31 episodes

A series about the depiction of Soho - the beating heart of cosmopolitan, bohemian London - in film.
Produced by Dominic Delargy
Based on an original idea by Jingan Young

Soho Bites Podcast Dominic Delargy

    • TV & Film
    • 5.0 • 15 Ratings

A series about the depiction of Soho - the beating heart of cosmopolitan, bohemian London - in film.
Produced by Dominic Delargy
Based on an original idea by Jingan Young

    Soho Bites 31: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

    Soho Bites 31: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

    Episode 31: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) and Jonathan Foster on the Prince Charles Cinema
    In this festive special, we’re talking about the much loved Christmas classic, The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) which, according to this article, is https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/culture/article/the-muppet-christmas-carol (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 https://princecharlescinema.com/PrinceCharlesCinema.dll/WhatsOn?f=13427144 (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 https://youtu.be/JXaVI60BFJM (trailer)
    Different versions of the film have been released over the years. Read about those differences in https://www.filmstories.co.uk/features/the-muppet-christmas-carol-and-its-three-lost-musical-numbers/ (this article) by Mark Harrison.
    This https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Charles_Cinema (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 https://princecharlescinema.com/PrinceCharlesCinema.dll/Home (website). You can also follow the PCC on https://twitter.com/thepcclondon (Twitter).
    The cinema also has a podcast called https://twitter.com/ThePCCPodcast (The Pod Charles Cinecast) co-hosted by this episode’s guest, https://twitter.com/TALL4ALL (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 https://twitter.com/tptvpodcast (Talking Pictures TV podcast). Click below for their Twitters…
    https://twitter.com/Audiojoe (Adam)
    https://twitter.com/KinoJoan (Dani)
    https://twitter.com/nash_helenanash (Helena)
    https://twitter.com/KevFComicArtist (Kev)
    https://twitter.com/mmiletours (Murder Mile Mike)
    https://twitter.com/stevesalesnoble (Shameful Steve)
    https://twitter.com/FilmswithT (Tracy)
    Phil is not on Twitter
    Thank you for listening.
    Follow us on Twitter
    Email us at sohobitespodcast@gmail.com
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    Please make a teeny weeny https://ko-fi.com/sohobitespodcast (donation)

    • 35 min
    Soho Bites 30: Good-Time Girl (1948)

    Soho Bites 30: Good-Time Girl (1948)

    Episode 30: Good-Time Girl (1948) and Josephine Botting of the BFI on Jean Kent
    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 https://www.southwestsilents.com/ (South West Silents) and https://www.southwestsilents.com/filmnoiruk (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. https://dominicdelargy.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/jean-windmill.jpg (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 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037578/?ref_=ttmi_tt (Caravan). Here’s the https://dominicdelargy.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/jo-jean.jpg (photographic proof) of that meeting….
    In 2011, not long before she died, Jean’s 90th birthday was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSqh31eDEuU (celebrated on local TV).
    In https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVI-J8KEUWM (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 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040481/ (for the screen) and “Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square” upon which, Alfred Hitchcock’s “https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068611/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 (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 https://dominicdelargy.files.wordpress.com/2022/01/book-cover.jpg (a picture of the cover) for free.
    Interesting article by Josephine Botting and https://www.bfi.org.uk/articles/author/84263e24-a82c-5868-a44e-d5b42a74d73c (Sarah Castagnetti) about the co-writer of Good Time Girl, https://www.bfi.org.uk/features/muriel-box-good-time-girl-street-corner (Muriel Box)
    Good-Time Girl is available to view for free on the brillant https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/film/watch-good-time-girl-1947-online (BFI Player)
    Although not always in perfect quality, there are several Jean Kent films available on the Interent Archive including https://archive.org/details/15062tbv (The Browning Version) and https://archive.org/details/c4498710322 (Caravan). Find more https://archive.org/search.php?query=jean%20kentandand%5B%5D=mediatype%3A%22movies%22 (HERE)
    You can follow both https://twitter.com/reeljobotting (Josephine Botting) and the https://twitter.com/BFI (BFI )on Twitter
    https://twitter.com/jamesmjharrison (James Harrison) is also on Twitter and so are https://twitter.com/SWSilents (South West Silents) and https://twitter.com/FilmNoirUK (Film Noir UK) You can also find both organisations on the same https://www.southwestsilents.com/ (website)
    Have a look at some of the locations in Good-Time Girl, courtesy of our friends at https://www.reelstreets.com/films/good-time-girl/ (Reelstreets).
    Since publishing the episode, https://twitter.com/CeeChampion (Caroline Champion) got in touch pointing out that Jean was in an episode of Steptoe and Son in 1970. She plays Daphne who finds herself at the centre of an unlikely love triangle. Thanks to the wonder of the internet, the whole episode is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2gQpeYb1jc (HERE).
    Thank you for listening.
    Follow us on Twitter
    Email us at sohobitespodcast@gmail.com
    Leave us a https://ratethispodcast.com/sohobites (rating and review)
    Please make

