating comic though, a manic force of nature, and his films certainly have their moments. Often the anarchic Randle was shown in an army setting, a perfect mismatch for his contrarian persona. SOMEWHERE IN CAMP is one example, showing in the small hours of 27 April at 2.45am.  WHEN YOU COME HOME is Randle’s most polished film, a curious piece which makes him much more of an underdog. It’s on at 9.30 on Tuesday 24th April.

A later star comic, Norman Wisdom also gets a look-in with THE BULLDOG BREED at 21.00 on Weds 4th April, and UP IN THE WORLD

Also from the 1950s, there are several other British comedies, amongst them:

Wed 11 Apr 18 6:00 The Naked Truth (1957), a Terry-Thomas vehicle.

Sat 14 Apr 18 6:00 Chance of a Lifetime (1950).  Basil Radford, Bernard Miles, Kenneth More, Patrick Troughton & Hattie Jacques in the tale about the staff of an engineering firm who take over after going on strike.

Tue 17 Apr 18 14:00 Keep It Clean – Ronald Shiner comedy about a dry cleaning business.

Thu 19 Apr 18 6:00 Innocents In Paris . A great cast of comic actors, including Alastair Sim & Margaret Rutherford.

Mon 23 Apr 18 9:45 The Madame Gambles (1951). Comedy. The owner of a dress shop gambles the shop away to her bookie who inherits, not only the shop, but the manager.  Starring Richard Hearne (Mr Pastry) and Petula Clark.
Mon 23 Apr 18 11:20 The Galloping Major 1951. Director: Henry Cornelius. Stars Basil Radford, Sidney James, Jimmy Hanley & Janette Scott. A very Ealing comedy feel to this tale of a racehorse.

Sun 29Apr 18 13:50 Three Men In A Boat 1956. Laurence Harvey, Jimmy Edwards & David  Tomlinson star in this adaptation of Jerome K Jerome’s novel.

Lots more goodies, too. The full schedule is available at . Thankyou TPTV for continuing to show such a diverse range of films!




Will Hay season on Talking Pictures TV

Talking Pictures TV just keeps getting better and better. In addition to continuing Laurel & Hardy screenings, they’ve now added the classic films of Will Hay to their roster.

Hay’s succession of incompetent authoritarians – policemen, firemen, railwaymen and most especially, schoolmasters – are simply brilliant character portraits, and remain surprisingly  relevant today. Hay’s talents, along with those of sidekicks Moore Marriott and Graham Moffatt, director Marcel Varnel, and scriptwriters Val Guest, Marriott Edgar and J.O.C Orton, produced the best British comedies of the pre-war era. Tune in and catch Will on Thursdays and Saturdays during March & April (details below), and for more info on Hay’s career, there’s an overview here.

will hay


More Laurel & Hardy on Talking Pictures: February showings

Oh, Talking Pictures TV, where would we classic film fans be without you? It’s been so long since I switched the TV on and came upon a black and white film by chance. Best of all, it’s not just repeats of BRIEF ENCOUNTER or THE LAVENDER HILL MOB (I love both those films, but c’mon, FIlm4, there are many others to choose from!)

Now available on Freeview too (channel 81), the schedules for TPTV just keep getting better and better, as they’ve expanded into a wider range of films. Notably, they returned Laurel & Hardy to TV screens for the first time in years last Autumn. Now they’re having a season of L & H shorts, too.

Here are upcoming screenings:

Sat 03 Feb 18 17:35 Below Zero
Sun 04 Feb 18 14:05 Oliver the Eighth
Sun 04 Feb 18 20:20 The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case
Wed 07 Feb 18 11:15 County Hospital
Wed 07 Feb 18 13:35     Brats
Wed 07 Feb 18 20:15 Laughing Gravy
Sun 11 Feb 18 9:20 The Music Box
Mon 12 Feb 18 17:35 Helpmates
Sat 17 Feb 18 9:35 Busy Bodies
Sun 18 Feb 18 9:35 Tit for Tat
Sun 18 Feb 18 19:50 Saps At Sea
Sat 24 Feb 18 9:20 The Music Box
Sun 25 Feb 18 9:20 Laughing Gravy
Tue 27 Feb 18 18:00 Towed In A Hole
Sat 03 Mar 18 9:25 Towed In A Hole
Sun 04 Mar 18 9:35 Them Thar Hills
Sun 04 Mar 18 20:30 Oliver the Eighth
Sun 04 Mar 18 4:20 The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case

Bravo, Talking Pictures! This is only the tip of the iceberg though. This month’s schedule incudes lots more seldom-seen-on-TV comedies, from Peter Sellers, Jack Hulbert, Alastair Sim, Flanagan & Allen and even British silent clown Walter Forde! Find full listings here: