The early life of Brian Tesler, director of programmes at Thames, from September 1969
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Few people have life stories that are totally synonymous with success stories but Brian Tesler, Director of Programmes, has proved to be an exception to the rule.
Brian was born in London on 19 February, 1929 and educated at Chiswick County School for Boys, where he was awarded a State Scholarship to Oxford. Before starting his degree course he served in the Royal Artillery and was seconded to the Forces Broadcasting Service Station in Trieste.
At Oxford Brian read English Literature and Language at Exeter College and received a BA First Class Honours Degree with the highest marks of his year in that subject, later becoming an MA.
His career in Television started with the BBC Television Training School for Producers. After producing and directing his first television programme – a musical show starring Pat Kirkwood, Brian continued to devise, produce and direct every kind of Light Entertainment for the next four years. In 1954 he won the National Television Award for devising, producing and directing ‘Ask Pickles’, which was voted “the most entertaining series of the year”.
In 1957 Brian joined Associated Television and won the National Guild of Television Producers and Directors Award as Light Entertainment Producer of the Year.
Three years later Brian became ABC Television’s Supervisor of Features and Light Entertainment. In 1962 he was appointed Programme Controller, in 1965 was appointed to the Board of ABC and in 1968 became Director of Programmes on the Board of Thames Television.
1954 Producing Dennis Norden (left) and Frank Muir (centre) in their first situation comedy series for television at the BBC called ‘And so to Bentley’, starring Dick Bentley and Peter Sellars.
1957 Producing ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’. Brian is talking to Dickie Henderson (left), Frankie Vaughan (right), two members of the King Brothers are in the background and on the extreme left are Charles Henry of the Palladium and Production Assistant Audrey Maclean, who became Mrs Tesler.