The Six Wives of Henry VIII
1 January 1970
Image: Annette Crosbie as Catherine of Aragon, Dorothy Tutin as Anne Boleyn Keith Michell as Henry VIII and Anne Stallybrass as Jane Seymour in a scene from the series The Six Wives Of Henry VIII.
The BBC began the 1970s with the colour costume drama The Six Wives of Henry VIII. The first episode, broadcast on 1 January, was devoted to Catherine of Aragon, played by Annette Crosbie. Subsequent weeks starred Dorothy Tutin as Anne Boleyn; Anne Stallybrass as Jane Seymour; Elvi Hale as Anne of Cleves; Angela Pleasence as Catherine Howard and Rosalie Crutchley as Catherine Parr.
Keith Michell's performance as Henry remains the definitive television portrayal of the Tudor king. He revealed Henry to be a more complex character than had been depicted before, cultured and refined as well as tyrannical and lusty. Michell had to age over the six programmes from the athletic young prince to the obese 56 year old. He was recognised for his efforts with an Emmy Award after the programme transmitted in the US.
The authentic appearance of the court costumes was achieved by the ingenuity of designer John Bloomfield, who used painted cheap fabrics, glass and household washers to achieve the sumptuous period effect. Such was the interest in the programme that the costumes went on tour. The period was further evoked by its authentic Tudor music assembled and produced by the early music pioneer David Munrow. The international success of The Six Wives of Henry VIII led to the making of Elizabeth R, and established the BBC's position as the pre-eminent producer of period drama.
- The Six Wives of Henry VIII 1 January 1970
- The Brains Trust 1 January 1941
- The Archers1 January 1951
- Z Cars 2 January 1962
- Trumpton3 January 1967
- Open University3 January 1971
- Camberwick Green3 January 1966
- Final edition of The Listener published3 January 1991
- Gardeners' World 5 January 1968
- A Question of Sport5 January 1970
- Forces Programme7 January 1940
- Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit10 January 1990
- First in-vision television weather forecaster 11 January 1954
- The League of Gentlemen 11 January 1999
- Goodness Gracious Me 12 January 1998
- Listen with Mother 16 January 1950
- Life On Earth 16 January 1979
- First episode of BBC Breakfast Time17 January 1983
- Blankety Blank18 January 1979
- The Week's Good Cause24 January 1926
- Under Milk Wood25 January 1954
- Television Dancing Club27 January 1948
- Desert Island Discs 29 January 1942
- Newsnight30 January 1980
- The State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill30 January 1965
- Alas Smith and Jones 31 January 1984