Soho Bites Podcast

By Dominic Delargy

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Category: Film History

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Subscribers: 5
Reviews: 1
Episodes: 41

Chris Handsforth
 Mar 5, 2023
Only discovered this podcast recently and I've been working my way through the back catalogue. Very enjoyable and enlightening on some quite obscure topics and on films set in London's Soho. The presenter is very good as are his many guests


A surpisingly large number of films have been set in Soho - that one square mile which has, for decades, been the beating heart of bohemian, cosmopolitan London. In each episode of Soho Bites, we talk to a special guest about a different Soho film and accompany it with a shorter, thematically linked item which may or may not be film related. Written, produced & presented by Dominic Delargy Based on an original idea by Dr Jingan Young

Episode Date
Soho Bites 40: All Night Long (1962)

It's Jazz, man. Also, it's Shakespeare.

All Night Long (1962) is a re-telling of Shakespeare's Othello in which Othello is Rex, the famous leader of a jazz band, Desdemona is a singer called Delia and Iago is the band's drummer, Johnny.

The film was directed by Basil Dearden and stars Patrick Mcgoohan and Richard Attenborough plus several major jazz stars of the day, including Tubby Hayes, Charles Mingus, Johnny Dankworth and Dave Brubeck.

Film & theatre composer, Gary Yershon, returns to Soho Bites to talk about the film.

Watch a trailer for All Night Long

And look at these (badly colourised) lobby cards

Our other guest is a two time finalist in the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition, Saxophonist, Tom Smith. Tom has an intriguing connection to the late Ronnie Scott and we recorded both interviews at Ronnie's famous club.

On the same day we recorded the interviews, Tom as performing at Ronnie Scott's that night with the band, Resolution 88.

Here's some more of the Tom's music on Soundcloud and you can find more details about him on his website and of course, follow him on Twitter.

During lockdown, Tom and his big band did that remote recording thing.

Watch one of Tom's performances on BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year.

We were first introduced to Tom through the legendary Apr 28, 2023

Soho Bites 39: Nighthawks (1978)

Thirty nine episodes in and we finally do a gay themed episode of the show. About time too!

Nighthawks (1978) was directed by Ron Peck and was based on a script developed by him and Paul Hallam. It stars Ken Robertson as Jim, a geography teacher at a London comprehensive school who spends his nights looking for love in gay bars, clubs and discos (discos were still a thing then).

To talk about Nighthawks we're joined by Prof Glyn Davis of St Andrews University. Turns out he's not as Welsh as you expect him to be!

Watch Nighthawks on the BFI Player or buy the DVD which hasa ton of bonus features.

Ron Peck named the film after Edward Hopper's 1942 painting. Both, he said were about, "essentially lonely people, trying to come together, maybe succeeding for a while"

Our other guest, author, Will Hampson, has been living with HIV for three years. His book, The Lost Boys of Soho, is an account the months following his diagnosis.

Follow The Lost Boys of Soho on Instagram

The director of Nighthawks, Ron Peck, died in Novemeber 2022. Here an obituary.

Some of the filming locations in Nighthawks.

Some 1978 press clippings about Nighthawks.

Interesting experimental by Ron Peck & Paul Hallam - "Soho"

Soho has it's very own sexual health clinic for LGBT people - 56 Dean Street.

The Terence Higgins Trust is one of the oldest HIV charities.

If you want to keep up to date the efforts to bring the Kino Cinema back from the dead, follow Kino Quickies.

The originator of Soho Bites, Dr Jingan Young, has a

Mar 29, 2023
Soho Bites 38: East of Piccadilly (1941)

Murder mystery? Rom-com? And, as an afterthought.... wartime boosterism?

East of Piccadilly (1941) was known as "The Strangler" in the US and was directed by Harold Huth. It stars Judy Campbell & Sebastian Shaw and was written by the then quite young J Lee Thompson. It tells the story of a murder investigation and is (extremely) loosely based on a real life case, that of the "The Soho Strangler".

1940s UK film expert, Mel Byron, comes all the way in from Talking Picture TV Podcast HQ to talk about the film. It's her third visit to the podcast - she wasn't that keen on Street of Shadows and her second visit was for Soho Conspiracy which is possibly the worst film ever made. Apologies to Mel. Will she like this one more?

The 1930s Soho Strangler case upon which the film is supposedly based, is largely forgotten now but not by our other guest, Michael J Buchanan Dunne. Mike is the creator of the Murder Mile podcast and at the time of publication has just released the third episode of a TEN PART series about the Soho Strangler.

At the time if writing this, East of Piccadilly is simply NOT AVAILABLE to stream (legally) anywhere online. It does sometime crop up on certain streaming serivces - if you fill in THIS FORM you will be notified when it appears (can't guarantee it will be free though!)

However, if you are based in London or are ever a visitor to our beautiful city, you can watch East of Piccadilly in the BFI Library. Grab yourself a terminal and ask one of the nice librarions for help. The reference number is N-626109.

Did the director of East of Piccadilly, Harold Huth cast himself in a small uncredited role as a Spiv in Joe's cafe? You decide.

The Spanish version of the film poster is ace!

A 1938 article in the Chicago Tribune about the Soho Strangler case.

Mel Byron is on Twitter and has a website.

You can also follow

Feb 27, 2023
Soho Bites 37: Beat Girl (1960)

Attention jiving scum! This is one is straight from the fridge dad.

It doesn't get more Soho than Beat Girl (1960) - coffee shops, beatniks, strip clubs, The 2 i's.... it's got the lot.

Gillian Hills leads the cast of Beat Girl, which also stars Adam Faith, Christopher Lee, Shirley Ann Field and, in a very small role, a young Oliver Reed.

