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Theatre 625 (BBC Play Anthology 1964-1968)



An anthology series of dramas set up to publicise the fact that BBC Two was up and running and broadcasting on 625 lines (hence the title).

A shop window for established writers, the show ran for a total of 114 episodes. The “625” refers to the higher-definition 625-line broadcasts that were used exclusively by BBC-2 at a time when BBC-1 and ITV were still using the old 405-line format. Programmes were made and broadcast in colour from 1967.

High profile productions included the four part Talking To A Stranger (2-23 Oct 1965), Mille Miglia (The final production broadcast 5 Aug 1968), Nigel Kneale’s The Year Of The Sex Olympics (29 Jul 1968), The three part To See How Far It Is (1-15 Jan 1968), The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (29 May 1967) and 1984 (28 Nov 1965).

Pretty much anyone who was anyone in the UK acting fraternity at the time made an appearance including such names as Judi Dench, Edward Woodward, Susannah York, Edward Fox, Susan George, Donald Sutherland, Kenneth More, Maurice Denham, Warren Mitchell, Ronnie Barker, Wendy Craig, John Le Mesurier, Michael Crawford, Bob Monkhouse, Irene Handl, Hattie Jacques, Bernard Cribbins, Pauline Collins, Gordon Jackson, Richard Briers, Ronald Lacey, Geoffrey Bayldon, Leonard Rossiter, Fenella Fielding, Annette Crosbie, Bernard Hepton, Nerys Hughes, Charlotte Rampling, Margaret Nolan, Windsor Davies, June Barry, Yootha Joyce, Peggy Ashcroft, Fulton Mackay, Jack Wild, Erik Chitty, Bryan Pringle, Diana Coupland, Keith Michell, Tony Selby, Anthony Booth, Miriam Margolyes, Tessa Wyatt, Doris Hare, Colin Jeavons, Ed Bishop, Victor Maddern, Rosemary Leach, Alfie Bass, Mike Pratt, Ian Hendry, Bernard Bresslaw, Dennis Waterman, Patrick Stewart, Joss Ackland, Milo O’Shea, Michelle Dotrice, Hywel Bennett, Patrick Magee, Ronald Fraser and Moira Lister.

Producer: Cedric Messina

UK / BBC Two / 114 editions / Broadcast 3 May 1964 – 5 August 1968