An engaging history of Britain’s love affair with television underlines the power of the small screenHaving written about motorways (On Roads) and the moments of a day in Queuing for Beginners – a well received book that dealt with brushing your teeth, weather forecasts and much else – it was probably only a matter of time before Joe Moran switched on his TV one morning and thought, why not?Moran, a youthful professor of cultural history, is scholarly but welcoming – as happy to reference Kenneth Williams as Raymond Williams – and has a good ear for the wry detail. There’s plenty to smile at. In a sympathetic account of ATV’s adored but critically lampooned soap Crossroads, he sums up the dilemma for 1970s quality controllers in a quote from the IBA chairwoman, who described the show as “distressingly popular”, then tops it with the Evening Standard’s critic Alexander Walker, who wrote: “The only people who seem to like Lew Grade’s shows are people.”He revisits the furore over a decision by Ted Heath to impose a 10.30pm curfew on TV broadcasts in 1973, during the three-day week, with the story of how Heath airily cancelled Harold Wilson’s TV rental when Heath …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books