"The Men from the Ministry"
recorded for Radio South Africa

(1993)

When commercial station Springbok Radio (broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation) closed in 1985 after 35 years on air, listeners demanded "The Men from the Ministry" remain, so arrangements were made with the SABC's Radio South Africa to continue running there. The show was produced this time by SABC radio drama producer Don Ridgway in the same studio in Old Fort Road, Durban.

 
The cast of "Men" were asked to write a short biography on their characters for Radio South Africa...
Tom Meehan
John Simpson
Roger Service
Maureen Adair
Tommy Read
Frank Graham
Click on a photo to link to the bio

Below are still frames taken from a promotional video tape made for TV at the first recording session of the Men from the Ministry for broadcast on Radio South Africa on 2 October 1993. It's called "Pitkinworld here!" See the video below.

In this episode, Roland Lennox-Brown and Richard Lamb of the General Assistance Department are called in to over see the opening of the Stevenage Sewerage Scheme (which has taken 10 years to complete) and the creation of "London's answer to America's Disneyland and Disneyworld, to France's Eurodisney, to Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens.... to Blackpool's Tower!" Sir Gregory has, in all modesty, named it "Pitkinworld".
"Wouldn't it be funny if there was a mix-up somewhere." said Waldo Wagtail from COWSLIP, the Control of Water, Sound and Light installations at Pitkinworld.
"Mix-up?" said Mildred, "With Mr. Lennox-Brown and Mr. Lamb miles away from each other? Nothing can happen - not this time....!"

 

No1:
No2:
Sir G:
Mildred:

General Assistance Department, Number One speaking.
Hello! This is Number Two.
Pitkin here!
It's them again, the Men from the Ministry!

The original cast: (l-r) Frank Graham, Tommy Read (background), Maureen Adair, Tom Meehan, Roger Service and John Simpson with Brian Squires looking on.    

 
Number One and Number Two   Mildred and Richard Lamb


 
Dear old Humbert and Lolita Snetherswaite   Frank Graham playing Waldo Wagtail, in a scene with Maureen
and Roger.

This series of "Men from the Ministry" played for about 71 episodes on Radio South Africa, half of which were recorded before an audience in the SABC studios, and the other half were taken to various locations in and around Durban as it was very often difficult to get sufficient people to come to the studios on recording nights. This also happened towards the end of the Springbok Radio days. People had television to entertain them at home and many people preferred to stay at home at night.

 

Video Clip of Relaunch Promo for Radio South Africa (1993)

Tom Meehan and producer Don Ridgway
BROADCAST LOG OF THIS SERIES OF "MEN"
Read an article printed in the Afrikaans "Keur" magazine when Men closed on Radio South Africa

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Published to the Internet in January 2002
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