We met novelist, Des Burkinshaw in the bar of the Soho Theatre to talk about Beat Girl which is the closest we could find to a bohemian coffee bar.

Des is a huge fan of John Barry, who wrote the music for Beat Girl and he recently concluded a two year stint as the presenter of the Museum of Soho Show on Soho Radio.

You can stream Beat Girl right now on TPTV Encore.

Also on TPTV Encore is this 2016 BFI interview with the star of Beat Girl, Gillian Hills, about the making of the film. It's well worth a watch.

Back in the day, Des actually met one of the stars of Beat Girl and grabbed this selfie.

Gillian Hills released a four part podcast about her life in December 2021.

Follow Gillian on Facebook.

Our other guest for this episode is Paris based journalist Hanna Steinkopf-Frank. Paris is some distance from Soho - the connection is that Gillian Hills became a Yé-yé singer and Hannah came on to talk about this genre.

What's Yé-yé? Find out in Feb 05, 2023

Dora Bryan competition winners & Kino Quickies preview

This is not really an episode I'm afraid - time just ran away from me.

However, I've recorded this mini-episode because there is some very important business to finish up which is to announce two things....

  • The winners of last month's Dora Bryan competition
  • Kino Quickies season 2

Two lucky lucky listeners were destined to win a copy of the new 4K DVD release of The Sandwich Man - all they had to do was answer a fiendishly tricky question.

Did you enter? Did you win? Listen to the episode to find out.

And the second half of this episode is the preview trailer of Kino Quickies season 2 - our season of live films screenings at the Kino Cinema in Bermondsey Square, London.

We'd love to see as many Soho Bites listeners as possible at the screenings. Tickets available here:

Thank you for listening.

Follow us on Twitter

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We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels

Sep 19, 2022
Soho Bites 36: The Optimists of Nine Elms (1973)

Everything changes but....

The changing faces of London neighbourhoods is our loose theme for this episode.

In the first half, the novelist, Christopher Fowler makes his second appearance on the podcast, talking about his latest book and about his memories of Soho - a neighbourhood which changes constantly but somehow always remains the same.

***UPDATE*** Christopher very sadly died a few weeks after we recorded this conversation. You can read an obituary HERE.

Follow Chris on Twitter and peruse his website.

Read about Chris's most well known charcters in The History of Bryant & May.

This episode features a snatch of original music composed by Des Burkinshaw. It was written as the theme tune for proposed TV adaptation of the Bryant & May series. Listen to it on this page of Chris's website.

Follow Des on Twitter.

Our featured film is The Optimists of Nine Elms (1973) in which Peter Sellers, playing a faded former music hall star, befriends - or is befriended by - two local kids. It's a beautiful portrayal of an unlikely friendship and of an area that has massively changed in the intervening 50 years. Our film chat guest, Robert JE Simpson, rather likes it.

Follow Robert on Twitter and check out his podcast Cinepunked. He is also engaged in some detailed research into Exclusive Films.

Definitely definitely definitely try to watch the Optimists of Nine Elms. It's available to stream on the BFI Player.

This clip will give you a flavour of it

Here's a set of lovely old lobby cards of the film.

Have a look at some of the loations from the film, then & now, on the every brilliant Reelstreets website.



Aug 29, 2022
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 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 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...

Jul 25, 2022
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 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

Jun 28, 2022
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 four 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...

Mar 04, 2022
Soho Bites 32: Turn the Key Softly (1953)

Softly Shoe Shuffle.

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 & Pat Kirkwood starred. Pat Kirkwood did not have an affair with Prince Philip. Nope. No way. Definitely not. Graham Payn was Noel Coward's long-term partner. Here's some

Jan 22, 2022
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…





Murder Mile Mike

Shameful Steve


Phil is not on Twitter

Thank you for listening.

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Dec 13, 2021
Soho Bites 30: Good-Time Girl (1948)

Kent Noir.

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 & 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 & Sarah Castagnetti about the co-writer of Good Time Girl, Muriel Box

Good-Time Girl is available to view for free on the brillant

Nov 12, 2021
Soho Bites 29: Absolute Beginners (1986)

Wham bam Bowie special.

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.

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We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels

Oct 25, 2021
Soho Bites 28: Value for Money (1955)

Early Dors.

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 & now locations of Value for Money courtesy of our friends at Reelstreets

Thank you for listening.

Follow us on Twitter

Email us at

We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series

Sep 24, 2021
Soho Bites 27: Saturday Night Revue (1937)

Yesteryear's Soho club-land.

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 & 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 on 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:

Aug 10, 2021
Soho Bites 26: Too Hot to Handle (1960)

Lobotomy Room special.

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 & white. Here’s a taster of the colour version.

Here's some (unfortunately lo-res) lobby cards.

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 & 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

Jul 11, 2021
Soho Bites 25: The Golden Disc (1958)

Just for the record.

The theme of episode 25 is record shops. Soho was, for a long time (and arguably still is?) THE place to go to buy records of all genres with dozens of shops packed closely together. In the first half of the show, Dom talks to Garth Cartwright, the author of two books about record shops, about the history of the Soho record shop scene.

Kenny Lynch in Soho, including his shop, The Kenny Lynch Record Centre on Walker’s Court

In the second half of the show. Ken Hollings talks about the 1958 B Movie, The Golden Disc – known in the US as The In Between Age. Starring Lee Patterson as Harry, Mary Steele as Joan and Terry Dene as Terry Dene, it’s a tale of Exceptional Success as our heroes take a failing greasy spoon cafe and turn it first into a groovy coffee bar, then a record shop and finally a record label.

We couldn’t find a trailer for The Golden Disc but here’s a short extract from the film

Here’s a short biography of Terry Dene and he has a YouTube channel!

