48 episodes

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
https://twitter.com/BitesSoho
https://sohobitespodcast.com/donate
https://sohobitespodcast.com/review

Soho Bites Podcast Dominic Delargy

    • TV & Film
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

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
https://twitter.com/BitesSoho
https://sohobitespodcast.com/donate
https://sohobitespodcast.com/review

    Soho Bites 47: Monsieur Ripois (1954)

    Soho Bites 47: Monsieur Ripois (1954)

    Bienvenue dans le premier épisode de 2024.
    Monsieur Ripois (1954) was directed by René Clément and stars the French heart throb, Gérard Philipe along with the English beauties, Joan Greenwood, Natasha Parry & Valerie Hobson. It was based on the 1912 novel, Monsieur Ripois et la Némésis by Louis Hémon.
    The film was released under several other titles including “Lovers, Happy Lovers” & “Knave of Hearts” and was made in both English and French with the two versions being shot concurrently.
    We talk about Monsieur Ripois to the actor and director Jason Morell, whose mother was Joan Greenwood, one of the stars of the film. Listen out for some seventy year old hot gossip!
    Also on the French theme, we revisit an episode of Mural Morsels to hear about the notorious bohemian French poet, Paul Verlaine. This was an interview I did with another poet, Niall McDevitt, back in 2020 who has since sadly passed away. We’re using this interview with the blessing of his partner, Julie Goldsmith.
    Read this article by Jason Morell about dear old mum.
    Follow Jason on the Twitters.
    Here’s a little extract from the film.
    Of course our friends at Reelstreets have watched M. Ripois and you can look at some of the locations from the film HERE.
    Julie Goldsmith, the partner of the late Niall McDevitt, is a sculptor. You can see some of her work on Instagram and on her website.
    Niall’s obituary in The Irish Times.
    Buy tickets for the event at the South Bank - A Niall McDevitt...

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Soho Bites 46: Don't Open 'til Christmas (1984)

    Soho Bites 46: Don't Open 'til Christmas (1984)

    Ching ching etc - it's the Soho Bites Christmas special.
    Having just left behind the wholesome world of Jessie Matthews and 1930s musicals, it feels right to descend into the grubby underbelly of Soho with the festive fiasco, Don't Open 'til Christmas.
    The "plot" such as it is, is a basic one. A crazed serial killer is roaming the west end murdering men dressed as Santa Claus. If there's a worse Christmas film (not including anything by Hallmark) we'd be very interested to hear about them.
    Written, produced & directed by a rotating motley crew of exploitation regulars, the film apparently took two years to make which is possibly the most shocking thing about it.
    Our guest for this episode is the magnificent David McGillivray who has not only written about this film in the past but also knew many of the people involved.
    David's Twitter and his IMDB listing.
    Buy David's books, Doing Rude Things and Little Did You Know.
    Thanks to Danny Cox for the countdown of festive Santa murders.
    If you really want to see Don't Open 'til Christmas, you can find it on YouTube.
    Thank you for listening.
    Follow us on Twitter (or X - whatever)
    If Musk starts charging, find us either on our new Threads feed or on Blue Sky.
    Email us at sohobitespodcast@gmail.com
    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

    • 54 min
    Soho Bites 45: Friday the Thirteenth (1933)

    Soho Bites 45: Friday the Thirteenth (1933)

    Jessie part three.
    For this, the third and final instalment of our mini-series about the 1930s' biggest UK film star, Jessie Matthews, we met up with Dr Jennifer Voss of De Montford University to talk about Friday the Thirteenth (1933).
    NB: this is the Friday the Thirteenth from 1933, directed by Victor Saville with a large ensemble cast including Jessie as well as her husband, Sonnie Hale, Emlyn Williams (who also wrote the script), Gordon Harker, Edmund Gwenn, Eliot Makeham, Frank Lawton and the lovely Ursula Jeans plus many more. It is not the silly 1980s slasher film of the same name.
    Friday the Thirteenth consists of seven separate stories which all come together at the end when our many protagonists find themselves aboard a bus which is involved in a fatal accident.
    To talk about Jessie, her life & career we're joined again by Rob Baker, Jade Evans and Dr Lawrence Napper.
    For this episode we also meet David Drummond who knew Jessie for the last thirty years of her life and dated her daughter! For many years, David ran a shop in the West End selling theatre and film related memorabilia & ephemera. Sadly the shop is no longer there but you can still visit the Pleasures of Past Times website.
    Our thanks to Professor Sean Street who provided some of the archive audio in the programme.
    Watch this 1981 BBC documentary about Jessie Matthews.
    Jessie appeared on This is Your Life in 1961.
    Jessie's biographer, Michael Thornton wrote this appalling, salacious, muckraking and probably untrue article for the appalling, salacious, muckraking Daily Mail which I have...

