On The Telly

19720914-04On Monday evening, 4th September, I turned my television onto BBC2 in time to watch ‘Thirty-Minute Theatre’ at 10.25 p.m. But I was somewhat early, and caught the last 10 minutes of a programme I was later to learn was called Controversy.

The programme was concerned with the argument ‘A New Look at an Old Animal’ which was being defended by Professors Robin Fox and Lionel Tiger.

The theory they were putting forward was, briefly, that ‘modern man’s behaviour in all its apparent sophistication — including play as men or women – is actually governed by instincts acquired during the prehistoric struggle for survival.’

Many sociologists, anthropologists and zoologists disagree with this point of view, and some of them, along with members of the general public, took part in the Controversy discussion, which was televised from the Royal Institute.

How the earlier part of the programme went, I have no idea. So far I haven’t managed to find anyone else who watched it.

At the time I tuned in though Professors Fox and Tiger were deep in heated discussion with members of the audience. Then, while a sister was speaking, I saw the badge, a GLF badge. The next two women speakers also were wearing GLF badges. They seemingly had taken offence at the argument of the two Professors.

As one of them was answering the women’s questions, the whole batch of GLF members left the meeting, walking down the steps leading up to the audience’s seats, parading past the cameras, passing around the back of the table behind which Fox and Tiger were speaking, and finally out of a doorway to the side of the speakers’ platform.

Somewhat shaken, the Professors struggled on.

Well I suppose it’s nice to see other gays openly on the box, but I wish I had tuned in earlier to understand what had been going on to cause the GLF to walk out.

The ‘Thirty-Minute Theatre’ play that followed was ‘Thrills Galore’ by Rhys Adrian. Not much to say about this, apart from the appearance of what, I take, was meant to be a latent male homosexual. He was trendily overdressed, took his white poodle to the pub on Sunday lunchtimes to have a drink with the boys, and displayed the supposed stereotyped generosity of homosexuals by insisting all the time, that one and all had a drink with him.

In the end he went off for a last drink at another pub. Thrilling stuff. I got bored and switched off.

Denis Lemon

Denis Lemon

1945-1994. Denis was one of the founders of Gay News and was perhaps most famous for being sued by Mary Whitehouse when, as editor, he published a poem in 1976 by James Kirkup that she felt was 'blasphemous'. He was fined £500 and sentenced to 9 months in prison suspended for 8 months. The Court of Appeal later quashed the sentence. He died of complications from AIDS in 1994 and was survived by his partner Nick Purshouse.
Denis Lemon

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Author: Denis Lemon

1945-1994. Denis was one of the founders of Gay News and was perhaps most famous for being sued by Mary Whitehouse when, as editor, he published a poem in 1976 by James Kirkup that she felt was 'blasphemous'. He was fined £500 and sentenced to 9 months in prison suspended for 8 months. The Court of Appeal later quashed the sentence. He died of complications from AIDS in 1994 and was survived by his partner Nick Purshouse.

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