Renown Films (otherwise knows as the great Talking Pictures TV) have a CD for sale of Terry’s music. You can buy your copy HERE

You can buy Garth Cartwright’s books on record shops HERE, check out his website and follow him on Twitter.

There’s a great website called The British Record Shop Archive on which you can read about some of the shops and characters mentioned by Garth including Alex Strickland, Harlequin Records, Dobells and Collets.

And have a look at this map of Soho record shops.

Ken Hollings has a blog and of course he’s on

Jun 21, 2021
Soho Bites 24: Something in the City (1950)

Art Attack.

The theme of Episode 24 is painting and painters, of which Soho has seen many.

In the first half of the programme, David Boyd Haycock joins Dom in the Leicester Arms on Glasshouse Street to talk about the so called “King of Bohemia”, the artist, Augustus John. John was described by one of his tutors as the greatest draftsman since Michelangelo – high praise indeed!

Lovely photograph of Augustus John in 1929 with Tallulah Bankhead and his painting of her.

Short film about Augustus John from the Pathe “Picture Personalities” series.

In the second half of the show, writer and broadcaster, Mark Brisenden, talks about the 1950 comedy, Something in the City starring Richard Hearne.

Richard Hearne was incredibly famous in his day, mostly for his “Mr Pastry” character who was a staple of kids radio and TV throughout the 40s and 50s.

Click HERE to see a set of lobby cards produced to promote Something in the City.

Richard Hearne in another short film from Pathe

Follow David Boyd Haycock’s BLOG and check out his publications.

You can follow Mark Brisenden on Twitter, buy all three series of Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel on CD and download his recent book, Cybil Liberty: Radio Detective inspired by the Golden Age of American Radio.

It was whilst having a conversation with Phil from Reelstreets, that I first heard about the Something in the City and its particular Soho connection. Have a look at the locations from the film on the

Jun 03, 2021
Soho Bites 23: The Boys (1962)

Youthful rebellion.

Episode 23 is all about generational conflict – specifically, older people disapproving of “kids today”. In the film chat, Dom talks to members of the South Bank Talkies movie discussion group about The Boys (1962), a courtroom drama in which four young men are on trial for murder. Starring Dudley Sutton, Jess Conrad, Tony Garnett and Ronald Lacey as the boys, they also have to contend with the prejudice of the court & witnesses against “teddy boys”.

The film has a great ensemble cast including Richard Todd and Robert Morley as the barristers and Roy Kinnear, Wilfred Bramble, Carol White and David Lodge.

Erratum! In the episode, I mistakenly call Tony Garnett, Tony Garrett and refer to the character called Webster as Webb. Apols.

The Shadows provided the music for The Boys and released this EP.

Watch the whole film HERE

An example from The Boys of a the same incident viewed from different perspective

Have a look at this Tweet by one of the stars of the film about the passing of another

We also met up with Shanne Bradley, founder member of punk band, The Nipple Erectors (later abbreviated to The Nips) to hear about her time on the punk scene and how she views subsequent youth subcultures that have come along.

In 2000, this restrospective compilation album of Nipple Erector and Nips songs was released: The Tits of Soho.

May 12, 2021
Soho Bites 22: A Touch of Class (1973)


...and welcome to the The Soho Bites Spanish special. The film under discussion, the 1973 Rom-Com, A Touch of Class, is set partly in Spain (but also in Soho, of course, or it wouldn’t qualify to feature on the show) and stars Glenda Jackson and George Segal.

In the 1970s, it was de rigueur for the writers of British sitcoms to set their big screen spin-offs in Spain. As 1000s of Brits travelled abroad for the first time, Spain was an exotic location that suddenly became within reach. A Touch of Class taps into that Spanish zeitgeist (whilst ignoring the fact that Spain was still in the grip of General Franco and was a fascist police state!)

Oscar nominated composer, Gary Yershon joins us to discuss this multi-award winning hit film.

A Touch of Class trailer

Staying with the Spanish theme, we’re joined in the first half of the programme by Jan de Vries, manager of one of London’s quirkiest pubs, Bradley’s Spanish Bar on Hanway Street. As well as being one of the smallest pubs in London, it also has an interesting history and, like all pubs, has had a tough time during lockdown. Jan tells us all about it.

John Cameron, who wrote the score for A Touch of Class, received an Oscar nomination for his efforts. You can hear some of the music from the film in this playlist

Not only was Glenda Jackson an awesome actor, she was also a pretty awesome MP. Here she is in excoriating form….

During the making of this episode of Soho Bites, George Segal passed away. Here’s one of the many obituaries written about him.

As Jan mentioned, there is a very interesting Twitter thread about Bradley’s Spanish Bar – you can find that HERE

And you can also follow Bradley’s on Twitter and check out their website.

This picture has pride of place in Bradley’s Spanish Bar.

You can find Gary Yershon’s website HERE and listen to his appearance on our other podcast Mural Morsels, in which he spoke about George...

Apr 07, 2021
Soho Bites 21: The Night Caller (1965)

Aliens in Soho.

This is our (vegetarian friendly) Butcher’s episode and please don’t @ me about that apostrophe – it’s meant to be there because we’re talking about Butcher’s Film Services who were based in Soho for many years.

In the first half of the show, Dr Laura Mayne of Hull University joins us to talk about this long departed fixture of Wardour Street.

Here’s an interesting article from The Londonist by Zoe Craig about the history of Wardour Street as the centre of the UK film industry.

In the second half of the programme we’re joined by Cevin Moore to talk about a 1965 SciFi/Noir/KitchenSink/PoliceProcedural called The Night Caller which was distributed by Butcher’s in their final few years

Starring John Saxon as the handsome scientist turned de facto detective and boasting some great performances from, among others, Alfred Burke, Patricia Haines, Maurice Denham, Warren Mitchell, Marianne Stone and Aubrey Morris, it’s a low budget film that punches above its weight.

