The Weekly Play: Armchair Theatre – A Bit of A Lift (1973)

Talking Pictures TV

Readers of the somewhat irregular and increasingly badly named TMINE feature The Weekly Play will recall classic ITV play strand Armchair Theatre, which as I mentioned here, resulted in numerous classics of the small screen.

While at least some of those plays have been releases on DVD, it’s never (AFAIK) been repeated on TV, beyond the occasional special, but this month changes that. Talking Pictures TV, one of the ‘nosebleed’ channels on your EPG (Virgin 445; Freeview 81; Sky channel 328; Freesat 306; Youview 81), is one of the rare channels out there on UK TV worth watching these days, particularly if you’re a classic film or TV buff. Airing all manner of rarities of both the silver and the small screen – it had Hannay last month and I can see it’s got the Roger Moore The Saint next month, too – it’s worth checking out if you can, although it really could do with a Roku/iOS/Android app, if you ask me.

And starting this Sunday, every week, it’s going to air a play from Armchair Theatre.

The season starts on Sunday with 1973’s A Bit of A Lift, directed by Dennis Vance and starring Ronald Fraser, Ann Beach, Donald Churchill and Denise Shaw.

A man meets a woman at a wedding and manages to sweet talk her, only to end up inadvertently helping out another male.

But it’s also this week’s Weekly Play. What serendipity, hey?

Author

  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.