Noël Coward used to turn pale at the sight of a television set.
If there was anything worse than putting
your daughter on the stage, Mrs. Worthington,
it was putting her on the box.
Because TV had done some terrible things in the name of Coward.
Then he met us. And now we’re going to
screen three Coward plays in the space of three weeks.
What’s our secret?
Success, mainly. A little while ago our drama team produced
one of this short stories, adapted by William Marchant.
It was called ‘Pretty Polly’, eight million people watched it
and it shot into the Top Twenty.
Noël Coward watched it too – and it was love at first viewing.
He let the same team work on another story
called ‘Mrs. Capper’s Birthday’. Result: more than nine million people
watched that one, and the critics sang a rare chorus of praise.
So we’ve had both his blessing and his active help on the
three adaptations which start off our new ‘Playhouse’ series
on Monday nights. The first one, on August 5 with Glynis Johns and
Robert Hardy, is called ‘Star Quality’.
Which is very appropriate.
Because that’s something Noël Coward has possessed since he
began his career in London’d theatre.
And it’s nice he thinks we’ve got it too, since
we’re just beginning ours as London’s television.
Serving London from 30th July
Television House Kingsway London WC2