1960-61

Image for 1960-61Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 1 of 5

Duration: 45 minutes

Celebrating 50 years since the beginning of the 1960s, Lulu presents a nostalgic look back at the decade when her life, and that of millions of others, changed forever.

In this first episode, all-time comedy great Jimmy Tarbuck joins Lulu in the Rewind the 60s studio. Today we focus on 1960 and 1961, and Jimmy and Lulu recall the beginning of the decade. While Adam Faith and Roy Orbison were topping the charts, Jimmy was working as a Redcoat at Butlins: “at Butlins you learnt your trade”, he tells Lulu, and reveals that even as he was starting out as a performer, his real ambition was to become a professional footballer.

They say that if you can remember the 60s, then you weren’t there… Alongside Jimmy’s reminiscences are personal stories from people who were very much there, and can remember it all as if it were yesterday. We meet Kay, who in the early 60s had a ringside seat on the Liverpool music scene. She returns to the Casbah club, an old haunt that was frequented by The Beatles and run by Beatle drummer Pete Best’s mum. Kay tells us what it was like to be around the embryonic Merseybeat scene, and lets slip how she once shared a pie and a snog with a very young Paul McCartney.

The early 60s was the time when Britain’s housing was going high-rise. We meet Betty, Muriel, Sheila and Maureen - some of the original occupants of Sheffield’s Park Hill estate - to hear how their lives changed when they moved into the “streets in the sky”. They describe what it was like to get a flat with central heating, a washing machine and the latest mod-cons. In time, high-rise estates like Park Hill would be looked down upon, but back in the early 1960s the girls felt they were (literally) moving up in the world.

This was also the decade that cheap air travel finally made “abroad” accessible to the British public. The trouble was, in the early days, we didn’t quite know how to handle the scorching Spanish sun. We hear from Peter and Paul, Bluecoats at Pontin’s first overseas holiday camp in Majorca, who tell us how coachloads of guests would arrive in 100 degree heat wearing hats and overcoats. Not knowing how dangerous the sun could be, the Brits typically would rub oil and vinegar onto their skin to get a tan. But with amusements such as water-skiing and darts on the beach, we soon discovered a taste for Mediterranean beaches, sangria and olive oil. By end of the 60s, 2.7m Brits were holidaying abroad every year.

In today’s episode, we also find out what was topping the British charts in 1960-61, and what we were watching on TV. And we learn the design secrets behind the Mini – the “Big Big Little Car” that became one of the most iconic objects of the 60s.

More episodes

See all episodes from Rewind the 60s
  • Lulu and Guest Jimmy Tarbuck

    Lulu and Guest Jimmy Tarbuck

Credits

Presenter
Lulu
Narrator
Lulu
Narrator
John Craven
Expert
Charlie Ross
Executive Producer
Pete Lawrence
Series Producer
Susie Staples

Broadcasts

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss