With speculation mounting about The Beatles’ future, the group appeared to take part in interviews for the UK weekly television series Reporting ’66, made by Independent Television News (ITN).
Each member of the group was interviewed outside EMI Studios prior to their evening recording session, and discussed how they were working on new material. They all sported moustaches apart from George Harrison, who had a full beard.
The first to arrive was John Lennon, carrying a number of LPs. He explained that The Beatles may focus on individual projects in 1967, but relations within the group were good and they intended to continue working together. He also explained that The Beatles were unlikely to tour again but that he and Paul McCartney would continue writing songs “for ever”.
McCartney and Mal Evans were the next to arrive. McCartney explained more about The Beatles’ frustration with touring, saying it had affected their ability to perform well.
Harrison’s contribution was the briefest. He ran up the steps to the studio, unwilling to answer any questions apart from a brief denial that The Beatles were splitting up.
Ringo Starr was the last to arrive, and was accompanied by Neil Aspinall. He also spoke for the longest, explaining that The Beatles had no interest in repeating past successes, and that a future group film would be postponed until they found a suitable script. He did, however, say he may consider making a film without the others.
Starr also denied that he was bored with being in The Beatles, and wished viewers a merry Christmas before signing autographs for waiting fans.
The interview was conducted by ITN reporter John Edwards, and was first shown on 28 December 1966. The interviews were combined with archive footage of The Beatles, as well as comments by associates including Richard Lester.
Also on this day...
- 2011: Paul McCartney live: Echo Arena, Liverpool
- 2010: Paul McCartney live: O2 Academy, Liverpool
- 2009: Paul McCartney live: The O2, Dublin
- 1974: UK album release: Dark Horse by George Harrison
- 1971: US album release: The Concert For Bangladesh by George Harrison & Friends
- 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono are interviewed for CBC Weekend
- 1969: Television: John Lennon in conversation with Marshall McLuhan
- 1966: Recording: When I’m Sixty-Four
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1958: Live: wedding reception, Speke, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.