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Grace Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
(née Grace Murrell Nisbet; 26 March 1900 – 3 June 1986) was a producer and executive in British television for twenty years, particularly in the fields of politics and current affairs. During her career at the BBC, she held her own as one of the few senior women in an establishment dominated by men. As a producer, she pioneered many of the television formats now taken for granted in Britain. Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
became Head of Talks, and later Head of the Current Affairs Group at BBC
BBC
Television.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career 3 Publications 4 References 5 Further reading

Early life[edit] She was born Grace Murrell Nisbet in Arisaig, a small village in the western Scottish Highlands. Much of her childhood was spent in Egypt, where her father worked as a civil engineer, and she attended a French Catholic convent school in Alexandria before attending Cheltenham Ladies' College.[1] Nisbet obtained her first degree at Bristol University, and then attended Somerville College, Oxford.[2] In 1928, Nisbet married Frank Goldie, an actor who used the stage name Wyndham Goldie, which she adopted as her married name. Frank Goldie died in 1957.[3] Career[edit] Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
developed her interest in broadcasting while as a weekly columnist for The Listener, which reprinted the texts of BBC talks, between 1935 and 1941. She specialised in drama and entertainment, and wrote enthusiastically about the new medium of television.[4] After working as a civil servant at the Board of Trade from 1942 to 1944, she was invited to join the BBC
BBC
as a radio producer in June 1944.[5] In 1947, she joined the Television Talks Department.[6] Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
pioneered television coverage of general elections and the coverage of politics and current affairs on television. The first general election which the television service was able to cover occurred in February 1950. The BBC
BBC
engaged in no reporting of the campaign whatsoever because of a cautious reading of the Representation of the People Act 1948. However, producer Grace Wyndham Goldie managed to persuade the BBC
BBC
to transmit a programme on election night to report the results only - there was to be absolutely no prediction of what was to come. By 1955, the existence of television on election nights was having a significant effect. It prompted returning officers to hold their counts immediately after the close of polls, so that the results were declared during the early hours of the morning, rather than the following day. In 1955, for the first time, a majority of constituencies declared on the night (357 of the 630 constituencies). In 1952 Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
started a new programme, Press Conference, which was based on a format imported from US television.[7] Each week four journalists interviewed a leading politician. The first politician to appear was R. A. Butler, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Subsequent guests included the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld, and the mayor of Berlin.[7] Her boss, Cecil McGivern, wrote to her after the first programme: "You did not invent the idea, my dear, of press people questioning politicians; this has already been done in the States. So you have not changed the nature of television, but by God you have changed the whole future of politics in Britain."[8] Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
relaunched the ailing Panorama in 1955, with Richard Dimbleby as the main presenter. She was instrumental in recruiting Robin Day
Robin Day
from ITN to present the programme at the end of the 1950s. She was associated with the successful production of two other influential BBC
BBC
TV programmes: Tonight, and Monitor. The first was a nightly news magazine, while the second covered the arts. Among her team of producers and reporters, the so-called 'Goldie Boys', were Alasdair Milne, Huw Wheldon, John Freeman, Christopher Mayhew, Cliff Michelmore, Richard Dimbleby, Donald Baverstock and Michael Peacock. Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
had a low opinion of journalists whom she described as "the dirty mac brigade". She did not like the idea of "the story" and thought that scoops were boys' games. However, she respected the serious journalism that was embodied in such publications as The Times, The Manchester Guardian, The Economist
The Economist
and the New Statesman.[9] Wyndham Goldie's relationship to That Was The Week That Was, the satirical TV series broadcast in 1962–63, was an uneasy one. Her biographer John Grist writes: "Grace's dilemma was this; this was not only a Current Affairs programme but it included entertainment, which was a roundabout way of saying she did not want to have anything to do with it. She was right in that it included a show business element in which she was entirely untutored and had no interest."[10] As "Head of Talks" at BBC
BBC
Television, she had a huge influence on the development of the serious side of BBC
BBC
TV broadcasting. She passionately defended public service broadcasting, and advocated keeping the BBC
BBC
independent of government interference. She retired from the BBC
BBC
in 1965, at the age of 65. Grace Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
died on 3 June 1986 at the age of 86. Publications[edit]

Facing the Nation: Television & Politics 1936-76, The Bodley Head, 1977 ISBN 978-0-370-01383-1

References[edit]

^ Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, pp. 8–10. ^ Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, pp. 14–15. ^ Husband Wyndham Goldie's full entry [1] and bio note [2] at Internet Movie Database. ^ Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, pp. 28–41. ^ Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, pp. 45–52. ^ Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, p. 62. ^ a b Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, p. 91 ^ Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, pp. 91–92. ^ Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, p. 210. ^ Grist, 2006, Grace Wyndham Goldie: First Lady of Television, pp. 191–192.

