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Stanley's vocal dexterity soon caught the ear of the TV producer set and it wasn't long before he was making the transition from radio and film to the box in the corner.

 

Like his radio stuff, it's very difficult to produce an exact tellyography - especially as he made guest appearances on countless shows over the years - but here's basically what I've been able to pinpoint.

 

The one big gaping gap is Unwin Time, details of which I've not been able to track down anywhere. If you can lend a hand here, or if you know of anything else that's worth adding, please drop me a line.

 

Early To Braden - July '57 to March '58 (BBC)

Stan's first real break on TV came via old mucker Bernie Braden who at this time - long before his reincarnation as a consumer rights champion and the spawneur of Esther Rantzen's 'That's Life' and all that followed in its wake - was actually the king of the sketch show.

Bernard Braden

Think of a major writer or writer team from the 50s, 60s and 70s and they'll all have cut their TV teeth on Braden's TV shows: Muir and Norden, Galton and Simpson, Monkhouse and Goodwin, Antrobus, Merriman and Speight to name just a few.

 

And amongst all that talent was Stanley Unwin, who nobody could write for better than the man himself. top

 

Gala Opening - March 1959 (BBC)

This was Eric Sykes's fourth one-hour BBC special with a playhouse themed title ('Dress Rehearsal', 'Opening Night' and 'Closing Night' being the previous three, broadcast between '56 and '57).

 

'Gala Opening' was a spoof 'lavish extravaganza from the Floral Hall, Grapplewick' and was notable for the first TV teaming of Sykes with Hattie Jacques. Stanley was the only other guest artist on the bill. top

 

The Secret Service - 1968/9 (ITV)

This oft forgotten and sadly almost buried chapter of the great Gerry Anderson's canon featured Stanley in the second of his two most remembered and iconic roles. It deserves its own page which you'll find here. top

 

Tell Tarby - October to December 1973 (ITV)

Unusually for Jimmy Tarbuck at the time, this was a fairly topical stand-up and sketch show put together with a regular cast that included Kenny Lynch, Linda Bellingham and Hugh Paddick.

 

And, of course, our Stan. top

 

Do It! - early 80s (ITV)

I'm going to leave this description to the brilliant TV Cream, who have suffered on our behalf more than most:

Very eager "Hey! Let's make stuff!" show for holiday mornings, presented by tomboyish Sheelagh Gilbey, notional 'Editor' of the 'Do It supplement' to some fictional rag or other. Featured the great Professor Stanley Unwin on more than one occasion. Other than that, average. But keen.  top

The Innes Book of Records - September 1981 (BBC2)

Neil Innes, all-round genius and ex-Bonzo Dog guitarist, started this half-hour series of quirky songs in 1979. Not too much information beyond that I'm afraid, but Stan appeared as 'Himself' in series 3 episode 6, as far as I can gather. top

 

TX: Ready For Transmission - Autumn 1985 (ITV)

Tony Slattery (remember him?) was one of the 'cool' presenters of this flashy Saturday morning 'Tiswas' replacement. Mixed in with cartoons, bands and 'issue' based chin rubbing for the under twelves was the excellent Frank Sidebottom and a regular turn from Stanley. top

 

The Laughing Prisoner - April 1987 (Channel 4)

Jools Holland's post-'Tube' career sort of started with this - a part piss-take, part-homage to the much-lauded Patrick MacGoohan conspiracy-fest from the 60s.

Featuring Stephen Fry as 'No. 2' and Stanley as a sort of itinerant narrator, it passed the time nicely enough. top

 

Lazarus and Dingwall - February to March 1991 (BBC2)

If you can remember that Carling Black Label 'Dambusters' ad, you can remember Mark Arden and Steve Frost who played the eponymous detectives in this...er...'comedy' cop series.

 

However, it was brightened up considerably by the appearance of one Stanley Unwin as a High Court Judge in the 'Little Mark On The Side of the Head' episode, broadcast on 8 March '91. top

 

Inside Victor Lewis-Smith - November to December 1993 (BBC2)

One of many cameos, Stanley appeared as a Laboratory Assistant in the first episode of the first series ('The Money Programme') of this, V L-S's oddball trawl through (primarily) BBC TV programming.

 

Others who contributed to the series included Chris Langham, Arthur Mullard and (Dr) Phil Hammond. top

 

The Great Bong - 1995 (Channel 4)

Deemed 'too unique for US television', this live action puppet show was written, co-produced and co-directed by Jim 'Muppet' Henson sidekick Karen Prell.

The Great Bong - top row, centre

(pic Barclay, Quinn & Prell)

It featured voice artistes such as Spike Milligan, Michael Bentine and Barbara Windsor, and starred Stanley as the Great Bong, an eccentric badger magician (not often you see those last three words next to each other).

 

Bong employed Stan's language to the full, reacting to every magical disaster with the now familiar words 'Deep Joy!'. top

 

Rex the Runt - December 1998 (BBC2)

Mr Wangle (left) gives Rex some financial advice

(pic Aardman Animations)

As far as I'm concerned, this is a meeting of greats. Not only do you get the brilliant plasticine square-on dogette of the title and his family (created by Aardman Animations), but in series 1 episode 12 ('Johnny Saveloy's Undoing'), you also get the voice-over contributions of gag ubermeister Bob Monkhouse as TV-envangelist-gone-postal Johnny Saveloy and Stanley as Rex's accountant Mr Wangle. A treat. top