Soho Bites Podcast
Soho Bites Podcast
Dominic Delargy
A series about the depiction of Soho - the beating heart of cosmopolitan, bohemian London - in film. Produced by Dominic Delargy Based on an original idea by Jingan Young
Soho Bites 35: Zeta One (1969)
Two Films, One Guest. Normally we have two guests on each episode of Soho Bites, but when your guest is as good as (David McGillivray), who needs a second? Long before (Matthew Sweet) gave him the moniker, "The Truffaut of Smut", David reviewed (Zeta One) (AKA The Love Factor - no idea why) for The Monthly Film Bulletin. He didn't have a lot of good things to say about it then - has his opinion changed over the last 51 years? He makes a return visit to Soho Bites to tell us. Produced by (Tony Tenser), the film had a troubled shooting period and was shelved for two years upon completion. Although the main attraction was, presumably, the acres of naked flesh on display throughout the film, top billing nominally goes to (James Robertson Justice) as the chief baddy and his oily sidekick, Swyne, played by (Charles Hawtrey). Any mention of Charles Hawtrey invites another reading of his,_born_1914)#Later_life_and_career (Wikipedia entry) which is always fun. If you really must watch Zeta One, it's available to buy online. You will find the results of a carefully curated Google search for Zeta One DVDs,pdtr0:3045644%7C3045646,pdtr1:3045649%7C3045651andsa=Xandved=0ahUKEwiKufqE55H5AhWPFMAKHQ_3BHAQsysIogkoAQandbiw=1536andbih=664anddpr=1.25 (HERE). But maybe watch the (trailer )first so you have some idea of what you're letting yourself in for. And here is an album of (stills from the film). There are some outrageous Crimes Against Location in Zeta One - eg pretending Warwick Avenue is next to Greek Street and Berwick Street market leads to Camden. If you're a London geography geek just waiting be outraged, look at the film's locations on (Reelstreets). In the first half of the programme , David talks about a film that promises to be a teeny-weeny bit better than Zeta One, although we won't get to find out until next year. The Wrong People is currently in pre-production and is David's own adaptation of Robin Maugham's 1967 novel of the same name. Set in Tangier in the early 60s, it's the uncomfortable story of Arnold, a closeted gay teacher who falls under the corrupting influence of Ewing Baird, a wealthy ex-pat with particular peccadillos. Follow the progress of The Wrong People on their (website) and maybe chuck David a penny or two towards he production costs. You could also follow him on (Twitter). Here's an interesting (short film) about Dean's Bar in Tangier, the real life version of one of the book's fictional locations. And you can download the book in PDF format (HERE). The author of The Wrong People, Robin Maugham, was an (interesting character). If you would like to support the show with a small financial contribution towards our running costs you can do that (here). For every £1 donated, a kitten lives. If you are a business and would like to sponsor us, please get in touch and let's talk the talk. Please leave us a review or a star rating (HERE). Between March and May...
Jul 24
57 min
Soho Bites 34: It Happened in Soho (1948)
Double Stinker. After an extended break to allow our massive team to shift its attention to our most recent podcast series, (Kino Quickies), we return to Soho Bites with the 1948 murder mystery, (It Happened in Soho). It’s safe to say, the film had a very small budget and doesn’t have the highest of production values but it does boast a major star, (Richard “Stinker” Murdoch). At the time the film was made, Murdoch was a big BBC radio star, having starred, at this stage, in two huge radio comedy hits - (Band Waggon) with (Arthur Askey) and (Much Binding in the Marsh) with (Kenneth Horne). To talk about It Happened in Soho, we welcomed (Paul Kerensa) to the show. Paul is a stand up comedian and, most importantly for our purposes, is the creator of the epic (British Broadcasting Century) podcast - who better to talk to about a film starring one of early broadcasting’s biggest names. At the time of writing, It Happened in Soho is available to watch on (TPTV Encore)... ... and Band Waggon is on (YouTube). Watch Richard Murdoch, in later life, talking about (Much Binding in