Who was the first British woman television presenter?


In the mid-1930s, the BBC advertised for female television announcers to deliver the continuity between programmes.

1122 applicants from all corners of the British Empire applied for the posts and Elizabeth Cowell and Jasmine Bligh were the two successful candidates.

The new television service started transmissions from Alexandra Palace in August 1936 and the two women worked alongside a male presenter Leslie Mitchell until September 1939 when World War Two saw an end to the television service for the duration.

In 1946, when the television service was resumed Elizabeth had married and soon left the BBC but Jasmine remained and  was the first presenter to appear on the re-instated service.

She greeted viewers with the famous line: “Good afternoon everybody. How are you? Do you remember me, Jasmine Bligh?”

Then a Micky Mouse cartoon was transmitted, the same one that was the final transmission on the outbreak of war.

Before joining the BBC Jasmine was an actress and show-girl and this stood her in good stead over the ensuing years as she established herself in her presenting role.

Image credit: Image by 250432 from Pixabay