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Monitor (British TV programme)

  (Redirected from Monitor (UK TV series))

Monitor is a British arts television programme that was launched on 2 February 1958 on BBC, and ran until 1965.

Huw Wheldon was the editor from 1958 to 1962. He was also the principal interviewer and anchor until 1964. Wheldon set about moulding a team of talents, including W.G. Archer, Melvyn Bragg, Humphrey Burton, John Berger, Patrick Garland, David Jones, Peter Newington, Ken Russell, John Schlesinger, Nancy Thomas, and Alan Tyrer[1][2] Monitor ranged in subject over all the arts.

The editor role was handed to Humphrey Burton in July 1962, lasting a year. He was succeeded by David Jones as producer for the 1963–64 season.

The hundredth programme, made in 1962, was a film directed by Ken Russell and written by Wheldon, the celebrated Elgar. The Elgar film was innovative because it was the first time that an arts programme showed one long film about an artistic figure instead of short items, and it was the first time that re-enactments were used. Before this, only photos or location shots had been used in programmes. Russell, however, still met resistance from Wheldon in allowing actors to play the subjects of his films. The Elgar film includes sequences of the young composer riding his bicycle on the Malvern Hills accompanied by Elgar's Introduction & Allegro for Strings. Russell had a particular empathy with Elgar's music because, like the composer, he was a Catholic.[3]

Wheldon's Monitor lasted until he had "interviewed everyone I am interested in interviewing" and he was succeeded by Jonathan Miller for the series' last season in 1964/65. Miller was both presenter and editor.

The theme tune was "Marcia" from Serenade for String Orchestra (Op. 11, 1937) by Dag Wirén.[4] The book Monitor: An Anthology, edited by Huw Wheldon, was published by Macdonald in 1962.


  1. ^ James, Anne (15 January 2015). "Nancy Thomas obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Correspondence about the making of the BBC Monitor film on Avinash Chandra". The National Archives. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  3. ^ BBC Music Magazine June 2007
  4. ^ Other British Programmes

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