London’s Riverside Studios announces “Time Lords to Top of the Pops” Festival

London’s Riverside Studios is to celebrate their 65th anniversary, and the 100th anniversary of the BBC with a “Time Lords to Top of the Pops” festival, events running from Thursday 21st April – Sunday 24th July 2022.

Doctor Who - Dalek Invasion of Earth. Photo: BBC
Doctor Who – Dalek Invasion of Earth. Photo: BBC

Events include a tribute event to Doctor Who‘s first producer, Verity Lambert, screenings of episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour, and a special exhibition.

Other related events include the unveiling of a BBC Heritage Trail blue plaque and activities will include special events for children in the May half term break and additional screenings of television from the archive. 

Today’s Riverside Studios stands on the former site of a Victorian iron works, which was converted into a film studio in 1933. Many classic films were made there, such as The Seventh Veil (1945) with James Mason, The Happiest Days of Your Life with Margaret Rutherford (1950) and Father Brown (1954) with Alec Guinness.

In 1954, the studio was taken over by BBC Television and became home to many of their most iconic programmes, including Hancock’s Half Hour (1957-60), Quatermass and the Pit (1958-59) and Doctor Who (1964-68).

Following the BBC’s departure in 1974, the building became an arts centre in 1976, launching with a vibrant community festival, with collaborators down the years that include Amy Winehouse, Benjamin Zephaniah, Yoko Ono, David Hockney, Lenny Henry, David Bowie and Black Theatre Cooperative.

The original Riverside Studios closed for redevelopment in 2014 and the new building opened on the same site in 2019.

Tony Hancock - Hancock's Half Hour. Photo: BBC
Tony Hancock – Hancock’s Half Hour. Photo: BBC

The Hancock’s Half Hour event will take place on Saturday 23rd April at 2.00pm and feature the episodes “The Missing Page”, “Lord Byron Lived Here”, and “12 Angry Men”. Tony Hancock Appreciation Society members Martin Gibbons and Tim Elms will introduce the episodes and answer questions from the audience. There will also be a display of archive items and an exhibition of photographs. Tickets are £10 and can be booked here.

Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert
Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert

A Tribute to Verity Lambert – Shoulder to Shoulder, which will be shown on at 2.00pm Sunday 29th May, is a documentary that centres on legendary producer Verity Lambert worked at Riverside Studios in the 1960s, steering the BBC’s popular science-fiction series Doctor Who. In partnership with the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, we pay tribute to Verity’s illustrious career with a rare screening of her 1974 BBC series Shoulder to Shoulder, which dramatized the lives of women in the Suffragette Movement. Starring Sian Phillips and Patricia Quinn and directed by Moira Armstrong, tickets are £10 and can be booked here.

In collaboration with BBC History, the Riverside will also present an exhibition of photographs taken behind-the-scenes of the most iconic BBC programmes made in the original building, from Doctor Who and Hancock’s Half Hour to Blue Peter and Top of the Pops.

The studios are close to Hammersmith underground station and situated next to the Thames with views and riverside walks. Restaurant, terrace, bar, coffees, crumpets (watch out the butter doesn’t disappear down the ‘oles!) cocktails, it all awaits you!

• Running Thursday 21st April – Sunday 24th July 2022, More details of the “Time Lords to Top of the Pops” event programme will be announced shortly | Web: riversidestudios.co.uk | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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