The Night Caller – which was called “The Blood Beast From Outer Space” in the US, was made in black & white but, for some inexplicable reason,a colourised version was released in 2011. 

The Night Caller can be yours to own for ever as part of this DVD box set of vintage SciFi from Renown Films

Discover the locations of some of the exterior scenes thanks to our friends at ReelStreets.

The Night Caller was based on a novel by Frank Crisp called The Night Callers (must have been more of them in the book!)

Feb 04, 2021
Soho Bites 20: The Shakedown (1960)

Episode 20: The Shakedown (1960) & Melanie Williams on Leigh Vance

For the first episode of 2021 we’re going back to 1960 for The Shakedown, a grimy tale of a pimp turned blackmailer, Augie Cortona played by the devilishly handsome Terence Morgan. We’re joined by Richard Luck of the New European to talk about this classic Soho noir which also stars Donald Pleasence, Harry H Corbett, Hazel Court and Bill Owen.

Richard is very keen on the artwork for The Shakedown poster and there were several different versions made for various international territories. Click HERE for some lovely old posters and lobby cards.

The film contains this music interlude provided by Sheila Buxton.

The Song is also on this album.

In this (possibly slightly spoilery) scene, Augie sets the trap for his first blackmail victim.

In the first half of the programme, we are joined by Melanie Williams from the University of East Anglia to talk about the writer of The Shakedown, Leigh Vance who wrote several Soho films and was married to the first ever Bond girl. That’s Gayson. Eunice Gayson.

Click HERE for one of Leigh Vance’s later films in its entirety – Crossplot (1969) – which Melanie Williams has a theory about….

If you want to buy The Shakedown on DVD, the cheapest option we’ve found is to buy this box set from our friends at Renown Films

Although mostly shot in studios, there are a few outdoor locations in The Shakedown. Find out where they were shot, courtesy of our friends at ReelStreets.

Richard Luck’s books on film and music are available

Jan 25, 2021
Soho Bites 19: Smashing Time (1967)

Episode 19: Smashing Time (1967) & Jago Hazzard on Carnaby Street

Welcome, cool cats, to the Swingin’ 60’s special episode. For our film chat, Dom spoke to Barry Fantoni about Smashing Time, the 1967 satire / farce about Brenda and Yvonne, two girls from oop north seeking fame and fortune in that there swingin’ London.

But according to our first guest, Jago Hazzard, they’re possibly three years too late. Jago joins Dom in a bleakly locked down Carnaby Street to find out how, when and why it briefly became the centre of the universe.

You can watch the Smashing Time on YouTube

Jago is a London historian who has an extremely popular YouTube channel with many thousands of subscribers. Become one of them HERE

And you can follow him on Instagram

Have a look at some of the Smashing Times locations, courtesy of our friends at ReelStreets

I don’t think Barry Fantoni would mind me saying he’s been around the block a few times, especially when it has resulted in such a hugely diverse career. To get a taste of just one decade of that career, you could do worse than read his recent memoir about the 1960s, A Whole Scene Going On

The writer of Smashing Time is George Melly. Barry wrote a book with him in 1980.

Check out some of Barry’s artwork

Read this very nice interview with him from Jewish Chronicle

Did I mention he’s EJ Thribb (age 17½)?

And watch the first episode of his 1966 TV show, A Whole Scene Going from 5th Jan, 1966.

Actual proof that Soho Bites is third most bohemian podcast on the planet.

Those disturbing details about the life of

Nov 25, 2020
Soho Bites 18: Peeping Tom (1960)

Episode 18: Peeping Tom (1960) & Stephen Fenerty on Pamela Green

Famously, Peeping Tom (1960) pretty much ended the career of its director, Michael Powell, thanks to the universally horrendous reviews it received on its release. Also famously, the film’s reputation was rehabilitated by, among others, Martin Scorsese who counts it amongst his favourite films of all time. In this episode, Dom is joined by film producer, Colin Vaines, to talk about this controversial masterpiece.

Peeping Tom trailer

And a small selection of lobby cards

The Powell & Pressburger Pages is an excellent resource for all your P&P needs.

Watch Peeping Tom now on the BFI Player.

In the last episode, we talked to David McGillivray about the smutty smutster, Harrison Marks. This time, we’re talking to Stephen Fenerty about Pamela Green – not because she was Harrison Marks’s muse (which she was) but because she has a cameo in Peeping Tom.

Harrison Marks’s, Naked as Nature Intended (1961) starring Pamela Green is said to be the first British “nudie” film and it has turned up on YouTube. See it below – it’s very mild stuff but in the opinion of the enormous Soho Bites Editorial Standards team, it is unsuitable for viewing at work.

*UPDATE* Naked as Nature Intended has been removed from YouTube for violating its Community Guidelines but….

… you can see one of Pamela’s 8mm silent “loop” films, Xcitement!, on the BFI Player HERE. This is also ever-so-slightly NSFW.

Follow our guests on Twitter: Stephen Fenerty and Colin Vaines

As promised in the show, you can hear the unedited version of the conversation with Colin Vaines, including extra banging from Lewis Hamilton’s restaurant, HERE

The originator of Soho Bites,

Nov 02, 2020
Soho Bites 17: Cover Girl Killer (1959)

Episode 17: Cover Girl Killer (1959) & David McGillivray on Harrison Marks

It’s all about mucky magazines in this episode, although the publication at the centre of our featured film is very mild stuff compared to others that would come after. In Cover Girl Killer from 1959, a madman played by Harry H Corbett is bumping off the models who appear on the cover of the fictional, “Wow!” magazine. Theatre director, Luke Dixon joins us to talk about the film and the conversation takes place in the very spot in which at least one of the murders occurs.

