The admag girls
20 Jun 2016 1 comment. tbs.pm/9117
From the TVTimes for week commencing 26 April 1957.
Sheila Mathews is now ‘Saturday’s Girl’
When Independent Television hit the screens of London and the south, a petite blonde named Sheila Mathews soon won the hearts of viewers as Friday’s Girl — the title of her 30-week 15-minute series.
Now she is charming ABC’s week-end audiences in a different role! As a demonstrator in the Saturday advertising magazine Quick on the Draw, she shows how to use all kinds of things, from the latest cake mixture to a machine for cutting grass the easy way.
“I’ve learnt to much about housewifery I think I should make the most competent housewife ever,” she laughs.
But in case any male reader should consider himself a likely candidate for the role of husband, there’s nothing doing. Sheila is far too busy to think about boy friends.
“The programme takes up my whole week,” she says, “but I always have Sunday off – my one chance to have a good rest.”
Monday finds her checking with producer Eddie Kebbell on what clothes she will need for Saturday’s programme. If she hasn’t already got them in her extensive wardrobe, she goes out to buy them.
Tuesday she has a script conference with Eddie. Wednesday she has a hair do. If she has to learn something especially difficult for her demonstrations, she spends the rest of Wednesday practising. Thursday and Friday are rehearsal days.
There may also be a cabaret to do, or a broadcast, and as Sheila is primarily a singer and dancer, lessons have to be kept up.
When Eddie Kebbell – who also produced her in Friday’s Girl – wanted a vivacious personality for Quick on the Draw, he immediately thought of Sheila. “I think she is a great artist,” he says.
Sheila has no illusions about show business. “I’m the most impatient person in the world regarding my career,” she says. “Of course I would like to he a big star.”
But at 27, she admits there is still plenty of time to reach the top. She is sincere enough to agree that she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life trying to attain that ambition.
Television presents its problems, says Sheila. Once, in Friday’s Girl, she forgot the words of a sing she was signing. She fitted-in with the first words which came into her head. No one noticed the difference!
She finds advertising products fun, but exhausting, too. Remembering trade names and their various uses can be nerve-racking. So far, she hasn’t slipped up.
Beryl — and the bunnies
One of Beryl Mason’s most memorable theatrical experiences was playing in pantomime opposite the late Sid Field. That was 17 years ago in Birmingham, where today Beryl is well-known because of her appearances in About Homes And Gardens every Friday night.
Later she was to enjoy Sid Field’s triumph in the play Harvey, in which he played companion to a non-existent rabbit. She says that this play had nothing to do with the collection of rabbits in her Mayfair fiat.
“I began collecting because I had an odd shelf I wanted to fill up,” she said. “Since then, the collection has become like Frankenstein’s monster – I can’t stop it.”
“Today I have more than 100 rabbits. Glass and china, woolly, rag, wood and brass ones. They’ve come from all over the country and the world.”
Television keeps Beryl busy most of the week, but during the summer she hopes to visit Lord’s and the Oval as often at possible. “Cricket is my main relaxation,” she says. “The rest of the About Homes And Gardens team are fans, too. I’m hoping to arrange parties at both test matches at these grounds this summer.” And Noele Gordon is invited to the parties. “Noele and I have known each other since the thirties,” Beryl recalls. “Our careers have run near to each other’s during the years. It was typical of Noele that when she stepped out of About Homes And Gardens because of her commitments in Lunch Box she put my name forward as her successor.”
Beryl Mason, attractive on the screen, looks younger and more radiant in real life. She has dark hair, flashing eyes and a 33-25-37 figure.
Beryl Mason had a successful career in revue, pantomime, musical comedy and drama. Her biggest success was in See How They Run, which ran for 18 months in the West End. On the screen, she has played character parts, and she has also appeared in a number of short advertising films.
Apart from cricket and her rabbit collection. Beryl is a Danny Kaye fan. “He is a complete artist,” she said. “I’ve spent a lot of money on tickets for his shows, and waited hours to get into them. But every penny and every minute have been well worth while.”
Beryl’s commitments don’t leave her much time for theatre-going, and she’s glad therefore, that Danny is not among the forthcoming attractions at the London Palladium.
“I might not be able to scrounge time off to see him!”
W. O. Court
Both Sheila Mathews and Beryl Mason appear to still be alive at the time of writing. Ms Mathews, 89, recently appeared on stage in Brighton. Ms Mason is 95.