Wednesday 14 February 2024

Frank Bellamy and Family Favourites


Radio Times (19 December 1970 - 1 January 1971), p.99
"Family Favourites" was always on in our house on a Sunday lunch time. We weren't great radio listeners but the charts and "Family favourites" were always heard. 

It began as a request programme called "Forces Favourites" - connecting those serving in the Forces abroad - which the Boyd family were. It later became "Family Favourites" and lastly "Two-Way Family Favourites". I was surprised to learn it began in the wartime and continued all the way up to 13 January 1980! It was a great way of ensuring that Forces personnel felt a connection to their homeland of the UK. Quite a technical feat back then as can be seen from Frank Bellamy's illustration here.  Although Malta isn't shown, I know we listened to the programme in our house there in the mid-60s. Interestingly Gibraltar is shown as a rock in the middle of the ocean - completely detached - unless the rest of the Iberian Peninsula is behind that view. But Singapore too appears as a strange outline - unless Bellamy was focussing on the island of Sentosa?

Cover to the Radio Times (19 December 1970 - 1 January 1971)

To listen to some clips, tune into this website where you can read more about it. Youtube has a few more - I enjoyed putting this one on in the background while writing this article (thank you Peter Preston for making an elderly man smile)! The specific programme advertised by Bellamy's feature, was hosted by Michael Aspel (brilliant likeness) and connected with Graham Webb, of ABC Australia, Don Durbridge BFBS Gibraltar, Bill Paul CBC Canada and Stephen Withers, BFBS Far East. It was produced by Jack Dabbs. It began on 12:01 and ended two hours later! BFBS Malta didn't feature in the listing but does appear in other Radio Times listings! For those that don't know BFBS stands for British Forces Broadcasting Service

For completeness sake, here are two photos taken by Bellamy of his artwork before sending it off to David Driver. Thanks to Alan Davis for rescuing them. we know that Bellamy was paid £30 for this piece.

Colour Polaroid

Black and White Polaroid

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