This is the second Harry H Corbett Soho film we’ve talked about on Soho Bites, the first was Rattle of a Simple Man in episode 5. There’s one more to go….

Cover Girl Killer trailer

To kick off the show, Dom travelled out to Ealing to meet David McGillivray. Awarded the unofficial title,”The Truffaut of Smut” by Matthew Sweet, David literally wrote the book about the history of British sex films, Doing Rude Things, so Dom picked his brains about an early and prolific Soho smut-peddler, Harrison Marks.

Harrison Marks promoting Naked as Nature Intended in 1961 via the medium of one of his humorous faces

Towards the end of his life at home in Tottenham

Listen to Luke Dixon’s recent appearance on Mural Morsels talking about Fanny Kelly and follow him on Instagram.

Follow David McGillivray on Twitter and buy

Sep 16, 2020
Soho Bites 16: Soho Conspiracy (1950)

Episode 16: Soho Conspiracy (1950) & Dr Adrian Smith on EJ Fancey

This is our Fancey episode and no, that’s not a typo. Edwin J Fancey (or EJ) was a Soho based film producer and distributor who made a fortune by churning out cheaply made films and by not always operating within those pesky confines of the law.

Fancey would have been forgotten, were it not for the efforts of Talking Pictures TV (who sometimes screen his films and even released a box set of his back catalogue) and those of Dr Adrian Smith from Sussex University who has researched and written about Fancey. He joins us in the first half of the show to talk about this forgotten Soho character.

In the second half of the show, Dom is joined, in a socially distant manner of course, by all three presenters of the Talking Pictures TV podcast – Mel Byron, Scott Phipps and Daniel Reiffersheid – to discuss one of EJ Fancey’s films, Soho Conspiracy from 1950. It concerns the efforts of some people to raise some money…. to do a thing and… to have a… another thing, but the… some Italian people get excited…. er…. people in a restaurant….I have no idea what this terrible film is about.

Not quite a trailer, more of a montage of random moments from Soho Conspiracy

During the course of researching Soho Conspiracy, we discovered it was based on an Italian film called Mad About Opera. Not only based upon it though. It turns out that large portions of Mad About Opera are lifted wholesale and inserted into Soho Conspiracy. See the original, in it entirety, HERE (with English subtitles and a Russian voice over!)

The “hilarious”, “Italian” waiters in Soho Conspiracy were played by tap dancing fraternal double-act, Syd & Max Harrison. You can watch them doing the day job that they arguably should have stuck to.

Adrian Smith has a blog and regularly reviews films on Letterboxd. If you’re still on lockdown, this might be a good time to read his PhD thesis.

The other projects of the Talking Pictures TV podcast team are many and varied:

Mel Byron is a stand up comedian and Leadership Trainer. Find information about her on her Aug 27, 2020

Soho Bites 15: Tonight & Every Night (1945)

Episode 15: Tonight and Every Night (1945) & Jill Millard Shapiro

This is the third and final episode in a mini-series about films set at the Windmill Theatre. Adam Roche from the Secret History of Hollywood and Attaboy Clarence podcasts joins us to talk about Tonight and Every Night – a glitzy, Technicolor Rita Hayworth vehicle set at the Windmill. We have now done EVERY film made about the Windmill and that’s enough for any podcast. Listen to the episode to hear the official Soho Bites order of preference. We would have called it a chart but four doesn’t seem to be enough to constitute a chart.

In this scene from the film, Rita Hayworth sings You Excite Me

Marc Platt as Tommy, auditions for Mrs Tolliver at the The Music Box Theatre (ie Mrs Henderson at the Windmill Theatre) including a very strange dance to a speech by Adolph Hitler.

The episode contains the last instalment of our conversation with Jill Millard Shapiro who was a Windmill girl in the late 50s & 60s. She talks about Keith Lester, choreographer at the Windmill and about the theatre’s final days.

Jill then

Jill now

Jill’s book, Remembering Revudeville will set you back a few quid, but it’s fantastic record of the Windmill Theatre.

Amazing video of girls auditioning for the first Revudeville company in 1932

Adam Roche’s epic new podcast series about Cary Grant is coming out soon. Find out more HERE and follow him on Twitter HERE.

The founder 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

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We'd love it if you left us a lovely

Jul 21, 2020
Soho Bites 14: Murder at the Windmill (1949)

Episode 14: Murder at the Windmill (1949) & Jill Millard Shapiro

As far as we know (and please do let us know if we have got this wrong) there have been four films made about the Windmill Theatre. Murder at the Windmill was the second of these and is the film under discussion in this, the second instalment of our three-part mini-series about “The Mill”. Dr Ellen Wright of De Montford University joined us to talk about this low budget comedy / musical / thriller from 1949.

The other three Windmill films are Secrets of Windmill Girl (1966) which we talked about in episode four, Mrs Henderson Presents (2005) which was the subject of our last episode and Tonight & Every Night (1945) which is the film we’re talking about in the next episode. We will then have done ALL the Windmill films. Enough already!

Murder at the Windmill is available to view on, listed by it’s US name, Mystery at the Burlesque

In this episode we have the second instalment of our conversation with Jill Millard Shapiro who was a Windmill girl in the late 50s & early 60s. She tells us about her time there, how she got her big break, some of the household names who kickstarted their careers on Great Windmill Street and about her Soho film-star boyfriend/not boyfriend.

Jill then

Jill now

Dr Ellen Wright and her attractive assistant in an episode of the their cheese themed vlog – “Fun with Fromage”

Like cheese? Like watching people talk about cheese? Subscribe to Fun with Fromage

A 1949 article about Murder at the Windmill

Jill’s book, Remembering Revudeville will set you back a few quid, but it’s fantastic record of the Windmill Theatre.

The founder of Soho Bites, Dr Jingan Young, has launched...

