I am researching Chares Chilton who was a renowned BBC producer of folk and history
docudramas. He died a while ago at 93.
There are precious few recordings of his in the public domain.
But he produced Oh! What a Lovely War - about life in the trenches in WW1 - which was an
A few of his programmes are available at
And he also wrote and produced a long series of space exploration programmes which were
the most popular radio shows ever and surpassed even audiences on the newly fledged t.v.
These latter are available from Archive.org
He was also instrumental in producing a number of Goon Show episodes.
Indeed his output numbered in the region of at least 150 programmes both for t.v. and
In the 1950s he wrote and produced Riders of the Range - a hugely popular radio show
depicting life in the US Wild West. Sady none of these episodes have survived. But the
series was transcribed to comics such as The Eagle.
What I didn't know until today was that he was also a square dance caller!! He was
active in the UK (and likely in the US) during the 1950s / 60s. He was based at the
Circassian Circle Folk Dance Club in Essex. He worked with Peter Kennedy of the EFDSS to
preserve and promote tradiitonal social folk dance.
One of his observations was that whist travelling the country and visiting different folk
dance groups was that there were considerable localised variations in style and movements.
His attitude was that these variations were to be valued and collected and promoted.
He was certainly not a fan of modern main stream square dance, nor of Scottish country
Does anyone now remember Charles Chilton - BBC producer, writer, researcher, producer -
and square dance caller?