IBA Archive at Bournemouth University

Documents | Correspondence

Prospective Legal Action “Marvello” (Rediffusion)

Document Information

Classification: Correspondence

File: 3078/2/31 (Alternative Code on File: 405/3)

Box: 3995527

Summary of Document

This file is a correspondence file dating between 18/3/1965 – 29/4/1965. The file begins with a solicitor’s letter outlining the incident to the ITA. A programme called “Flipper” broadcast on 22/2/1965 contained an elderly Ventriloquist named “Mr. Marvello”. The solicitor represents a ventriloquist with the same stage name and says that audiences would have identified the television character with their client. The solicitor claims that the character was depicted as a drunk, villainous and undesirable, which is the opposite of their client. In the letter the solicitors are requesting a broadcast apology, alteration or removal of the character, compensation and indemnity for his costs for libel. The television company concerned were Associated-Rediffusion Ltd.

The ITA wrote to the solicitors saying that the matter would be investigated and that the programme would not be aired within the next 28 days (16/4/1965). Rediffusion television seems to have been slow in responding to this inquiry. A Draft Deed of Release and Assignment was drawn up and sent on 28/4/1965. The document states that the broadcasting company do not accept the allegation, they did agree to accept the releases and permissions. They agreed to pay £740.

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