    • 49 min
    Soho Bites 29: Absolute Beginners (1986)

    Soho Bites 29: Absolute Beginners (1986)

    Episode 29: Absolute Beginners (1986) and Aidan McManus on Bowie’s Soho
    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, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090585/ (Absolute Beginners) was, notoriously, an instantaneous disaster at the box office and was ripped to shreds by the critics.
    Thirty years later, freelance writer, https://twitter.com/del_pike (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. https://twitter.com/mcmanus_aidan (Aidan McManus) returns to the podcast to talk about Bowie’s Soho years.
    Interesting article in the https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/sep/21/how-we-made-absolute-beginners-julien-temple-patsy-kensit (Guardian) about the making of Absolute Beginners
    Read Del Pike’s 1986 article asking if Absolute Beginners was https://www.getintothis.co.uk/2016/08/absolute-beginners-30-really-bad/ (really so bad).
    Follow Aidan McManus on https://twitter.com/FlipLondonTours (Twitter), book a scheduled or bespoke https://www.flipsidelondontours.com/ (tour) with him and listen to his https://www.mixcloud.com/aidan-mcmanus/ (radio show)
    Thank you for listening.
    Follow us on Twitter
    Email us at sohobitespodcast@gmail.com
    Leave us a https://ratethispodcast.com/sohobites (rating and review)
    Please make a teeny weeny https://ko-fi.com/sohobitespodcast (donation)

    • 47 min
    Soho Bites 28: Value for Money (1955)

    Soho Bites 28: Value for Money (1955)

    Episode 28: Value for Money (1955) and Nigel Hamilton-Walker on “Dandy Kim”
    We look at two extraordinary lives in this episode. The film under discussion is https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048772/ (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…. https://www.sohobitespodcast.com/episode/soho-bites-5-rattle-of-a-simple-man-1964 (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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-16s9dfHV4 (YouTube)
    As is this two part biopic of Diana - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOEEL2SV9Ak (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, https://1865.cranleigh.org/michael-caborn-waterfield/ (Cranleigh School)
    What on earth is https://kirkleescousins.co.uk/shoddy-and-mungo/ (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 https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/The-Real-Diana-Dors-Hardback/p/19091 (directly from the publishers) and get a discount while you’re at it.
    Read Nigel Hamilton-Walker’s biography of Dandy Kim on his https://www.inkitt.com/stories/drama/629750 (Inkitt site)
    Presumably for a limited time only, there appears to be one copy of Kim’s late 60s pioneering sex manual, https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Variations-on-a-Sexual-Theme-by-Terence-Hendrickson-1970s-Vintage-/153832716663 (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 https://twitter.com/real_meaning (Twitter)
    Have a look at the the and now locations of Value for Money courtesy of our friends at https://www.reelstreets.com/films/value-for-money/ (Reelstreets)
    Thank you for listening.
    Follow us on Twitter
    Email us at sohobitespodcast@gmail.com
    Leave us a https://ratethispodcast.com/sohobites (rating and review)
    Please make a teeny weeny https://ko-fi.com/sohobitespodcast (donation)

    • 50 min
    Soho Bites 27: Saturday Night Revue (1937)

    Soho Bites 27: Saturday Night Revue (1937)

