The Duke of Bedford scored a big hit as a television performer when he did a week’s duty as “Lunch Box” host while Noele Gordon was on holiday.
He took over when Noele and Jerry Allen’s “gang” went to Woburn Abbey, best known of England’s stately homes, to present the show as an outside broadcast. The vast Abbey provided a fine backcloth for a performance on the terraces, watched by a crowd of 6,000 visitors. The Duke soon proved his skill as host—and vocalist!
He paid ATV this tribute :
“Everyone was so friendly and helpful that the week was a pleasure as well as a duty. How I admire the ‘Lunch Box’ gang, the producers and technical staff! If I get a chance to come back I shall certainly take it”.
The Duke made a success of it all despite the advice he received from his guide – none over than that master of gobbledegook and double-talk, Stanley Unwin
Then Noele Gordon handed over the compere duties…
In the following week the Duke was in charge of the programme as “Lunch Box:, back in the studio, kept its daily appointments with its millions of admirers. “It was a great experience”, he said afterwards. “It taught me a lot about television. Few people can have any idea of the hard work involved and the complexity of the organisation behind the scenes.”
He proves his versatility by tackling an Inspector Maigret investigation, keeping his pipe charged throughout the skit.