Bank Holiday Films

Before there were videos, DVDs, multi-start TV and whatever else we have now, Bank Holidays were TV heaven. For the whole of one day, starting when the Testcard stopped showing at nine o’clock, there would be films to watch. Classics such as The Wizard of Oz, Jason and the Argonauts and Ben Hur during the family viewing daytime. Action adventure with Errol Flynn and new James Bond films in the evenings.

It was marvellous. If you were ever off school randomly, like if you were ill or the school flooded or froze, then you knew that the daytime TV generally sucked. I mean even more so than today when at least you have more options. For weeks leading up to a Bank Holiday, you might look forward to the time off school so that you could get to watch TV all day long and be happy. Unless your parents decided that you should be doing something healthy outdoors, that is.

These days, Bank Holidays aren’t as exciting. There is still time off school and work, but the TV doesn’t tend to be any different to the usual fare. Those old classic films haven’t lost their magic, but it seems that making them constantly accessible has watered down the excitement somewhat. Or am I just being jaded and cynical?


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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