BBC Television Talks is a department which has created its own character. A talks programme does not consist simply of putting a man in front of a camera to talk. It can be a series of zoo quests about animals and jungles; it can be a current affairs magazine like Panorama; it can be Orson Welles or Jacqueline Mackenzie. Under Talks you will find the men of politics and the men of learning; the archæologists discussing the latest finds and sparking off new interest in books and courses on archæology; bookmen and scientists and social historians; and just ordinary people of the world whose activities are part of our affairs. The BBC’s Royal Charter speaks of the value of broadcasting as a means to inform and educate as well as to entertain. All these three principles are to be found embraced in the talks programmes. And through these programmes some of our most distinguished experts have become as familiar to the home as the professional entertainer.

Sir Mortimer Wheeler and Dr. Glyn Daniel have become television personalities in their own right. They have made archæology bright and interesting, whether through Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? or, as pictured here, through Buried Treasure. Both enjoy good food; but this was a little different. Sir Mortimer and Dr. Daniel taste an Iron Age gruel.

Panorama opens the Window on the world – and so does David Attenborough, in his Zoo Quests.

The camera goes in for a close-up of Christopher Mayhew, M.P. We, the British – are we in Decline? That was the question posed by Mr. Mayhew in six programmes which ranged from Britain as a world power to our habits as a church-going nation.

Presenters site behind desks with maps of Scotland and London behind them
When the polls had closed after the 1955 General Election, the BBC Television Service swung into action with a minute-by-minute report – a combined operation by the News Division, the Outside Broadcast Department, and Talks. All through the night and the next day the television screen was alive with reports, results, interviews, and scenes from twenty different points in Britain.