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Letter: Joe Melia, master of ceremonies

9 November 2012 7:52 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

In 1972, BBC2 launched a new series called Full House which showcased the performing arts in a long, live studio programme. There was music across the genres, new plays, poetry, comedy, arts events, happenings. Karlheinz Stockhausen rubbed shoulders with Jacques Tati, Roxy Music segued to Wh Auden. It was a bold venture that sometimes took off and sometimes didn't. To pull it together, as master of ceremonies, we cast Joe Melia. Some toffee-nosed commentators poured scorn on this decision, claiming that an actor would not have the right credentials to present an arts programme on TV. In the event, Joe took to the new role like a duck to water. Sans Autocue, he used his Brechtian skills to woo the camera and create an ambience for new ideas, experiment and adventure. He presented 21 live 90-minute programmes and then Melvyn Bragg took over with a more traditional (and definitely not live) arts programme, »

- Tony Staveacre

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1 item from 2012


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