Jul 01, 2020
Soho Bites 13: Mrs Henderson Presents (2005)

Episode 13: Mrs Henderson Presents (2005) & Jill Millard Shapiro

This is the first of three episodes dedicated to films about the Windmill Theatre. For this first one, Dom met up with actor and Sohoite, Mike Warburton to discuss Mrs Henderson Presents. The film is directed by Stephen Frears and stars Dame Judi Dench in the title role along side Bob Hoskins as Vivian van Damm – the legendary producer at this legendary venue. An important piece of historical story-telling or nostalgic flim-flam? Or both?

Mrs Henderson Presents trailer

The Windmill’s most famous asset was its Windmill Girls, who danced, sang and occasionally posed motionless in the nude. To start the programme, we have the first part of a three-part interview with Jill Millard Shapiro, who was a Windmill Girl for four years.

Former Windmill girl, Jill Millard Shapiro at the end of a very long, socially distancing microphone cable.

Jill talks about the early days of the Windmill and how it ran from day-to-day, mounting six shows a day, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. And no, it was not striptease.

Fascinating short pathe film featuring some Windmill girls.  Jill is the one wearing pink on the left.

Jill’s book, Remembering Revudeville will set you back a few quid, but it’s fantastic record of the Windmill Theatre.

Follow Mike Warburton on Twitter.

The founder 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

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We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series

Jun 14, 2020
Soho Bites 12: Das Phantom von Soho (1964)

Episode 12: Das Phantom von Soho (1964) & Tony Shrimplin on Karl Marx.

The lockdown continues, so our first interview for this episode – our German themed episode – took place over Skype. We met up (virtually) with Tony Shrimplin from the Museum of Soho. We discussed Soho’s most famous German resident and the only one (as far as I know) to have had an “ism” named after him.

Karl Marx’s blue plaque at 28 Dean St, Soho

The film chat took place before anybody had ever even heard of Covid-19 and we met up with Daniel Reifferscheid of the Talking Pictures TV Podcast in a pub! Do you remember those? We discussed the German Krimi film from 1964, Das Phanton von Soho which is a corker. Even if you don’t speak German you can probably guess what that title means! It’s set in Soho but we’re pretty sure not a single frame was shot outside of Germany….

Das Phantom Von Soho trailer - Can you identify whereabouts in Soho this was filmed?

As well as making the Talking Picture TV Podcast, Daniel Reifferscheid produces (at least) two more film related podcasts – Prestes a Ver and You Know The Score. At least one of them is Portuguese. See if you can figure out which one.

Das Phantom von Soho is from a genre known as Krimifilms. There’s a list of other examples of the genre on IMDB.

And if you can’t get enough of that groovy, sleazy kriminalfilm-musik, check out this playlist.

And the genre of Krimi films is built around the work of Edgar Wallace who led a very colourful life. You can read about him in this interesting article from the Guardian.

The founder 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

Apr 30, 2020
Soho Bites 11: Where Has Poor Mickey Gone? (1964)

Episode 11: Where Has Poor Mickey Gone? (1964) & David Tughan on the night they closed Ronnie’s

March 16th 2020 was just one of many extremely weird days in recent times. For us at Soho Bites, it was supposed to be the date of a long arranged interview with jazz singer, David Tughan before a gig he was playing at Ronnie Scotts. Earlier that afternoon, Boris Johnson advised clubs, bars and other public places to close. Although the interview and the gig did take place (sort of ), it wasn’t quite the evening we expected…

David Tughan performing at Ronnie Scotts…. on a different occasion.

The virus has affected all of us – some more than others – and it has caused havoc with our recording / release schedule. The second half of the show was originally planned for a later episode but, in the end, it worked out just fine. Dr Adrian Smith, lecturer in film at Sussex University, made a socially distanced return visit to the pod, down the line from his home, to talk about the almost forgotten, Where Has Poor Mickey Gone? from 1964. In a first for Soho Bites, we were also joined by one of the stars of the film.

*UPDATE* Since recording the episode, John Challis has passed away.  He was fantastic in Where Has Poor Mickey Gone? and was a lovely guest to have on the show.  RIP Boycie.

Where Has Poor Mickey Gone? starts with Ottilie Patterson singing the theme tune. To my shame, I’d never heard of her before but now I’m her biggest fan. Discover her yourself on Spotify.

David Tughan’s website is here and his YouTube Channel is here. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

The other musicians performing with David were Renato D’Aiello, Nigel Price, Mirko Scarcia and Alfonso Al Vitale.

Ronnie Scott’s has published an interesting document about the history of...

Mar 21, 2020
Soho Bites 10: Cocaine (1922)

Episode 10: Cocaine (1922) & Rob Baker on Brilliant Chang

It turns out the quietest place in Soho – and the perfect spot for an interview – is half way up the Clock Tower of St Anne’s church on Dean St (visible from Wardour St). After winding the clock(!) with the help of Amy, one of a small team of volunteer clock winders, Dom sat down in a funny little room half-way up the tower to speak to historian, author and blogger, Rob Baker about Brilliant Chang and the moral panic about women and drugs that gripped the nation after the First World War.

Brilliant Chang after his deportation to Hong Kong

Freda Kempton shortly before her death in 1922

Some interesting graffiti from inside the clock tower – a 19th Century “tag”

We then welcomed Michelle Facey to the pod to talk about the 1922 silent film, Cocaine. Michelle is one of the programmers for Kennington Bioscope and as well as talking about the controversy surrounding the film, she was very enlightening on the subject of Mormonsploitation films of the silent era. Who knew there was such a thing?

Extract from Cocaine (1922)

Divert money away from Jeff Bezos by purchasing Rob Baker’s books directly from the publisher.

