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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : March 19, 1964 (Thursday)

Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's Twickenham and Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, London and Twickenham Film Studios, St. Margaret's and Television Theatre, London.

During the early morning and mid-to-late afternoon the Beatles filmed at Twickeham, spending the first of two consecutive days shooting TV studio "corridor" scenes. They were also visited on the set by film columnist Peter Noble who interviewed them for the BBC radio Light Programme series Movie-Go-Round, broadcast on Sunday, April 12 (3:00-4:00 pm). It was followed in the program by an interview done the next day, with Ringo only.

Around noon they left to attend the 12th annual luncheon of the Variety Club of Great Britain, at the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane, central London, where leader of the opposition Harold Wilson presented them with the award for "Show Business Personalities of 1963". The moment was captured on film by several TV and newsreel companies, including the BBC which made a 30 minute program of the luncheon - The Variety Club of Great Britain for 1963 - screened from 10:30 to 11:00 pm on Friday, March 20th.

In the evening, between 7:00 and 8:30 (including rehearsal time), the Beatles could be found at the BBC's Television Theatre in Shepherd's Bush, west London, taping (without an audience) their debut appearance on Britain's most famous TV pop show, Top Of The Pops, the first edition of which had been transmitted on New Year's Day 1964. Though broadcast at this time from Manchester, the Beatles were allowed to pre-tape and to do so in London, miming to both sides of their new single, "Can't Buy Me Love" and "You Can't Do That". Both performances were included in the following Wednesday's edition, March 25th, transmitted from 6:35 to 7:00 pm, while "Can't Buy Me Love" alone was repeated on April 8th (same time).

In other weeks, before the Beatles had taped an appearance, or if the BBC had used up its contracted number of transmissions of a particular item, Top Of The Pops would run either its own commissioned, non-descript film item to accompany a song, or the studio audience would be shown dancing to a spinning disc. This situation applied until the early 1970's.

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