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Two-Way Family Favourites;

1945- 1984 (39 years)


Jean Metcalfe  and Cliff Michelmore

Regular presenters Jean Metcalfe  and Cliff Michelmore married in 1950.

A popular record request programme designed to link families at home in the UK with British Forces Posted Overseas (BFPO).


The forerunner was aired during World War II on the General Forces programme. Titled 'Forces Favourites'; BFPO and their families at home could request a favourite record along with a dedication. At the end of the War, the show was renamed Family Favourites and broadcast on the Light Programme.


The half - hour Tuesday evening show was expanded in 1960 to a longer 90-minute Sunday show with a radio announcer telephone link from the BFPO Country. One presenter was based in London, the other in a BFPO station in either Canada, West Germany, Singapore Hong Kong or even Australia. Each presenter took turn to read a dedication and introduce the next record. Amongst the regular presenters were Jean Metcalfe (b1923 - d2000) Cliff Michelmore, (b1919 - d2016) Michael Aspel, Sarah Kennedy and finally actress Jean Challis.


In the 1950's and early 1960's Family Favourites was one of the few BBC radio programmes devoted exclusively to records, so its audience in consequence was huge, going far beyond the audience at which it was aimed. It offered the 'real thing', the popular records themselves which by the late 1950 s were what people wanted to hear, as against versions of the songs being played live in a studio in London.


With the launch of the new BBC radio networks in 1967, the show was listed by Radio Times as a Radio 1 show, and it was relayed on Radio 2. Two - Way Family Favourites became exclusive to Radio 2 in 1970 until it was axed in 1984.





Theme - With A Song In My Heart by Andre Kostelanetz & his Orchestra.


The following clips are taken from a 1964 show featuring Jean Metcalfe.

Three Arabs at Number 18

Jean Burns Up!

The Twist is Out, Boy...

Rose Brennan "Underrated"

If you can positively identify the male announcer, please contact us.




Comments (12)

3/5 (2)
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Derrick Jefferies (Los Angeles USA) says...
I was in the Royal Signals Corp, Germany during 1958/59. Every Sunday we would crowd around the radio in the billet to listen to Family Favourites, it was the highlight of our week, we listened intently hoping to hear a request for a song from a girlfriend, mother or wife, I have a lump in my throat just remembering Jean Metcalfe and Cliff Michellmore talking to us all overseas, it is a show I think of frequently even though I am know an old guy of 79 years, it was a wonderful show for our ... Read More
30th December 2017 2:21am
Sean (Canterbury) says...
It was a innovative idea and brought lots of joy to people around the world.
3rd December 2017 11:50pm
Lynne McCulloch (Ramsgate) says...
I worked as the Production Assistant on Family Favourites fron 1975 - 1977. I loved that programme and we had the most fascinating listeners. I can't hear When Will I See You Again or When I Need You without the memories flooding back
22nd October 2017 8:47pm
Bill Rutter (Shoreham -by-Sea) says...
The comments about 'Mum cooking dinner' make the memories come flooding back. That's just how it was with TWFF the soundtrack to my younger days - I still love Nat King Cole because of it. Fabulous. Must go now - I seem to have something in my eye.
2nd September 2017 1:48pm
Ken rose (Mansfield) says...
As a kid of about 11years old I use to look forward to the Program every week
would just love to hear some old recording of the program, are there any recording out there

Wish the BBC could replay some of the old recordings again
I'sent Nostalgia great
23rd July 2017 6:29pm
Brendan Kerr (Leicester) says...
Very much a big part of my childhood, the show was always on when mum did Sunday dinner as Dad made his way from the 'Legion.. Will always remember Soul Coaxing drifting over the airwaves, surprisingly as it became a Northern Soul Classic.. Sad for it to go but as I came to BFPO35 in 1984, BFBS was there and was like an old friend I hadn't met in yrs.. Thank you to all concerned.
22nd January 2017 3:44pm
Bob Armstrong (Middlesborough) says...
Trying to track down a r cording of Forces Favourites 25th December 1968 for Green Howard's. I recorded this with John Westlake for British Honduras. Anyone any ideas???
13th January 2017 7:26pm
Mike Glanfield (Winslow) says...
I fondly remember those Sunday lunchtimes, when mum would be getting the Sunday roast ready. I always looked forward to hearing the voice of Bill Paul (not sure if that's spelt correctly) from Toronto. The background fading and hissing sounds, as radio waves made it across the globe, always made me think of just how far away all those outposts were. Delightful! I would love to get hold of just one of the many program recordings. Is that possible?
6th January 2017 8:35pm
David Bentley (Halifax west yorkshire) says...
Happy days listening at home every Sunday, then later on my birthday a request whilst serving in Cyprus with the army for Olivia Newton john to sing take me home country roads, which I missed whilst on duty, but anyway thanks Mum and Dad the lads told me about it.
23rd November 2016 11:29pm
Sandra Scott (Kirkcaldy) says...
How well I remember every Sunday lunchtime listening to two way family favourites.The excitement when a record was played for my brother serving in the Navy.Ella Fitzgerald Eveytime we say goodbye.Happy days indeed
20th September 2016 3:17pm
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