All Our Yesterdays

1960 | United Kingdom

One of Granada Television's most successful series of all time, produced originally by Tim Hewat, All Our Yesterdays began in 1960 and was presented by noted foreign correspondent James Cameron who linked together edited version of two 1930s cinema newsreels from the same week twenty-five years ago. 

In 1961 Dublin born journalist and historian Brian Inglis took over and it was with him that the programme became best remembered. Lasting only twenty minutes, each programme took a somewhat light-hearted look at past life; but by 1964 it took on much darker and serious overtones as it concerned itself with the rise of Nazism and ultimately the outbreak of World War Two. 

Studio guests and newspaper articles were also used to get a flavour of the time and light relief came in the form of Daily Express cartoonist Osbert Lancaster's satirical caricatures, the captions of which were read by actors. One wartime newsreel that the audience found particularly amusing was "Hoch der Lambeth Valk", a propaganda film of a Nazi rally, with goose-stepping parades, which was re-edited, reversing frames in some sequences, so that the marchers appeared to be dancing to the Cockney song "The Lambeth Walk". 

The programme continued with the war years throughout the rest of the 1960s and in the early 1970s took a look at post war austerity and how the world (but mostly Britain) came to terms with the after-effects of the conflict. 

All Our Yesterdays finished its run in 1973 after thirteen years on the air. In 1975 Brian Inglis wrote and narrated a unique sound archive of World War Two for the record label Cameo Classics, entitled Sounds of All Our Yesterdays. The series was revived in 1987 and was presented by veteran broadcaster Bernard Braden, utilising footage from the archives of Granada, ITN and Pathe Newsreel-but it finally disappeared from our screens in 1989. 

Published on November 27th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus for Television Heaven.