Episode 37

Soho Bites 37: Beat Girl (1960)

Attention jiving scum! This is one is straight from the fridge dad.

It doesn't get more Soho than Beat Girl (1960) - coffee shops, beatniks, strip clubs, The 2 i's.... it's got the lot.

Gillian Hills leads the cast of Beat Girl, which also stars Adam Faith, Christopher Lee, Shirley Ann Field and, in a very small role, a young Oliver Reed.

We met novelist, Des Burkinshaw in the bar of the Soho Theatre to talk about Beat Girl which is the closest we could find to a bohemian coffee bar.

Des is a huge fan of John Barry, who wrote the music for Beat Girl and he recently concluded a two year stint as the presenter of the Museum of Soho Show on Soho Radio.

You can stream Beat Girl right now on TPTV Encore.

Also on TPTV Encore is this 2016 BFI interview with the star of Beat Girl, Gillian Hills, about the making of the film. It's well worth a watch.

Back in the day, Des actually met one of the stars of Beat Girl and grabbed this selfie.

Gillian Hills released a four part podcast about her life in December 2021.

Follow Gillian on Facebook.

Our other guest for this episode is Paris based journalist Hanna Steinkopf-Frank. Paris is some distance from Soho - the connection is that Gillian Hills became a Yé-yé singer and Hannah came on to talk about this genre.

What's Yé-yé? Find out in this article by Hannah.

Follow Hannah on Twitter and check out her website.

You can also follow Des on Twitter.

There' s a LOT of music in this episode. Here's a track list:

Eiko Shuri - Yé-Yé 

France Gall - Poupée de cire, poupée de son

Françoise Hardy - Comment te dire adieu

J Girls - Kiiro no sekai

Brigitte Bardot - Moi Je Joue

France Gall - Les Sucettes

Gillian Hills - Tut Tut Tut Tut

Gillian Hills - Zou Bisou Bisou

Françoise Hardy - Tous les garçons et les filles

Sylvie Vartan - La Plus Belle Pour Aller Danser

Nancy Holloway - T'en va pas comme ça

France Gall - Laisse tomber les filles

John Barry Seven - Beat Girl Theme

In one scene in Beat Girl, the youths all go off to a gig / party in Chislehurst Caves. Did you know about Chislehurst Caves? I didn't!

The voice of the person recommending we do Beat Girl on Soho Bites was provided by Murder Mile Mike.

If you want to keep up to date the efforts to bring the Kino Cinema back from the dead, follow Kino Quickies.

The originator of Soho Bites, Dr Jingan Young, has a new book out all about.... guess what? Films set in Soho! Get your copy at Foyles.

Thank you for listening.

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