    Episode 27: Saturday Night Revue (1937)and Rob Baker on “Snakehips” Johnson and the Bombing of the Cafe de Paris
    https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-lawrence-napper (Dr Lawrence Napper) of Kings College London met up with Dom to discuss 1937’s https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0160813/ (Saturday Night Revue). Starring https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0336931/?ref_=nm_mv_close (Sally Gray) and https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0590652/ (Billy Milton), it’s a role call of some long forgotten cabaret and variety acts of the day. That doesn’t sound promising but it’s great!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__7uo3mfen8 (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 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06bsp3f (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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Watt_(broadcaster) (John Watt) who plays himself. His wife wrote a biography of him which was published in 1964 and it contains https://sohobitespodcast.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/john-watt.jpg (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 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35861899 (HERE).
    We have another returnee to the show – https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/contributor/richard-luck/ (Richard Luck) of the https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/ (New European) pops in to enthuse about his https://pictures.abebooks.com/inventory/30116407163.jpg (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 one it at https://networkonair.com/all-products/2017-saturday-night-revue (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 https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/dr-lawrence-napper (KCL website) and follow Lawrence on https://twitter.com/norloll (Twitter).
    Visit Rob Baker’s websites: http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/ (Another Nickel in the Machine) and https://flashbak.com/ (FlashBak), check out his fascinating https://www.pinterest.co.uk/mrnickel/ (Pinterest) site and follow him on https://twitter.com/robnitm (Twitter). You can also buy his books https://www.amberley-books.com/community-rob-baker (directly from the publisher).
    Follow Richard Luck on https://twitter.com/RMGLUCK2017 (Twitter), checkout out his https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/contributor/richard-luck/ (contributions )to The New European and listen to his https://www.sohobitespodcast.com/episode/soho-bites-20-the-shakedown-1960 (previous appearance) on the Soho Bites.
    Thank you for listening.
    Follow us on Twitter
    Email us at sohobitespodcast@gmail.com
    Leave us a https://ratethispodcast.com/sohobites (rating and review)
    Please make a teeny weeny https://ko-fi.com/sohobitespodcast (donation)

    • 53 min
    Soho Bites 26: Too Hot to Handle (1960)

    Soho Bites 26: Too Hot to Handle (1960)

    Episode 26: Too Hot to Handle (1960) and Graham Russell on the Lobotomy Room
    For the first part of episode 26, we headed out to https://www.fontaines.bar/ (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, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053365/ (Too Hot to Handle).
    The film was one of two that its star, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0543790/?ref_=tt_ov_st (Jayne Mansfield), made in the UK that year. Jayne plays Midnight Franklin an exotic dancer at the The Pink Flamingo club in Soho and https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0312890/?ref_=tt_ov_st (Leo Genn) plays her love interest, Johnny Solo (there’s only a 28 year age difference so that’s fine then). https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000489/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 (Christopher Lee) plays the club’s sinister manager, Novak, and Austrian actor https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0003337/?ref_=tt_ov_st (Karlheinz Böhm) plays a French reporter writing a feature on Soho nightlife. Chirpy, cockney national treasure, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0934774/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t10 (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 and white. Here’s a https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQc1HUndP0E (taster of the colour version).
    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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ84EBpKEFg (full film) in all its black and white glory.
    Find out more about the Lobotomy Room https://www.facebook.com/Lobotomy-Room-972558589452637/ (HERE)
    Or follow Graham on https://twitter.com/bitter69uk (Twitter) for news of upcoming screenings at the Lobotomy Room and check out his sleazy, trashy http://graham-russell.blogspot.com/ (Blog). Read an interview with Graham https://todolist.london/interview-graham-russell-cult-dj-promoter/ (HERE)
    And if you’d care to venture to Dalston / Stoke Newington, have a cocktail at https://www.fontaines.bar/ (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 https://www.reelstreets.com/films/too-hot-to-handle/ (Reelstreets).
    The originator of Soho Bites, https://twitter.com/jinganyoung (Dr Jingan Young), has launched a new research project. Find out all about it on the http://www.citiesincinema.co.uk/ (Cities in Cinema) website and follow the project on https://twitter.com/Citiesincinema (Twitter).
    Thank you for listening.
    Follow us on Twitter
    Email us at sohobitespodcast@gmail.com
    Leave us a https://ratethispodcast.com/sohobites (rating and review)
    Please make a teeny weeny https://ko-fi.com/sohobitespodcast (donation)

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

Matchmesidney ,

Wavy hair

Packed full of wit and entertainment, this most informative of London podcasts on cinematic forays into Soho past and present always leaves listeners with a long reading and watching list.

The latest episode (27) doesn’t disappoint as it brings together Snakehips Johnson, Edward VIII, Louise Brooks, Sally Gray and the Major from Fawlty Towers at a renowned Soho spot… before a bomb hits.

A must-listen for Soho fans and followers all over the world.

Audiojoe4444 ,

Superb

Love this show. Dom is a great host and producer, and has done a stupendous job of bringing the hitherto hidden stories of Soho to life.

Probably the best podcast about London and its effect upon cinematic culture

Chris the courier ,

Wonderful listening

I’ve seen it promoted on face book and thought I need to give this a listen. Brilliantly produced and gentle interviewing bringing the best in the interviewees. Fascinating subject the village of soho in London. I’m binge listening from the earliest available episode. Keep up the good work Dom.

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