Further reading[edit]

Grist, John (2006), Grace Wyndham Goldie, First Lady of Television, Authors Online, ISBN 978-0-7552-0248-5 

v t e

BAFTA Fellowship recipients

1971–2000

Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
(1971) Freddie Young (1972) Grace Wyndham Goldie
Wyndham Goldie
(1973) David Lean
David Lean
(1974) Jacques Cousteau
Jacques Cousteau
(1975) Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin
(1976) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1976) Denis Forman (1977) Fred Zinnemann
Fred Zinnemann
(1978) Lew Grade
Lew Grade
(1979) Huw Wheldon
Huw Wheldon
(1979) David Attenborough
David Attenborough
(1980) John Huston
John Huston
(1980) Abel Gance
Abel Gance
(1981) Michael Powell
Michael Powell
& Emeric Pressburger
Emeric Pressburger
(1981) Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda
(1982) Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
(1983) Hugh Greene (1984) Sam Spiegel
Sam Spiegel
(1984) Jeremy Isaacs (1985) Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
(1986) Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
(1987) Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman
(1988) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1989) Paul Fox (1990) Louis Malle
Louis Malle
(1991) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1992) David Plowright (1992) Sydney Samuelson (1993) Colin Young (1993) Michael Grade
Michael Grade
(1994) Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1995) Jeanne Moreau
Jeanne Moreau
(1996) Ronald Neame
Ronald Neame
(1996) John Schlesinger
John Schlesinger
(1996) Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
(1996) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1997) Steven Bochco
Steven Bochco
(1997) Julie Christie
Julie Christie
(1997) Oswald Morris (1997) Harold Pinter
Harold Pinter
(1997) David Rose (1997) Sean Connery
Sean Connery
(1998) Bill Cotton
Bill Cotton
(1998) Eric Morecambe
Eric Morecambe
& Ernie Wise
Ernie Wise
(1999) Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor
(1999) Michael Caine
Michael Caine
(2000) Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
(2000) Peter Bazalgette
Peter Bazalgette
(2000)

2001–present

Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(2001) John Thaw
John Thaw
(2001) Judi Dench
Judi Dench
(2001) Warren Beatty
Warren Beatty
(2002) Merchant Ivory Productions (2002) Andrew Davies (2002) John Mills
John Mills
(2002) Saul Zaentz
Saul Zaentz
(2003) David Jason (2003) John Boorman
John Boorman
(2004) Roger Graef (2004) John Barry (2005) David Frost
David Frost
(2005) David Puttnam
David Puttnam
(2006) Ken Loach
Ken Loach
(2006) Anne V. Coates (2007) Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis
(2007) Will Wright (2007) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(2008) Bruce Forsyth
Bruce Forsyth
(2008) Dawn French
Dawn French
& Jennifer Saunders
Jennifer Saunders
(2009) Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
(2009) Nolan Bushnell
Nolan Bushnell
(2009) Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
(2010) Shigeru Miyamoto
Shigeru Miyamoto
(2010) Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg
(2010) Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee
(2011) Peter Molyneux
Peter Molyneux
(2011) Trevor McDonald (2011) Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese
(2012) Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris
(2012) Alan Parker
Alan Parker
(2013) Gabe Newell
Gabe Newell
(2013) Michael Palin
Michael Palin
(2013) Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
(2014) Rockstar Games
Rockstar Games
(2014) Julie Walters
Julie Walters
(2014) Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh
(2015) David Braben (2015) Jon Snow (2015) Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier
(2016) John Carmack
John Carmack
(2016) Ray Galton & Alan Simpson (2016) Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks
(2017) Joanna Lumley
Joanna Lumley
(2017) Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott
(2018)

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