Val Gielgud and the BBC

 

Elisabeth Welch

 

I think it can be argued that the film should be signposted for the first film performance of Elisabeth Welch who would appear to have been Britain's first woman black broadcaster on both radio and television. She sings 'Lazy Lady' with the Gershom Parkington Quintet. By the mid-1930s, Elisabeth’s name had become well known to the British public with her appearances in a popular BBC radio series called Soft Lights and Sweet Music.

 

Elisabeth Welch

(Photo Credit: Stephen Bourne, "Elisabeth Welch: A Touch of Class" in CLASSIC IMAGES (January 2000)

 

It does not seem that Elisabeth was particularly proud of her performance.

In an images of the screen magazine on the Internet :

it is stated: 'Elisabeth’s only comment on her first film was

 

Elisabeth Welch

(Photo Credit: Stephen Bourne, "Elisabeth Welch: A Touch of Class" in CLASSIC IMAGES (January 2000)

 

"It was so awful I told everyone they should have left Broadcasting House out of the title and released it as Death!"

Other actors who had billing in the film included: Ian Hunter, Henry Kendal, Austin Trevor, Mary Newland, Jack Hawkins, Val Gielgud, Peter Haddon, and an early film appearance by Betty Davies.

 

Jack Hawkins

Jack Hawkins

Ian Hunter has probably been forgotten as a key British character actor of the 1930s and 40s. He played Detective Inspector Gregory. Another more famous role was in 'Captain Crewe' in The Little Princess. Jack Hawkins played Herbert Evans. There is some evidence that the film was also released as 'Death of a Broadcast'.