YouTube has brilliant 30-minute BBC radio show made in 2002 in which various well-known entertainment legends (e.g. Ken Dodd) reminisce about their days at the Hulme Hippodrome and the Playhouse working for the BBC.
Programme notes: Geoffrey Wheeler revisits the scene of the Manchester Playhouse Theatre in Hulme. Built back-to-back with the Hulme Hippodrome, the Playhouse was used by the BBC as a radio and TV recording studio for light entertainment, comedy and music shows from 1955-86. It was host to some of the BBC’s best-loved comedy and variety shows with Al Read, Ken Dodd, Les Dawson, Jimmy Clitheroe, Morecambe & Wise and many other shows. It was also home to the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra.
This documentary was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in April 2002.
If you haven’t heard it already it’s well worth a listen.
10am and 11am on the Levenshulme-based Local Community radio station, ALL FM (96.9FM and online) two of our leading campaigners, Janey Riley and Vikki Garlick, make guest appearances on the Vintage FM show.
They talk about the history of the Hippodrome and the Playhouse as well as the wider Broadhead circuit of theatres of which the Hippodrome and Playhouse were part. They also select some excellent music tracks, each of which sparks a specific memory of the theatres.
If you miss the broadcast then you can find it archived on the Mixcloud website from 11am onwards (just search for ‘Vintage FM – Don and Mike’ and it should be at the top of the list)
The Hulme Hippodrome has an important place in British theatre history, as a surviving venue in the variety theatre networks that dominated British theatre from 1900 to the 1950s. In this article Sarah Whitfield explores some of the performers who worked at this beautiful and at-risk theatre. PB/16.02.21