Alfred Black

Forename/s: 
Alfred
Family name: 
Black
Work area/craft/role: 
Company: 
Industry: 
Interview Number: 
287
Interview Date(s): 
6 Jul 1993
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 
80
Access restrictions: 

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Interview
Biographical

One of the most famous theatrical impresarios in British light entertainment Alfred Black produced numerous post war revues and musicals in London's West End and the provinces. Together with his brother George they discovered the comedian Sid Field and brought him to London where he starred in shows such as Piccadilly Hayride and Strike a New Note.

Alfred Black was born in Sunderland. The family were steeped in show business, his grandfather was a travelling showman and his father, George, was to become one of London's most powerful producers, presenting shows at the London Palladium and controlling the Moss Empires variety circuit.

Alfred's brother George was two years his elder and both of them decided at an early age to go into show business. During WW2 Alfred served in the Army Film and Photographic Unit and in 1942 he married the stage and screen actress Roma Beaumont.

George Black Senior died in 1943 after which the two brothers took over the family's flourishing entertainment empire. They presented many star name West End shows including Harvey, starring Sid Field and Wedding in Paris, starring Evelyn Laye.

In 1957 the brothers were among the successful consortium (which included the film producer Sidney Box) who invested in Tyne Tees Television. As one of the smallest of all ITV regions the company's ambitions were modest but among their successes were Saturday Showtime, starring the comedian Jimmy Logan, and The One O'Clock Show, starring Sheila Mathews. The latter had the highest viewing figures in the UK for a lunchtime show and boasted more than 150,000 viewers each day.

George Black died in 1970 aged 59 and Alfred continued to produce television and variety shows with leading stars. In his retirement he and his wife Roma were noted for their lavish show business parties which they held at their penthouse in North London, once the home of Peter Sellers. Roma Beaumont died in 2001.

IMDb Mini Biography By Patrick Newley.