Visit Rob’s websites: Another Nickel in the Machine & FlashBak, check out his fascinating Pinterest site and follow him on Twitter.

For more information about the Kennington Bioscope and their upcoming events, visit their website and/or follow them on

Mar 02, 2020
Soho Bites 9: Night & The City (1950)

Episode 9: Night and the City (1950) & Michael J Buchanan-Dunne on the death of Freddie Mills

For episode nine, Dom was dragged down a dark Soho alleyway by writer, researcher, London tour-guide and host of the Murder Mile Podcast, Michael J-Buchanan-Dunne (hereafter known as “Mike”). Mike had death on his mind but thankfully it was one that took place back in 1965 – the mysterious and tragic demise of the boxer, Freddie Mills. Officially recorded as suicide, rumours have swirled around ever since that it was actually murder. But what does Mike think?

Freddie in his 1940s boxing heyday.

Freddie’s night club, behind which his body was found.

Staying with the theme of blokes fighting each other for money, we meet up with author, broadcaster and cultural theorist, Ken Hollings to discuss Jules Dassin‘s 1950 British Noir, Night and the City. It stars Richard Widmark as street hustler, Harry Fabien and Gene Tierney as his long suffering girlfriend. With stunning performances from Googie Withers, Francis L Sullivan & Herbert Lom, the film is a deep, dark dive into Soho’s seedier side in the austere post-war years.

Pictures of Francis L Sullivan & Googie Withers as Philip & Helen Nosseross on the cover of Picturegoer, July 1950

Excellent short video about locations used in Night and the City WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS!

Buy Night and the City on Blu-ray (including some spectacularly good extras) here

Stream the version released in the UK Feb 24, 2020

Soho Bites 8: Piccadilly (1929)

Episode 8: Piccadilly (1929) & Julian Rodriguez on the Shot in Soho exhibition

For episode eight we met up with Julian Rodriguez, to talk about the exhibition he co-curated at the Photographers Gallery, Shot in Soho.

Julian is a photographer and, among several academic posts, is Head of Film and Photography at Kingston University.

We have been given permission to show two pictures from the exhibition. You can find them HERE

You can buy the book of the exhibition here

The Regent Street Cinema decided to screen a Soho film to accompany the show. Of the several that Julian and his co-curator, Karen McQuaid, suggested, the one the cinema chose was the brilliant Piccadilly from 1929.

The screening took place on January 30th and had live musical accompaniment by Ben Comeau who has recently joined Lucky Dog Picturehouse.

Clip of Piccadilly produced by the BFI

Many thanks to Michael Schaub, Deputy Director of the Regent Street Cinema, for enabling us to record the intro to the film.

Afterwards, we sat down to talk about the film with members of the London Silent Film Group, including Peter Bromley, a documentary film maker and founder of the 1968 Film Group, and Michelle Facey, who programmes silent films for Kennington Bioscope at the Cinema Museum.

Buy Piccadilly on DVD here

Stream it online here

If you’d like to join the London Silent Film Group you can do that here

And you can find out about all of the...

Feb 03, 2020
Not an episode...

'tis the season of coughs & sneezes which has led to our December episode being postponed due to both our contributors being sick! Normal service will be resumed in the New Year. 

Thank you for listening.

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Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels

Dec 11, 2019
Soho Bites 7: Miracle in Soho (1957)

Episode 7: Miracle in Soho (1957) & Alex Hester on his late father, the former vicar of Soho

Episode seven is our God and religion special and we were joined by two fantastic guests. Firstly, Alex Hester sat down with us at St Anne’s Church on Dean St, to talk about his late father, the former rector of St Anne’s, Canon John Hester.

John was in post from 1963-75, so to be the vicar of Soho at this time and chaplain to over fifty strip-clubs must have been an unusual calling.

John Hester published his memoir in 1970.  Here’s the suitably groovy cover

There’s currently one copy available online here. Snap it up!

Rev John Hester out & about on his rounds in the parish of Soho

The architects’ model of John Hester’s proposed glass-sided church

We also spoke to Rev Liz Clutterbuck of Emmanuel Church, Holloway about the Emeric Pressburger penned 1957 romantic tale, Miracle in Soho. Liz makes regular contributions to the Kermode & Mayo show on BBC Radio 5 Live and is a proud member of the Wittertainment Clergy Corner.

Promo produced by Talking Pictures TV for a recent screening of Miracle in Soho.

Buy Miracle in Soho on DVD here.

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.

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We'd love it if you left us a lovely

Nov 20, 2019
Soho Bites 6: Expresso Bongo (1959)

Episode 6: Expresso Bongo (1959) and Nika Garrett’s Soho coffee tour.

Coffee and Soho are synonymous. In this episode we talk to London tour guide, Nika Garrett about the 1950s coffee revolution and find out where she goes for the best Espresso Martini in town. HINT

Nika moved to London from Warsaw 10 years ago for love (that of a charming Irish man) and subsequently began a second love affair – with Soho. Nika loves coffee, art and history and runs walking tours on all of these subjects.

You can book a tour and find all her social media contacts at

And Sioned Wiliam joins us to discuss her favourite Soho film, Expresso Bongo from 1959. Starring Laurence Harvey, Sylvia Syms and a very young Harry Webb (AKA Cliff Richard) as Bert Rudge (AKA Bongo Herbert), it’s a satire on the entertainment industry and a kitsch classic.

Sioned is a writer & broadcaster. She is the former Controller of Comedy at ITV and currently the Commissioning Editor of Comedy at BBC Radio 4. You can follow her on Twitter at @sionedwiliam

Expresso Bongo trailer

Drink a flat white / espresso martini while listening to the Soho Bites specially curated coffee songs.

Watch Expresso Bongo at the BFI website HERE

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

We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels

Nov 17, 2019
Soho Bites 5: Rattle of a Simple Man (1964)

Episode 5: Rattle of a Simple Man (1963) and the Soho Cricket Collective.