the Marsh). To begin the show, (Mark Brisenden) makes a return visit to Soho Bites talk about the London venue at which nearly all BBC radio comedies were recorded between 1946 and 1995 - (The Paris Studios) on Lower Regent St. Mark worked on (Week Ending) and (The News Huddlines) and was the creator of,_Shyster,_and_Flywheel_(1990_radio_series) (Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel) - all of which were recorded at the Paris. During our conversation, Mark points out that the 1950 film, (The 20 Questions Murder Mystery), was set at the Paris. You can watch that film at ( (The pictures) Mark brought from the last night of the Paris. Between March and May 2022, we ran a series of screenings of 1930s quota quickie films at the ( Kino Cinema) in Bermondsey. Each screening was followed by a QandA with our resident quickie expert, Dr Lawrence Napper of Kings College London and a specially invited expert guest. We will be returning to the Kino in the autumn for season 2 but, in the meantime, you can hear the Kino Quickies podcast at ( You can also follow us on ( Twitter) and (Facebook). The originator of Soho Bites, ( Dr Jingan Young), has a new book coming out all about.... guess what? Films set in Soho! Get your copy at,jingan-young-peter-bradshaw-9781800734777 ( Foyles). Thank you for listening. Follow us on ( Twitter) Email us at Leave us a ( rating and review) Please make a teeny weeny (
Jun 27
47 min
Soho Bites 33: The Sandwich Man (1966)
Special Sandwich Special. We’ve done some episodes in the past with some disparate and unusual themes. We did a Spain themed episode, a sport one, a God special and even a wrestling / boxing episode, but we think we’ve surpassed ourselves this time as the theme linking the two items in episode 33 is sandwiches. Sandwich (boards), that is, and the men who wear them. There was a time when Sandwich men and women and other forms of portable adverts were a common sight in the west end but In August 2008, Westminster council implemented a ban on such advertising, consigning this minor social menace to history. The ban came too late though, to have any effect on the sandwich men we’re talking about in this episode. Our first sandwich man is NOT a fictional character - Stanley Green, otherwise known as Protein Man. Stanley campaigned against the consumption of excessive protein for about 25 years and became a familiar sight to people in the west end during that time. We meet Honorary Research Fellow at the Museum of London, Dr Cathy Ross, to hear about Stanley, his writings and his life. Learn about Stanley’s unusual views in his (Protein Wisdom) leaflet. Read an (ARTICLE) by Cathy Ross about Stanley. For more info: Stanley’s entry in the (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography) And here’s a (three page extract) of Stanley’s unpublished novel, Behind the Veil: More than Just a Tale. I have corrected some of the spelling and some of the more confusing errors, but have tried to leave Stanley’s idiosyncratic punctuation and writing style in tact. Our second sandwich man IS a fictional character - Horace Quilby is played by (Michael Bentine) in the 1966 comedy, The Sandwich Man. The film is noteworthy mostly for its extraordinary (cast) and for its numerous London locations which you can see (HERE) courtesy of Reelstreets. To talk about The Sandwich Man we were joined by the novelist, ( Christopher Fowler). You can follow Chris on (Twitter) and check out his (blog). Film makers often cheat when it comes to locations - eg a person turns a corner and re-appears three streets away. In The Sandwich Man, Horace Quilby is supposed to be walking around the west end, but according to (THIS MAP) of his route, constructed using the locations listed on ReelStreets, he covers an unfeasible number of miles in one day. We have another podcast coming out! Starting in March, a series of screenings and QandAs will take place at the ( Kino Cinema) in Bermondsey which will be magically turned into a podcast a few days after each one. Follow the podcast at (, follow us on ( Twitter) and we'd love to have you come to a screening. All you have to do is buy a ( ticket). The originator of Soho Bites, ( Dr Jingan Young), has a new book coming out all about.... guess what? Films set in Soho! Get your copy...
