Post by Andy Howells on Jan 10, 2019 7:57:09 GMT 12
For many years when Dad's Army wasn't repeated on TV and the radio versions were more prominent I became used to hearing Mr Snagge's tones at the beginning of each episode. I actually like his opening moments and always feel they set the tone for the radio series perfectly.
I have an LP released for the BBC's 50th anniversary in 1972 with lots of vintage BBC Clips and he features quite prominently.
Of course the German radio was broadcasting it from hours before and the US radio networks were all over it listening and repeating German broadcasts, not really believing it till Snagge made the official announcement. One of the most fascinating pieces of radio history I have ever listened to is the 24 hours of broadcast on D Day from both CBS and NBC in the USA. They start off interrupting regular programming with rumours, and eventually it becomes confirmed and they are going live all over the place like the cable news networks do these days. Amazing history. You can download and listen to them here
He [John Snagge] also appears in the Hancock's Half Hour episode, The East Cheam Centenary, commentating from Tony and Sid's window, after they conned the BBC out of 3000 Guineas for the "rights" to cover a phony street parade, the genuine one having gone up a different street.
John Snagge got a mention from Julian and Sandy in Round the Horne - "Bona Gift Boutique". Mr Horne is looking for a gift for their announcer Douglas Smith... Mr Horne:I don't think they're allowed any personal possessions in the rooms or anything sharp. Just a wash handstand and a mother of pearl throat spray with a picture of John Snagge on it.
I was watching the film "Reach for the Sky" recently (for the umpteenth time) and was struck by something deadly.... As all the pilots are sitting about waiting to scramble, they have the wireless on. And that announcement comes over the airwaves. "This is the news and this is John Snagge reading it....."
John was the head BBC radio announcer during the war and after he was a champion of The Goon Show, giving Spike Milligan much needed support when the BBC said it was too zany for the British public, I did read that most of his contributions to Dad's Army radio shows were pre-recorded.