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Soho Bites 44: Evergreen (1934)

    Soho Bites 44: Evergreen (1934)

    Jessie part two.
    This is the second instalment of a three part mini-series about the 1930s' biggest UK film star, Jessie Matthews.
    Evergreen (1934) was based on Ever Green, CB Cochran's 1930 musical spectacular at the Adelphi Theatre. Jessie starred as Harriet Green in both the stage show and the film.
    We're joined by Dr Melanie Williams of The University of East Anglia to talk about the film and  Rob Baker, Jade Evans and Dr Lawrence Napper return to the show to talk about Jessie's life.
    Evergreen is the story of two Harriet Greens, in which one Harriet finds fame and fortune by impersonating the other.
    Evergreen was third of five Jessie Matthews films directed by Victor Saville and co-starred Mr Jessie Matthews, Sonnie Hale. Barry Mackay plays the love interest, Tommy Thompson and Betty Balfour plays Maudie, continuing her successful transition from silent films to talkies.
    Watch this 1981 BBC documentary about Jessie Matthews.
    Jessie appeared on This is Your Life in 1961.
    Jessie's biographer, Michael Thornton wrote this appalling, salacious, muckraking and probably untrue article for the appalling, salacious, muckraking Daily Mail which I have pasted it into this Google Doc to deprive the Mail of your clicks.
    Melanie has a ton of film & TV writing out there including books on David Lean and A Taste of Honey. Follow her on the site formally known as Twitter.
    Rob Baker is on Twitter too and you can buy his books HERE.
    Article about...

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Soho Bites 43: The Good Companions (1933)

    Soho Bites 43: The Good Companions (1933)

    The Big Jessie series.
    This is the first of a three part mini-series focusing on the 1930s' biggest UK film star, Jessie Matthews.
    None of Jessie's films were set in Soho, but the fact that she was born on Berwick Street where her dad was a market trader, that she lived in William & Mary Yard on Brewer Street and that she learned to dance in an upstairs room at The Blue Posts means that, as far as we're concerned, any film starring Jessie Matthews is a Soho film.
    Across the next three episodes we will talk about three different Jessie films and learn about her life through talking to several special guests. In this first episode, we talk to Rob Baker, Jade Evans and Dr Lawrence Napper about Jessie's early life and her rise to stardom and Lawrence hangs around to talk about Jessie's 1933 breakthrough film, The Good Companions.
    Also starring a very young John Gielgud, Edmund Gwenn and Mary Glynne, The Good Companions was directed by Victor Saville, produced by Michael Balcon and was based on a best selling 1929 novel of the same name by JB Priestley.
    Watch this 1981 BBC documentary about Jessie Matthews.
    Jessie appeared on This is Your Life in 1961.
    Jessie's biographer, Michael Thornton wrote this appalling, salacious, muckraking and probably untrue article for the appalling, salacious, muckraking Daily Mail which I have pasted it into this Google Doc to deprive the Mail of your clicks.
    Rob Baker is on Twitter and you can buy his books HERE.
    a...

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Soho Bites 42: A Fallen Idol?

    Soho Bites 42: A Fallen Idol?

    Not a normal episode.
    We're not actually talking about a Soho film in this episode. It's a long story... We do, however, talk to a genuine film star from the golden era.
    As an eight year old boy, Bobby Henrey was rocketed into the public eye when he starred in Carol Reed & Graham Greene's 1948 thriller, "The Fallen Idol". He joins us on Soho Bites (on his 84th birthday!) to tell us about that experience.
    Bobby is now known as Robert and there is a double reason for having him on the show. His mother, Madeleine Henrey, was a French author, based in London, who wrote several memoirs - social histories - about Soho and the west end. These included "A Village in Piccadilly" from 1942 and "Spring in a Soho Street" from 1962. Her books were often published under her married name, "Mrs Robert Henrey" which seems quite an odd decision to make, but Robert explains the reasoning behind this and talks about how this literary career began.
    Robert spent his early childhood living in Mayfair, specifically in Shepherd Market during the blitz. This period is documented in Mrs Robert Henrey's memoir, A Village in Piccadilly.
    In the final part of the show we preview our upcoming three part special seasn about Soho's very own fallen idol, the 1930s mega star, Jessie Matthews.
    An article about Robert.
    You can buy Robert's book, Through Grown Up Eyes, at Foyles.
    Some of the people who have helped me research this episode include Professor Debra Kelly of Westminster University, Celia Cotton of the Brentford High St Project, who put me in touch with Anne Wallace who is a distant relative of the Henreys and Roger Greaves, whose book, Reading Madeleine, is currently in production.
    Madeleine Henrey's Wikipedia entry and her obituary.
    Images of Shepherd Market from then & now.
    Our favourite tired old queen reviews The Fallen Idol.
    During the pandemic, we made an episode of Mural Morsels about Jessie Matthews.
    Custom artwork for this episode was created by a href="https://twitter.com/AndyOliverMusic" rel="noopener noreferrer"

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Whitenknight ,

One of my favourites!

I’ve followed Soho Bites since Covid lockdown. It’s become like an old friend. I think it’s great!

BritishFilmStardom ,

Brilliantly witty

The Soho Bites podcast is fabulously fun and entertaining and full of knowledge about films. I thoroughly enjoy it and always look forward to a new episode!

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.

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