Solid Gold Sunday: this Sunday @ 5 o’clock (an hour earlier)

This weeks Solid Gold Sunday will be playing the top ten from this weekend back in 1962, as it was this Sunday back then that the UK viewed the very first episode of one of the most successful British TV programmes of its time. The Saint!

Research has shown it was first aired in the UK on this weekend back in 1962 and ran very successfully through to the end of the decade. It was based on the literary character Simon Templar created by Leslie Chareris in the 1920s, featuring in countless many novels. Played by Roger Moore, Simon Templar was essentially a Robin Hood character who stole from criminals, but kept the money. His nemesis was Chief Inspector Claude Teal who considered Templar a common criminal no matter whom he stole from. Whilst extremely successful in the States, it also proved popular worldwide eventually airing in over 60 countries, and made a profit in excess of £350m for the TV company ITC. With almost 120 episodes, the programme is exceeded only by The Avengers as the most productive show of its genre produced in the UK. As with The Avengers, the colour episodes were originally broadcast in the UK in black and white, predating the advent of colour transmissions on ITV.