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Landlords complained their pubs were deserted when Forsyte was on the box.

Colour wouldn’t appear until later in the year and there were just three channels.There was the mini-fanfare of trumpets in Eric Coates’s theme music, followed by a title page and an establishing shot — in black and white, because the days of colour TV had not yet arrived.Pictured: Actress Susan Hampshire recieves glasses as a present from the cast And ‘religiously’ turned out to be the appropriate word.He’s 90 now, but back then he was in his late 30s and the newly appointed controller of BBC2, with a brief to give the recently launched channel a distinctive, eclectic and up-market feel about it while managing to pull in — and keep — a respectable numbers of viewers. It was a huge gamble — the series was quadruple anything so far attempted on television.With the centenary of Galsworthy’s birth in 1867 approaching, a tentative Wilson broached the idea to Attenborough, suggesting a modest foray into the Forsyte novels with, say, 15 episodes? What if viewers were quickly bored and turned over or off?

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