Mar 4
48 min
Soho Bites 32: Turn the Key Softly (1953)
Murphy's Law states that if you've arranged an interview with a brilliant guest to talk about a fantastic film in a great location, then you will catch Covid and have to self-isolate. This is why my interview with (Ming Ho) about (Turn the Key Softly (1953)) took place online and not in the lovely surroundings of the (BAFTA bar) as originally planned. Turn the Key Softly is set over a period of twelve hours and follows three very different women on their first day of freedom after their release from Holloway Prison. Starring (Yvonne Mitchell), (Kathleen Harrison) and a very young (Joan Collins), it is directed by Jack Lee who also wrote the screenplay along with producer, Maurice Cowan and is based on the novel of the same name by Johh Brophy. Have a look at these (lovely old lobby cards), produced to promote Turn the Key Softly. Have a look at some of the locations in Turn the Key Softly on (Reelstreets) You can follow Ming on (Twitter). As the period of self isolation dragged on, a real in-person meeting was still impossible, so Dom met up with (John Snelson) online to hear about two forgotten musicals set on the streets and nightclubs of Soho. (The Crooked Mile) ran for 160 performances at the Cambridge Theatre in 1959-60 and (Ace of Clubs) also ran at the Cambridge, for 211 performances in 1950. The Crooked Mile consolidated the UK career of Millicent Martin. Here is some (publicity material) from the show. Ace of Clubs was written by Noel Coward, the MD was Mantovani and Graham Payn and Pat Kirkwood starred. Allegedly, (Pat Kirkwood) allegedly had an alleged affair with Prince Philip, allegedly. Allegedly. Graham Payn was Noel Coward's long-term partner. Here's some (publicity material) from the show. The Crooked Mile was based on Peter Wildeblood's novel " (West End People)". I can't afford it so have put it on my list for Santa. We have another podcast coming out! Starting in March, a series of screenings and QandAs will take place at the (Kino Cinema) in Bermondsey which will be magically turned into a podcast a few days after each one. Follow the podcast at (, follow us on (Twitter )and we'd love to have you come to a screening. All you have to do is buy a (ticket). The originator of Soho Bites, (Dr Jingan Young), has a new book coming out all about.... guess what? Films set in Soho! Get your copy at,jingan-young-peter-bradshaw-9781800734777 (Foyles). Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter Email us at Leave us a...
Jan 22
53 min
Soho Bites 31: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Sohohoho Bites Christmas special. In this festive special, we’re talking about the much loved Christmas classic, The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) which, according to this article, is (the greatest film ever made). In the first half of the show we meet up with Jonanathan Foster. He works at the Prince Charles Cinema, just off Leicester Square and is the co-host of the Pod Charles Cinecast. The PCC is renowned for its special event screenings including its (Muppet Christmas Carol Singalongs) which are are wildly popular. In the second half we’re off to a festive get-together of podcasters to find out what they think about The Muppet Christmas Carol (spoiler – everybody loves it, obvs) Muppet Christmas Carol (trailer) Different versions of the film have been released over the years. Read about those differences in (this article) by Mark Harrison. This (Wikipedia article) about the history The Prince Charles Cinema is worth a read and you can check out the current PPC season and book tickets on its (website). You can also follow the PCC on (Twitter). The cinema also has a podcast called (The Pod Charles Cinecast) co-hosted by this episode’s guest, (Jonathan). A lot of people graced the Soho Bites microphone in the second half of the show talking about The Muppet Christmas Carol – many of whom (but not all) are connected to the (Talking Pictures TV podcast). Click below for their Twitters… (Adam) (Dani) (Helena) (Kev) (Murder Mile Mike) (Shameful Steve) (Tracy) Phil is not on Twitter Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter Email us at Leave us a (rating and review) Please make a teeny weeny (donation)
Dec 13, 2021
37 min
Soho Bites 30: Good-Time Girl (1948)
Episode 30: Good-Time Girl (1948) and Josephine Botting of the BFI on Jean Kent Good-Time Girl is a post war UK film noir with three main locations – Lambeth, Soho and “Soho-On-Sea” (AKA Brighton). James Harrison of (South West Silents) and (Film Noir UK) joins Dom to talk about the film and about Film Noir UK. The star of Good-Time Girl is Jean Kent, known throughout the 1940s and beyond as UK film’s “bad girl”. To talk about Jean’s life and career, we drop in to the BFI to meet up with curator, Josephine Botting. For a few years before she became famous, Jean Kent worked as a Windmill girl. (This scan) is from the autobiography of Vivian Van Damm, the long term producer at the Windmill, who sacked Jean for being “immature” and “lacking personality”. He later realised he had made a mistake! Our guest, Jo Botting, met Jean Kent in 2011 for a special screening of Jean’s 1946 romantic drama (Caravan). Here’s the (photographic proof) of that meeting…. In 2011, not long before she died, Jean’s 90th birthday was (celebrated on local TV). In (this clip) from Good-Time Girl, Gwen meets Rosso for the first time – a meeting that ultimately has unfortunate consequences for Gwen. Good-Time Girl was based on a novel by Arthur La Bern called, “Night Darkens the Streets”. La Bern also wrote, “It Always Rains on Sunday” which was adapted (for the screen) and “Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square” upon which, Alfred Hitchcock’s “ (Frenzy)” was based. Night Darkens the Streets is now out of print and the cheapest available copy online was £47 when last checked, so here’s (a picture of the cover) for free. Interesting article by Josephine Botting and (Sarah Castagnetti) about the co-writer of Good Time Girl, (Muriel Box) Good-Time Girl is available to view for free on the brillant (BFI Player) Although not always in perfect quality, there are several Jean Kent films available on the Interent Archive including (The Browning Version) and (Caravan). Find more (HERE) You can follow both (Josephine Botting) and the (BFI )on Twitter (James Harrison) is also on Twitter and so are (South West Silents) and (Film Noir UK) You can also find both organisations on the same (website) Have a look at some of the locations in Good-Time Girl, courtesy of our friends at (Reelstreets). Since publishing the episode, (Caroline Champion) got in touch pointing out that Jean was in an episode of Steptoe and Son in 1970. She plays Daphne who finds herself at the centre of an unlikely love triangle. Thanks to the wonder of the internet, the whole episode is (HERE). Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter Email us at Leave us a (rating and review) Please make a teeny weeny...
