Episode 27

Soho Bites 27: Saturday Night Revue (1937)

Yesteryear's Soho club-land.

Dr Lawrence Napper of Kings College London met up with Dom to discuss 1937’s Saturday Night Revue. Starring Sally Gray and Billy Milton, it’s a role call of some long forgotten cabaret & variety acts of the day. That doesn’t sound promising but it’s great!

Short clip from Saturday Night Revue.  Not sure why they chose this bit to promote the film...

The plot revolves around two night clubs, both called “Moons”. One is in Soho and the other is in Mayfair and is based on the Cafe de Paris. In the first half of the show, author Rob Baker returns to the show to tell us about the terrible night during World War 2 that the Cafe de Paris was bombed.

A very popular performer at the Cafe de Paris was Ken “Snakehips” Johnson and he has an uncredited cameo in Saturday Night Revue. Ken gave this interview to the BBC in 1940.

The unexpected star of Saturday Night Revue is not even an actor – he’s a BBC producer and presenter called John Watt who plays himself. His wife wrote a biography of him which was published in 1964 and it contains this picture.

One of the characters in Saturday Night Revue is a sound engineer at the BBC at “Radio House” (yes I know it’s called Broadcasting House – for some reason they call it Radio House in the film). There are references in the film to broadcasts of nightingales and this were a real thing. Read an article about them HERE.

We have another returnee to the show – Richard Luck of the New European pops in to enthuse about his home town.

If you’re not lucky enough to bag yourself a copy of Saturday Night Revue in our competition (listen to the episode for details) you can always spend money on it at Network.

Dr Lawrence Napper, this episode’s film expert, is a lecturer on Film Studies at Kings College London. Check out his details and published works on the KCL website and follow Lawrence on Twitter.

Visit Rob Baker’s websites: Another Nickel in the Machine & FlashBak, check out his fascinating Pinterest site and follow him on Twitter. You can also buy his books directly from the publisher.

Follow Richard Luck on Twitter, checkout out his contributions to The New European and listen to his previous appearance on the Soho Bites.

Thank you for listening.

Follow us on Twitter (or X - whatever)

If Musk starts charging, find us either on our new Threads feed or on Blue Sky.

Email us at sohobitespodcast@gmail.com

We'd love it if you left us a lovely REVIEW.

And if you'd like to help support the show we'd be very grateful.

Check out our spin-off series Mural Morsels

Support Soho Bites Podcast

A huge thank you to our supporters, it means a lot that you support our podcast.

If you like the podcast and want to support it, too, you can leave us a tip using the button below. We really appreciate it and it only takes a moment!
Support Soho Bites Podcast
Joe Alessi £10
Sean Herring $10
Time to give something back!
Eamonn McGuinness £3
Always informative and entertaining. Keep up the good work.
Dave £10
Loved the last episode about Bobby Henry and the Fallen Idol. Have a tenner.
Sam £10
I listened to every episode driving from the UK to Portugal! I really enjoy this podcast, highly recommended.
Marc Mcgown Mobile £7.5
Just gets u a pint in London. Thanks for the pod, gives me a lot of pleasure and insight. Marc E17
Barb £10
A friend I worked with in Soho years ago recommended this podcast to me. I live abroad now and this is like a taste of home. Keep up the good work
Simon H. £5
Worked in Soho many moons ago and was always fascinated by its past. Really enjoy this show and didn't realize so many films were set there!
Jazz Man Stan £10
I was going to tip £3 but drinks aren't cheap in Soho! Really love this show - keep up the good work.
Anonymous £1
Love this podcast, it’s become part of my daily routine!