You might hear Sinfonietta 4th movement by Janáček on Radio Sounds Familiar and if you are of a certain age, you will remember this piece heralded the beginning of  ‘Crown Court’ the long running Day time court room drama of the 1970’s made by Granada TV

Running for an incredible 879 episodes, airing from 1972 to 1984.



The storys were fictional but the jury was made up of real members of the public, who ultimately had to decide the verdict on each case.  Each case was presented over three consecutive afternoons, with the verdict decided on the third episode.  
The cast consisted of many eminent character actors. The judges being played by the likes of William Mervyn, John Barron, John Horsley, Edward Jewesbury, Basil Dignam, Frank Middlemass, and Basil Henson and barristers and Queens council by Keith Barron, Jonathan Elsom, Bernard Gallagher, Peter Jeffrey, Charles Keating, Maureen Lipman, T. P. McKenna, and Richard Wilson, other appearances included Eleanor Bron, Tom Conti, Brian Cox, Michael Elphick, Sheila Fearn, Colin Firth, Brenda Fricker, Derek Griffiths, Nigel Havers, Bernard Hill, Gregor Fisher, Ben Kingsley, Mark McManus,  Judy Parfitt, Robert Powell, Peter Sallis, Michael Sheard, Juliet Stevenson, Peter Capaldi , Ben Kingsley, Bob Hoskins, Michael Elphick and Pauline Quirke. 
Also the occasional appearance of Elizabeth Dawn as a non speaking prison officer ( later she became famous as Vera Duckworth of Coronation Street fame.)


The distinctive voice of the late Peter Wheeler introduced and closed each episode, he was credited as the court reporter.
The cases embraced all areas of the law, both Civil and criminal matters.  Murder, Drug abuse, Rape, infanticide and espionage.
‘Distant Hills’ performed by the Simon Park orchestra closed each episode, it became popular because it was released as the B -side to the hit ‘Eye Level’ the theme to Van der Valk.

Seven DVD volumes are available, and they make great afternoon viewing.



Read more about Crown Court and details of the individual episodes in Broadcast Bygones here.

Bye for Now
Gary



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