A.B.C. Spelling Bee



Lionel Gamlin


BBC Home Service, 10 August 1946 to 1 February 1947 (26 episodes in 1 series)


Spelling bee with a gimmick: each team consisted of four people with occupations or interests starting with a particular letter of the alphabet. For example, the first edition featured an actor, an almoner, an ambulance driver, and an author, playing against a bacteriologist, a band leader, a bank manager, and a bus conductress. The winners came back the following week. For the final episode, the last team standing played the team with the longest winning run.


Perhaps surprisingly, Q wasn't too tricky (quality control inspector, quantity surveyor, quarantine officer, queries clerk) - of course, as it was 1946 they didn't have QCs then (the K team did include a King's Counsel). The X team comprised an x-ray designer, a xylographer, a xylophone tuner and a xylo-pyrographer.

Alan Melville appeared on the L team as a lyric-writer, and Anona Winn was on the R team as a radio star.


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