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GBS and the BBC: In the Beginning (1923-1928)

GBS and the BBC: In the Beginning (1923-1928) L. W. Conolly Two weeks after Shaw's death, on 2 November 1950, Val Gielgud, head of drama at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), wrote a tribute to Shaw in the BBC's weekly magazine and program guide, the Radio Times.1 Gielgud recognized Shaw's impact as a "radio personality," whose presence produced "an unforgettable effect . . . entertaining, whimsical, witty and wise," with a voice "beautiful in itself " and handled by Shaw "with the virtuosity of an accomplished musician in words and vocal tone." Shaw at the microphone "fulfilled every imaginative expectation. He spoke to the individual and not to a hypothetical mass meeting. To listen to him was a joy." Shaw's "greatest impact" on radio listeners was not, however, Gielgud acknowledged, through his numerous talks, lectures, and debates, but through the broadcasts of his plays. Between 20 November 1924, when .C., Shaw himself read O'Flaherty V and his death, most of Shaw's plays were produced on radio and television by the BBC.2 A short editorial piece in the Radio Times on 2 May 1930 about Shaw was headed "Greatest Radio Playwright": "G.B.S. is the ideal radio dramatist. His brilliant, strongly characterized dialogue, uncomplicated by trivial `action,' is http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies Penn State University Press

GBS and the BBC: In the Beginning (1923-1928)

SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies , Volume 23 (1)

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 The Pennsylvania State University
ISSN
1529-1480
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Abstract

L. W. Conolly Two weeks after Shaw's death, on 2 November 1950, Val Gielgud, head of drama at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), wrote a tribute to Shaw in the BBC's weekly magazine and program guide, the Radio Times.1 Gielgud recognized Shaw's impact as a "radio personality," whose presence produced "an unforgettable effect . . . entertaining, whimsical, witty and wise," with a voice "beautiful in itself " and handled by Shaw "with the virtuosity of an accomplished musician in words and vocal tone." Shaw at the microphone "fulfilled every imaginative expectation. He spoke to the individual and not to a hypothetical mass meeting. To listen to him was a joy." Shaw's "greatest impact" on radio listeners was not, however, Gielgud acknowledged, through his numerous talks, lectures, and debates, but through the broadcasts of his plays. Between 20 November 1924, when .C., Shaw himself read O'Flaherty V and his death, most of Shaw's plays were produced on radio and television by the BBC.2 A short editorial piece in the Radio Times on 2 May 1930 about Shaw was headed "Greatest Radio Playwright": "G.B.S. is the ideal radio dramatist. His brilliant, strongly characterized dialogue, uncomplicated by trivial `action,' is

Journal

SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw StudiesPenn State University Press

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