Episode five is our sports related episode! Producer Dom visited the Soho Cricket Collective.

The Collective has been running as a team for over a decade and is made up of keen amateur cricketers drawn mostly from the film and media companies that have their homes here. A love of the game is pretty much the only requirement to bag a place on Soho’s only cricket team. If you’re itching to play, as long as you know which end of the bat to hold and are an all round good egg, you might be in with a chance!

The team picture from April 2018

Later, we hear Dom speak to Dr. Melanie Williams at the Soho A Go Go Film Festival in October with host Aidan McManus about ‘Rattle of a Simple Man’.

Directed by Muriel Box, the film is a 1964 British comedy-drama starring Diane Cilento, Harry H. Corbett and Michael Medwin. It’s based on the 1963 play by Charles Dyer (who also appears in the film) and is about a naive young football fan, down in London from Manchester for the FA cup final, who meets a sophisticated working-girl in a Soho night-club and has a night that will change his life.

Live on stage at the Regent St Cinema, Dom talks to Aidan McManus and Melanie Williams about Rattle of a Simple Man

Jingan and Aidan talk about The Shakedown at the festival on the previous day

Episode 5 is founder, Jingan Young’s last episode with Soho Bites as she wears many hats! You can still follow her Soho on film research here, and her new project Cities in Cinema.

Follow Dr. Melanie Williams on Twitter here.

Learn more about the Soho Cricket Collective here

Thank you for listening.

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We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels

Oct 06, 2019
Soho Bites 4: Secrets of Windmill Girl (1966)

Episode 4: Secrets of a Windmill Girl (1966) and Tales from Tin-Pan Alley

In Episode 4 we welcomed Dr Adrian Smith to discuss ‘Secrets of a Windmill Girl’, an exploitation film produced by the infamous Compton-Cameo team Michael Klinger and Tony Tenser. The two were fierce property magnets in their own right and owned, alongside their film production arm, a number of casinos and porn cinemas in Soho. They bought the Windmill Theatre in 1964 and converted it into a cinema.

The film is an attempt to ‘exploit’ their new purchase of the theatre and to ‘exploit’ what, beyond a surface level, appears to be the aftermath of the Profumo affair and the exponential explosion of porn magazines and seedy Soho. Filmed in glorious colour – the film follows a pair of friends who are desperate to be ‘windmill girls’.

As Adrian elaborates on his wonderful article here, the filmis naive and quaint, depicting the lives of young people in the mid-sixties as filtered through the contradictory viewpoint of middle-aged men, who both gaze with desire at these sexualised women whilst simultaneously condemning them for choosing that lifestyle.”

Adrian brought a whole load of Compton film related ephemera he picked up a few years ago. There are some examples HERE

To kick off the programme Dom attended a screening of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning documentary, “Tales from Tin-Pan Alley”, which is about the history of the UK’s only music street, Denmark Street. The alley has been devastated in recent years by the expansion of Tottenham Court Road station as part of the Crossrail project and Dom chatted to film-maker Henry Scott-Irvine about his groundbreaking film and about the historical significance of the street, one of the most important locations in London’s music history.

Watch the filmmakers discuss their journey on London Live

Dr Adrian Smith on Twitter and his blog

Henry Scott-Irvine on Twitter and the film’s official website

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Oct 03, 2019
Soho Bites 3: The Lodger (1927) & Frenzy (1972)

Double Hitch.

In our third episode we were invited on a Soho gangland tour guided by Aidan McManus of London Flipside Tours! 

We then hosted the podcaster, Adam Roche to discuss two of Hitchcock’s London films, his silent offering The Lodger and the colour-serial-killer-70s-frenetic-horror film Frenzy. Among Adam’s many podcasting achievements is a 20 hour long biographical masterpiece called, The Adventures of Alfred Hitchcock. He is also the founder of The Official Talking Pictures TV Podcast and Attaboy Clarence. 

Alfred Hitchcock and crew, during the filming of Frenzy (1972)

You can find all links to Adam’s works here, and you can follow Adam on Twitter .

You can buy The Lodger on DVD here and Frenzy here.

Please do check out Aidan’s radio show on Portobello Radio

Thank you for listening.

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We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels

Aug 27, 2019
Soho Bites 2: Street of Shadows (1953)

Episode 2: Street of Shadows (1953) and Jessica Martin on her late father, Ido

In our second episode, we discussed little known ‘B’ film Street of Shadows (AKA Shadowman in the US Market) which was directed by Richard Vernon and released in 1953. The film imports American star Cesar Romero (CESAR ROMERO! Who starred in everything from ‘The Thin Man’ to ‘Batman’) as an Italian immigrant who owns a pin-table saloon in Soho and is falsely accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend. The film has some great sequences shot on location and even a shot of the Marquis of Granby pub in North Soho. Kay Kendall co-stars and the ubiquitous Victor Maddern gives a memorable performance.

Street of Shadows trailer

We were joined by Mel Byron to discuss the film. Mel is a comedian, writer, trainer and one of the three person team who makes and presents the Talking Pictures TV Podcast.

Mel Byron in action, performing ‘Old Movies Changed my Life’.

We also chatted to Jessica Martin, actress, singer, artist, author/illustrator and impressionist about her father Placido Martin (known as ‘Ido’ to his friends) who was a musician and bandleader who operated in Soho during the same 50s/60s period. Her latest book Life Drawing: A Life Under Lights is available now.

Click HERE to see two of Ido martin’s record covers, kindly provided by Jessica

Visit Jessica Martin’s official website

Visit Mel Bryon’s official website.

Street of Shadows is available from Amazon.

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And if you'd like to help Aug 20, 2019