Robert M (Bob) Angell

Robert M (Bob)
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Interview Date(s): 
1 Dec 1993
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Interview notes

BEHP 0310 S Bob Angell Synopsis.


Born1921. Schooling: Marlborough; joined the TAs at the age of 17, called up September 1939 into. the Royal Artillery; de-mobbed in1946, tried to get into the Regents Street Polytechnic to take the cine course but it was full up. Got a job as an assistant editor. Finally, after starting at Technicolor in the Negative Assembly Dept., he got his ACT card but soon after the Poly offered him a place on their Photographic Course. After one year, having passed he then got himself an assistant editor's job: with The Crown Film Unit in the Beaconsfield studios.

He worked to Bill Freeman, working on World in Action also did research and direction; When the Tory Government closed down Crown in 1951/52, 100 members of the staff were axed. He applied to the BBC but Shell Films offered him an Asst directors job, he talks about working on a 3D film with Denis Segaller. Together with Godfrey Jennison, Arthur Wooster, and Dick Marsden they started “Film Partnership", making films for the COI and sponsored films. Through working with Stephen Hearst and Peter Hunt, met Richard Dimbleby, who came into the Company as Chairman, bringing the much-needed extra finance.


He continues to talk about Film Partnership providing facilities for various BBC programmes. When Richard became ill the heart went out of the company and it started to die. On the death of Richard, David Dimbleby bought them out. So, in 1965 he. started to freelance, he then joined up with Ronnie Spencer to make sponsored films under the under the banner Lion Pacesetter Productions, but when the British Lion was subject to a takeover by property developer John Bentley, they managed to buy the company back and set up shop in 82 Wardour Street. They prospered reasonably well until they found there were too many companies chasing fewer and fewer slots in Channel Four.


He continues to talk about the problems of small companies trying to get commissions from the ITV companies. He talks about the books which he wrote for the BFI, and his time as Chairman of BAFTA's Programme Committee.

He also gives the history of, the Founding of BAFTA via The British Film Academy & The Guild of TV Directors and then the Society of Film and Television Arts. Finally, he talks about making commercials.

N.B. This interview was recorded in BAFTA's members’ bar so there is fairly heavy background noise.