Nov 12, 2021
50 min
Soho Bites 29: Absolute Beginners (1986)
Episode 29: Absolute Beginners (1986) and Aidan McManus on Bowie’s Soho In this Bowie special, we talk to Del Pike about the much maligned Absolute Beginners (1986) - was the critical mauling justified? And Aiden McManus returns to the show to talk about Bowie's pre-fame years in Soho. Arriving on cinema screens on the back of an inordinate amount of pre-publicity in 1986, (Absolute Beginners) was, notoriously, an instantaneous disaster at the box office and was ripped to shreds by the critics. Thirty years later, freelance writer, (Del Pike) wrote an article entitled “Absolute Beginners at 30 – Was it Really So Bad?” so we had to get him on the show to talk about the film that ruined the studio that made it. Although not the star of Absolute Beginners, David Bowie provided the theme song and was a major feature of the pre-release publicity campaign. Twenty years before that, he was a struggling musician trying to make it big, and was deeply in involved in the Soho music scene. (Aidan McManus) returns to the podcast to talk about Bowie’s Soho years. Interesting article in the (Guardian) about the making of Absolute Beginners Read Del Pike’s 1986 article asking if Absolute Beginners was (really so bad). Follow Aidan McManus on (Twitter), book a scheduled or bespoke (tour) with him and listen to his (radio show) Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter Email us at Leave us a (rating and review) Please make a teeny weeny (donation)
Oct 24, 2021
48 min
Soho Bites 28: Value for Money (1955)
Episode 28: Value for Money (1955) and Nigel Hamilton-Walker on “Dandy Kim” We look at two extraordinary lives in this episode. The film under discussion is (Value for Money (1955)) about a naive northern man played by John Gregson who becomes captivated by a glamorous West End showgirl played by Diana Dors. Hmm…. (sounds familiar….) We meet Diana’s biographer, Anna Cale, to talk about the film and about the star’s tumultuous private life. Value for Money is on (YouTube) As is this two part biopic of Diana - (Blonde Bombshell) One of Diana’s early boyfriends was Michael Caborn-Waterfield, known colloquially as “Dandy Kim”. The name Kim was originally given to him by nuns at his prep school to distinguish him from another Michael, a Mike and a Mick. It was Diana who dubbed him “Dandy” because of his taste in clothes and it stuck. Dandy Kim was best known for being the founder of Ann Summers but he was infamous well before that. We talk to his biographer, Nigel Hamilton-Walker Read the obituary of Dandy Kim published on the website of his Alma Mater, (Cranleigh School) What on earth is (Shoddy and Mungo)? Don’t buy Anna Cale’s, “The Real Diana Dors” from Amazon – Jeff Bezoz definitely doesn’t need your money. Buy it (directly from the publishers) and get a discount while you’re at it. Read Nigel Hamilton-Walker’s biography of Dandy Kim on his (Inkitt site) Presumably for a limited time only, there appears to be one copy of Kim’s late 60s pioneering sex manual, (Variations on a Sexual Theme) available to buy on Ebay. Don’t be fooled by the author’s name – he wrote it under a pseudonym to avoid publicity from the tabs. Snap it up while you can! Follow Anna Cale on (Twitter) Have a look at the the and now locations of Value for Money courtesy of our friends at (Reelstreets) Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter Email us at Leave us a (rating and review) Please make a teeny weeny (donation)
Sep 24, 2021
51 min
Soho Bites 27: Saturday Night Revue (1937)
