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Grand Good Night


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The inventor and broadcaster of this popular feature of the New Year's Eve programmes writes: 'The Grand Good Night is an institution of some seven years' standing-ancient, therefore, as broadcasting goes. This year it will be spoken in the very tiny hours after midnight on December 31, and will be,as in the past few years, a Grand New Year, or a welcome into 1932. It has grown from small beginnings. In the old, heroic days of 1924 and 1925, I used sometimes to volunteer to do the announcing on Sunday nights in order to give the regular announcers a rest. Then I remember that, taking the cue from Arthur Burrows , one used to slip in a verse or two of poetry at the end of the Sunday programme. Then one night, listening rather inattentively to a long orchestral piece, I began to scribble greetings to various classes of mankind on the back of an old envelope. Out of this grew on the one hand the first Grand Good Night, and on the other hand the Epilogue and Mr. Appleton's Silent Fellowship.
' The first real Grand Good Night was given at Christmas in 1926; by "real," I mean the first fully prepared one which attempted to gather all sorts and conditions of listeners in one great inclusive greeting. It happens that I have a considerable acquaintance with the various trades and industries of the country, and the various occupations contained in them. For example, I could give a fair account of the work of a puddler, or of the chainmaker of Cradley Heath. But every year it seemed that almost as many classes of mankind were forgotten as those who wore remembered. The B.B.C. received some delightful letters from people who had been remembered contrary to their expectation, but also some very grave reproaches from people who had been forgotten.
We simply cannot mention all the trades and occupations of mankind, and this year we are not going to try to do so. We shall mention some as typical, and then give an all embracing greeting to the families of listeners who may still be awake.
'The polyglot greetings with which the Grand Now Year closes will also be cut down a little, not that we do not wish to greet everyone if possible in his own tongue, but there are limits. This year I mean to stick to German and French, and to throw in for fun a little Esperanto for all the rest of the world, including the Japanese.


Unknown: Arthur Burrows
Unknown: Cradley Heath.

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This site contains the BBC listings information which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009. You can search the site for BBC programmes, people, dates and Radio Times editions.

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Feedback about Grand Good Night, National Programme Daventry, 0.45, 1 January 1932
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