News : AROnline and The Baim Collection bring you a Telly treat… literally

You’ve heard it mentioned a dozen times and some will be bemused, amused or aghast with horror by the wonderfully naff Telly Savalas Visits Birmingham, but we have really got a treat in store for you this time.

Mike Humble explains all…


Us Brits are a funny bunch, aren’t we? The ability to have a jolly good laugh at each other and smile in the face of adversity is a key strength embodied in us all. Ever since Keith first had the idea to post up the amazingly popular Memories featuresAROnline’s traffic has gone through the roof with a record number of people clicking in and out of the site. We won’t dwell on this, suffice to say a big thank you – if transporting you back in time, even if just for a little while, is making this global detritus a tiny bit more bearable for you, then that makes the efforts of everyone on the Editorial Team all the more worthwhile.

Anyway, only just this morning, a contact of mine at the Baim Collection got in touch to express his joy at seeing our Memories article on Birmingham which makes mention of the epic Telly Savalas looks at Birmingham cinema short. As we have mentioned before, the late Harold Baim used to make and produce a number of short feature films. The film itself hasn’t been seen in its entirety for a number of years, and was last broadcast on the Sky Arts channel. The licence to broadcast has since expired so, with the archive company’s blessing, we have been given exclusive rights – for a limited time only we must add – to let you see it in full.

So, let Telly Savalas take you into a world of almost 40 years ago when ‘Wumptie’ buses roamed the streets in this half-hour journey of joy. Keep those eyes peeled for thousands of period cars (above), and join us in extended our thanks to the Baim Collection. Thinking about it for a moment, wouldn’t it be great if we got in touch asking Sky TV to re-run these films? I think we need a little light hearted nostalgia on the tellybox right now.

If you agree with me, go to:

Here’s lookin’ atcha!

Telly Savalas Looks At Birmingham

Telly Savalas Looks At Birmingham –  Courtesy of The Baim Collection

Mike Humble


    • Talking Pictures have been showing quite a few interesting short films.

      I’m wondering what the other films in the series are like, & whether Telly Savalas thought some other places where his kinda town.

  1. A much more ‘balanced’ feel than the short version. And we get to see the Ford van pull round the camera – and come close to the car in Lane 2. Indeed it just right for Talking Pictures TV.

  2. Interesting picture, worth studying. Some things I noted:
    – Nearly all are from “British” makers
    – roughly half the cars are Fords yet no Escorts or Fiestas
    – Apart from the silver Fiat 127 they’re all mid-large cars
    – a wide range of colours
    Is this a car park full of company cars ?

    • There’s an inordinate number of Cortinas, even bearing in mind it was the best seller in the UK at the time. Ford routinely got around 30% of the market at that time, and in one month, as I recall, secured 39% of UK sales. Amazing what could be achieved with a well-marketed range of five models!

  3. Considering it was from Brum…. the lack of massive amounts of BL cars of the era was evident, at least 4 SD1’s in the car park at one point, a lot of Princesses throughout, and lots of Citroens CX/GS cars, i loved those…. However, not one mention of Longbridge ? considering that, as a percentage, i suspect that more people worked there, than in other job (aside from council), but it was great, and i wonder, DID, Telly Savalas actually come to Birmingham, or was the script, and film sent to Hollywood and then produced there…LOL….

    And if he did come, what did he really think of Birmingham.

    • I heard Telly Savalas only made it as far as a London dubbing studio.

      It’s interesting what voice over work some stars did, Orson Welles infamously did one for Bird’s Eye & the out takes from it were featured on TV Offal.

      Vincent Price did a lot in his later years, including that documentary about roller-coasters that uses the Grandstand theme. I found it on You Tube a while back.

    • If you saw the original Birmingham memory post, I mentioned about your thoughts, but I’ll tell you here too.

      Telly had an agent in London who looked after his affairs when he was over here. Baim knew the agent well, in fact were good pals, who by all accounts owed him a favour or two.

      The favour was called, a few strings were pulled and Telly spent a day in a Soho recording studio doing the above, Portsmouth and Aberdeen film overdubs.

      Hope that helps

      • Thanks it’s been a few years since the original article & I’ve forgotten I’d read it here.

  4. Hello all, I trying to watch the above video but it keeps asking me for a password, am I doing something wrong or is the password listed and I’m missing it. Thanks in advance for any help.

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