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Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School (1952-1961)


The Sun

Tom Merry's Annuals


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!

Series 1

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).

No.

Title

Transmission date

Repeated

1

The Siege

19.02.1952

2

The Report

26.02.1952

3

Bunterís Christmas Party

04.03.1952

4

Bunterís Postal Order

11.03.1952

5

Bunterís Bicycle

18.03.1952

6

A Piece of Cake

25.03.1952

One-off plays

7

Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School *

07.07.1953

Ronald Adam (Quelch); Henry Searle (Wharton)

8

Bunter Wonít Go *

01.07.1954

Kynaston Reeves (Quelch); Henry Searle (Wharton)

Series 2

Stars: Raf de la Torre (Mr. Quelch); John Charlesworth (Harry Wharton).

9

Bunter on the Run

09.07.1955

10

Bunter the Hypnotist

23.07.1955

reprinted Yarooh !

11

Lord Billy Bunter

06.08.1955

12

Bunter Forgot

20.08.1955

repeated 16.01.1956

13

Bunter Takes the Blame

03.09.1955

repeated 03.02.1956

14

Bunter Knows How

17.09.1955

repeated 20.07.1956

Series 3

Produced by Shaun Sutton. Stars: Kynaston Reeves (Mr. Quelch); Anthony Valentine (Harry Wharton).

15

Backing Up Bunter *

09.09.1956

repeated 08.06.1957 & 13.07.1957

16

Bunter the Bold *

16.09.1956

repeated 15.07.1957

17

Billy Bunterís Double *

23.09.1956

repeated 21.06.1957

18

Hunting Bunter *

30.09.1956

19

Bunter on the Warpath *

07.10.1956

repeated 29.06.1957

20

Bunterís Christmas Box *

14.10.1956

One-off Play

21

Billy Bunter at Large *

12.03.1957

aka Bullseye for Bunter

Series 4

Produced by Pharic Maclaren. Stars: Kynaston Reeves (Mr. Quelch); Anthony Valentine (Harry Wharton).

22

Beastly For Bunter

20.07.1957

23

Bunter Does His Best

03.08.1957

24

Bad Lad Bunter!

10.08.1957

25

Bunter Keeps It Dark

17.08.1957

26

Bunter The Ventriloquist

31.08.1957

repeated 29.04.1958

Series 5

Produced by David Goddard. Stars: John Woodnutt (Mr. Quelch); Richard Palmer (Harry Wharton).

27

Bunterís Bargain

13.06.1959

28

Bunterís Burglar *

27.06.1959

29

Phoney Bunter

11.07.1959

30

Bunterís Birching

18.07.1959

31

Bunter Spells Trouble

01.08.1959

32

Bunterís Bullseyes

15.08.1959

33

Treasure Hunter Bunter

29.08.1959

34

Bunterís Bedtime Story

05.09.1959

Series 6

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).

35

Bunter the Hypnotist *

16.07.1960

36

Brainy Bunter

30.07.1960

37

Bunter Knows How

13.08.1960

38

Lord Billy Bunter *

20.08.1960

39

Bunterís Bicycle *

27.08.1960

40

Toffee Hunter Bunter

03.09.1960

(or 10.09.1960?)

41

Bunter Wonít Go *

17.09.1960

42

Bunterís Party

24.09.1960

Series 7

Produced by Clive Parkhurst. Stars: Jack Melford (Mr. Quelch); Julian Yardley (Harry Wharton).

43

Backing Up Bunter

20.05.1961

44

Bold Bunter

27.05.1961

45

Double Bunter

03.06.1961

46

Hunter Bunter

10.06.1961

47

Stowaway Bunter

17.06.1961

48

Bunter Goes to Cairo

24.06.1961

49

Bunter Goes to Venice

01.07.1961

50

Bunter Goes to Naples

15.07.1961

51

Bunter Goes to Nice

22.07.1961



The Sun

Tom Merry's Annuals

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