Sun | Jan 20, 2019

First interracial kiss on a TV series in the UK, rediscovered

Published:Wednesday | November 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The British Film Institute (BFI) has uncovered what is believed to be the earliest known interracial kiss on British television.

You in Your Small Corner was first broadcast live on ITV in June 1962 and has not been seen on TV since.

It was rediscovered in the BFI's National Archive.

You in Your Small Corner was broadcast earlier than the interracial kiss on Emergency Ward 10 in 1964 and on Star Trek in the US, in 1968.

The kiss on Emergency Ward 10 between Joan Hooley and John White had been thought to be the first interracial kiss on a TV series in the UK.

In the US, a kiss between Lieutenant Uhura and Captain James T Kirk was seen in an episode of Star Trek from 1968.

Important rediscover 

You in Your Small Corner was an adaptation of a play by Jamaica-born Barry Reckord that had been performed at the Royal Court.

The playwright's brother, Lloyd Reckord, played a young man who travels to England from Jamaica to stay with his aunt in Brixton, before heading to Cambridge to study.

Elizabeth MacLennan played the white woman with whom he becomes involved.

The play looked at the subtleties and difficulties the couple faced across race and class lines.

BFI creative director Heather Stewart called it an "important rediscovery" of a "ground-breaking" TV play.

"It demonstrates the role of

progressive television drama as a reflection of our society and underlines the vital work of the BFI National Archive as the guardian of our national memory," she said.

Adding, "Fifty years on, diverse on-screen representation is still an urgent issue and we must continue as an industry to effect much-needed change."

The kiss was set to be screened to audiences at a 'Race and Romance' TV panel at the BFI yesterday.