Episode 27: Saturday Night Revue (1937)and Rob Baker on “Snakehips” Johnson and the Bombing of the Cafe de Paris (Dr Lawrence Napper) of Kings College London met up with Dom to discuss 1937’s (Saturday Night Revue). Starring (Sally Gray) and (Billy Milton), it’s a role call of some long forgotten cabaret and variety acts of the day. That doesn’t sound promising but it’s great! (Short clip) from Saturday Night Revue. Not sure why they chose this bit to promote the film... The plot revolves around two night clubs, both called “Moons”. One is in Soho and the other is in Mayfair and is based on the Cafe de Paris. In the first half of the show, author Rob Baker returns to the show to tell us about the terrible night during World War 2 that the Cafe de Paris was bombed. A very popular performer at the Cafe de Paris was Ken “Snakehips” Johnson and he has an uncredited cameo in Saturday Night Revue. Ken gave this (interview) to the BBC in 1940. The unexpected star of Saturday Night Revue is not even an actor – he’s a BBC producer and presenter called (John Watt) who plays himself. His wife wrote a biography of him which was published in 1964 and it contains (this picture.) One of the characters in Saturday Night Revue is a sound engineer at the BBC at “Radio House” (yes I know it’s called Broadcasting House – for some reason they call it Radio House in the film). There are references in the film to broadcasts of nightingales and this were a real thing. Read an article about them (HERE). We have another returnee to the show – (Richard Luck) of the (New European) pops in to enthuse about his (home town). If you’re not lucky enough to bag yourself a copy of Saturday Night Revue in our competition (listen to the episode for details) you can always spend money one it at (Network). Dr Lawrence Napper, this episode’s film expert, is a lecturer on Film Studies at Kings College London. Check out his details and published works on the (KCL website) and follow Lawrence on (Twitter). Visit Rob Baker’s websites: (Another Nickel in the Machine) and (FlashBak), check out his fascinating (Pinterest) site and follow him on (Twitter). You can also buy his books (directly from the publisher). Follow Richard Luck on (Twitter), checkout out his (contributions )to The New European and listen to his (previous appearance) on the Soho Bites. Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter Email us at Leave us a (rating and review) Please make a teeny weeny (donation)
Aug 10, 2021
54 min
Soho Bites 26: Too Hot to Handle (1960)
Episode 26: Too Hot to Handle (1960) and Graham Russell on the Lobotomy Room For the first part of episode 26, we headed out to (Fontaines) bar in Dalston (Stoke Newington if you’re an estate agent, Dalston if you’re “street”) to catch a screening of the kitsch, sexploitation B movie from 1960, (Too Hot to Handle). The film was one of two that its star, (Jayne Mansfield), made in the UK that year. Jayne plays Midnight Franklin an exotic dancer at the The Pink Flamingo club in Soho and (Leo Genn) plays her love interest, Johnny Solo (there’s only a 28 year age difference so that’s fine then). (Christopher Lee) plays the club’s sinister manager, Novak, and Austrian actor (Karlheinz Böhm) plays a French reporter writing a feature on Soho nightlife. Chirpy, cockney national treasure, (Barbara Windsor) turns up in the film as chirpy, American(!) exotic dancer, Ponytail. The screening was put on as part of “Lobotomy Room” – a regular film night at Fontaines run by Graham Russell. Too Hot to Handle was made in Eastman Colour but the only prints in circulation (that haven’t been dubbed into German) are in black and white. Here’s a (taster of the colour version). We spoke to Graham briefly after the screening but met up with him in the glorious Soho sunshine a couple of days later to discuss his love of Too Hot to Handle and its star, Jayne Mansfield. Because you probably missed the screening at the Lobotomy Room, here’s the (full film) in all its black and white glory. Find out more about the Lobotomy Room (HERE) Or follow Graham on (Twitter) for news of upcoming screenings at the Lobotomy Room and check out his sleazy, trashy (Blog). Read an interview with Graham (HERE) And if you’d care to venture to Dalston / Stoke Newington, have a cocktail at (Fontaines). Most scenes in Too Hot to Handle, even the Soho street scenes, is shot in a studio. Have a look at the few genuine locations on (Reelstreets). The originator of Soho Bites, (Dr Jingan Young), has launched a new research project. Find out all about it on the (Cities in Cinema) website and follow the project on (Twitter). Thank you for listening. Follow us on Twitter Email us at Leave us a (rating and review) Please make a teeny weeny (donation)
Jul 11, 2021
41 min
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