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Going Round the Bend

On this day in 1958, the Radio Times carried a preview supplement letting readers know the entertainment highlights they could expect over the festive season.

Among the many recommendations is the first episode of the second series of his programme Round The Bend. Starting on Boxing Day 1958, the series ran for 13 episodes ending on 27 March 1959.

Few professional funny men have displayed a greater wealth of comic invention than Michael Bentine. Not for him a long-term strategy in dealing with an audience: shock tactics are his strong suit. But Michael Bentine is of the Goon School; and like his old comrades in fun-and-frenzy he has acquired the art of being as funny when he can't be seen as when he can.

(from Radio Times supplement, published 7 November 1958)

An article on gives a potted history of Round the Bend, although some of it doesn't match up with my research. According to Radio Times listings, for instance, the first series began in October 1957, not 1959, and I think only a further 13 episodes were commissioned after that first series, not 26. Much of the rest of it seems legit, though.

Round the Bend was initially produced by Goon Show producer Pat Dixon, who met Bentine in the late 1940s through the embryonic stages of the Goons, as well as other programmes. Dixon had to retire after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, and was replaced by Charles Chilton.

While I have yet to find any recordings of Round the Bend, you can find digital downloadable copies of Bentine's 1984 series The Michael Bentine Show on RadioEchoes.

Listing for a repeat broadcast from July 1959

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