Sneha Girap (Editor)

Mary Malcolm

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Nationality  British
Role  Announcer
Grandparents  Lillie Langtry
Employer  BBC Television
Name  Mary Malcolm

Mary Malcolm wwwbbctvapcoukimages119621jpg
Born  15 March 1918 (1918-03-15) Poltalloch, Argyll
Occupation  Radio and TV presenter and producer
Died  October 13, 2010, London, United Kingdom
Spouse  Colin McFadyean (m. 1960–2006), Basil Bartlett (m. 1937–1960)
Children  Lucy Bridgewater, Annabel McCall, Julia Atkinson
Parents  Ian Malcolm, Jeanne Marie Langtry Malcolm

Great-grandparents  William Corbet Le Breton
Years active  1948–1956 (BBC career)

50th anniversary of bbc television mary malcolm

Helen Mary Malcolm (15 March 1918 – 13 October 2010), as one of the first two regular female announcers on BBC Television after World War II, was a household name in the U.K. during the 1950s.



The daughter of Jeanne-Marie Langtry (1881-1964) and granddaughter of Victorian socialite actress Lillie Langtry, who was the mistress of King Edward VII of England, Mary was brought up in Poltalloch, Argyll, Scotland. Until the age of 16, she attended the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in South Kensington, London. She began her television career in 1948, having gained broadcasting experience on the radio during World War II. As more and more men were called up to fight, women became increasingly in demand to fill posts at the BBC. Mary Malcolm was taken on and worked for the Home Service as a continuity announcer from March 1942. With the relaunch of the BBC's television service after the war, she worked alongside Sylvia Peters and McDonald Hobley, with the trio averaging ten days' work a month each.

At this time, all television programs were introduced by an in-vision host or hostess and broadcasts were normally live. Malcolm received no training and became known for her spoonerisms: "By the end of the day I was tired, and when I came to the weather forecast I just read it out without really trying. My biggest fear was 'drain and rizzle', which I said more than once." With the advent of commercial rival ITV in 1955, the BBC’s reliance on announcers diminished. Commercial breaks quickly became popular and the BBC decided audiences no longer needed a hostess to soothe them. Malcolm left the BBC in 1956 although she continued to appear as a guest on various programs including an episode of the comedy series The Goodies. Her autobiography, Me, was published in 1956.

Selected filmography

  • Design for Loving (1962)
  • References

    Mary Malcolm Wikipedia

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