April 3: Television

40 years ago today…

Rumpole_of_the_BaileyRumpole of the Bailey was a British television series created and written by the British writer and barrister John Mortimer. It starred Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole, an elderly London barrister who defended a broad variety of clients, often underdogs. The TV series led to the stories being presented in other media including books and radio.

The first appearance of Rumpole of the Bailey was a one-off episode in BBC TV’s Play for Today in 1975. The ITV series ended in 1992.

Also this day in TV history…

  • The BBC’s aspect ratio changed from 5:4 to 4:3 (1950)
  • Jesus of Nazareth, a British-Italian television miniseries dramatising the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus based on the accounts in the four New Testament Gospels debuts on British television, starring Robert Powell as Jesus (1977)
  • Sir Laurence Olivier starred as King Lear in a TV adaptation alongside John Hurt, Diana Rigg, Leo McKern, and Robert Lindsay (1983).
  • Through the Keyhole, a British comedy panel game debuted on ITV presented by Sir David Frost and Lloyd Grossman, featuring Grossman going around celebrities’ houses and Frost getting a panel of other celebrities to try to guess who the famous homeowner is (1987)

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