Television: Big Night Out

10.00am, Sunday 23 February 1964 (50 years ago)

Despite having returned to England just the day before from their first US trip, The Beatles continued work with an appearance on the ABC Television show Big Night Out.

They arrived at Teddington Studios in the morning for rehearsals. This was the group’s second appearance on the show; the first took place on 1 September 1963.

The programme was filmed before a studio audience in the evening. The Beatles took part in comedy sketches with hosts Mike and Bernie Winters, and mimed to six songs: All My Loving, I Wanna Be Your Man, Till There Was You, Please Mister Postman, Money (That’s What I Want and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

One of the comedy routines, a skit on The Beatles’ return from the US, involved the group sailing down the River Thames, being driven to the studio and arriving through a door marked ‘Customs’. The river cruise section was also filmed by an ITN news crew, and George Harrison provided a commentary for the early evening bulletin which parodied the annual Oxford v Cambridge boat race.

This edition of Big Night Out was first broadcast on most of the ITV network on Saturday 29 February from 6.35-7.25pm. All The Beatles’ songs except for Money were included. The other guests on the show were Billy Dainty, Jackie Trent and Lionel Blair.

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