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Stooky Bill and the Invention of Television

October 2, 2015

On this day in October 1924 – Stooky Bill’s TV debut.



90 years ago today, “Stooky Bill” became a sort of star of a sort of version of television.

Transmitted as an image from John Logie Baird’s laboratory in Hastings, “Stooky Bill” was chosen for TV stardom because real human beings were too nuanced in their features and did not (as yet) translate as recognisable characters when broadcast.   Stooky on the other hand was garishly painted and crudely defined and therefore did very nicely.

The chain of command was quite simple and straightforward in Stooky’s day.  There weren’t the focus groups, the casting directors, the call backs, the legal team, the various drafters and enforcers of contracts.  There was just Stooky and his boss – Mr Baird.   According to those who knew (or rather recognised and avoided) John Logie Baird during his time in Hastings, Baird seemed himself far less a real person than a walking talking cartoon of a…

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