Heading for 2,000 Performances and still the fan mail rolls in
Daytime television is another enterprise introduced by ATV. First in its field, and still leading it, is that gay and informal light entertainment “Lunch Box”. It was produced first in September 1956, soon after our Midlands’ service began and has remained high in viewers’ esteem ever since.
“Lunch Box” reached its 1,000th performance in September 1960. Still the fan-mail pours in.
The secret of its remarkable and consistent appeal? Team-work by regular artistes and “star” visitors, backed by the enthusiasm of all associated with its production. At the start a high professional standard was set by hostess Noele Gordon and the enterprising Jerry Allen and his Trio who provide the musical backing. Their standards are the best: they have never flagged.
Its repute is such that internationally-famed stars visiting the Midlands welcome opportunities to appear in this gay informal midday programme. It is famous for its “Memory Lane” features, its anniversary greetings and the liveliness of its sketches.
Every week “Lunch Box” fans come to the studio for the “Open House” performances before studio audiences. They flock in their thousands to welcome Noele and the “Gang” whenever “Lunch Box” is produced as an outside broadcast. When the programme was relayed from Nottingham Forest football ground the attendance was officially estimated at 27,000
“Lunch Box” thrives on its success. It has been waterborne (on a River Severn cruise) and has been to parks, works and recreation grounds, to a R.A.F. station.
It has visited the circus, Dudley Zoo — and it’s been on ice!