Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School (1952-1961)
These television plays were commissioned by the BBC following the success of the Bunter Books, and all written by Frank Richards. The first one was shown twice on the same day [afternoon and evening]; and thereafter they were shown around tea-time. Unfortunately, very little money was invested in permanent sets, and some of the characters were little more than ciphers, but they were popular. Most episodes have been lost Ė those designated * are still extant in the BBCís archives.
The series all starred Gerald Campion as Billy Bunter (who was 29 at the time!), and was based on the books written by Frank Richards. Known actors are listed for each series. Also, later to be famous, Michael Crawford made one of his first TV appearances in this series, as did David Hemmings and Melvyn Hayes.
There are copies of 4 original Bunter television episodes available on-line. A search on Google video should unearth them. Be warned that they all are of very poor quality. You can also search the Pathe news site for a short promo on Billy Bunter featuring Charles Hamilton, and footage of people auditioning for one of the Bunter stage shows. The preview clips are not brilliant quality but free to download!
Produced by Joy Harrington. Stars: Kynaston Reeves (Mr. Quelch); John Charlesworth (Harry Wharton); Keith Faulkner (Bob Cherry); Barry Macgregor (Johnny Bull); David Spenser (Hurree Jamset Ram Singh); Michael Danvers-Walker (Frank Nugent); John Rutherford (Vernon-Smith); John Quayle (Peter Todd); Cavan Malone [and later Michael Croudson] (Lord Mauleverer); Philip Guard (Skinner); John Osborne (Wingate); Edward Lexy (Mr. Prout); Christopher Hodge (Gosling); John Stuart (Dr. Locke).
Stars: Raf de la Torre (Mr. Quelch); John Charlesworth (Harry Wharton).
Produced by Shaun Sutton. Stars: Kynaston Reeves (Mr. Quelch); Anthony Valentine (Harry Wharton).
Produced by Pharic Maclaren. Stars: Kynaston Reeves (Mr. Quelch); Anthony Valentine (Harry Wharton).
Produced by David Goddard. Stars: John Woodnutt (Mr. Quelch); Richard Palmer (Harry Wharton).
Produced by Clive Parkhurst. Stars: Jack Melford (Mr. Quelch); Julian Yardley (Harry Wharton); Peter Greenspan (Bob Cherry); Jonathan Margetts (Frank Nugent); Melvyn Baker (Johnny Bull); Brian Tipping (Hurree Jamset Ram Singh).
Produced by Clive Parkhurst. Stars: Jack Melford (Mr. Quelch); Julian Yardley (Harry Wharton).