This writer is well aware that many of his readers are AMERICAN, while he is British.
And while both Americans and Brits are well familiar with David Frost and Millicent Martin – the VERSIONS we got were highly dissimilar.
To Americans, David Frost was that guy who interviewed all those celebrities in the Seventies – then NIXON. And Millicent Martin was a Broadway musical star – and latterly, a recurring guest on “Frasier”.
But the BRITISH experience of these two was TOTALLY different…
David Frost (“Frostie” to us Brits) rose through academia via the Cambridge Footlights to head the early-Sixties satirical movement.
Beginning in Autumn ’62 and running for two seasons, “That Was The Week, That Was” (“TW3”) was the forerunner of all British satirical TV programmes that followed – TO THIS DAY.
But Frostie really wanted to be a PERFORMER. While his forté lay in interviewing politicians, he surrounded himself with comedy performers and tried to blend in.
Meanwhile, Millicent Martin (“Millie”) was a cute singer/actress who appeared on TW3, in films (Mike Caine nails her in the opening sequence of “Alfie” [’65] – you might recall those steamed-up car windows) – plus she did a lot of TV spots.
But these last proved to be her DOWNFALL; having recorded a large number of appearances on various variety shows over a period of several months – it was her ill fortune that they ALL aired within a few weeks of each other. People complained that every time you turned on your ruddy telly – there she was AGAIN!
And so she went to America – and the rest is history (at least, to American theatre-goers).
Anyhoo – to enable Americans to enjoy the EARLIER, BRITISH aspect of these two people, here are some links. First comes the TW3 RECORD…
Then some bits from a kine of its LAST episode (’63 – it was supposed to return in ’64, but was cancelled [to avoid “bias”] as it would have coincided with the run-up to an election – but it had ruffled SO many feathers, it was NEVER coming back. It was tried in America instead, but never caught on).
It includes a reprise of a BITING statement on America’s racial strife (and includes several “secondary” members of the Black And White Minstrels) – plus they SHRED the then-Home Secretary – then come a couple of sketches – and the CHAOTIC finale (watch it until the very END).
…and this was all broadcast LIVE.
A few years later, a drug-addled con-man called Emil Savundra unwisely decided to take Frostie on, in what became known as Trial By Television. A very POLITE Frostie (he was LITERALLY the son of a preacher man) DEMOLISHED him – again, LIVE.
In two parts (YouTube’s existing system when this author uploaded it) this is yet ANOTHER example of cutting-edge British TV in the Sixties.
Enjoy them all!