The long-running BBC documentary series ‘Special Enquiry’ (1952-57) broadcast a half-hour documentary on ‘Teenagers : What are they ? What do they want ?’ on the 1st of November 1955 in which there was a short 6-minute slot on ‘The Teddy Boys’. The 6-minute slot in ‘Teenagers’ of two London teds, Pat and Mike, is just about the only serious portrayal of teddy boys at the height of the fashion in the mid 1950s (incidentally, the presenter’s introduction talking of the film as “made originally about 3 years ago” comes from the 1957 rebroadcast retitled as ‘On the Threshold’ so the date for the ted slot is 1955).
Dennis Mitchell an influential innovator in full-scale outside television broadcasts was the director of ‘Teenagers’ on which a separate tape-recorded soundtrack enabled the film crew to use the more portable silent camera to give an intimate observational ‘true-to-life’ quality to the documentary.
This 1955 documentary slot on the teds is all the more interesting because there was a follow-up ten years later ‘Ten Years After – Pat and Mike, 1964’ which was broadcast on the BBC on the 29th of September 1964. And guess what ? They’re both fully-blown mods !
Despite them having moved on with fashion over the intervening years, there’s one or two quiffs still to be seen at the East End market.
In 1977 as part of the Queen’s jubilee celebrations, Pat was invited to a BBC studio for a chat along with two others who had fetaured in the ‘Special Enquiry’ series (this was broadcast on the 13th of August 1977).
By 1977 Pat was a 70s ‘medallion man’ complete with beard and tash and wearing a typical 70s dagger collar and probably – although we can’t see it – flared trousers. Oh, how the mighty have fallen !
Mike ended up in new Zealand.
“trapped as the happy bachelor” because he’s a window cleaner.