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THE EAGLE SOCIETY is dedicated to the memory of EAGLE - Britain's National Picture Strip Weekly - the leading Boy's magazine of the 1950s and 1960s. We publish an A4, quarterly journal - the Eagle Times.

This weblog has been created to provide an additional, more immediate, forum for news and commentary about the society and EAGLE-related issues. Want to know more? See First Post and Eagle - How it began.

Sunday 14 January 2024


As this is my forty ninth page it seems only right that it should focus on PC 49 or at least the actor who played him so successfully. EAGLE TIMES has often covered the radio, film and stage career of Brian Reece, but he also appeared as a regular character in two television series. The first was The New Adventures of Martin Kane in 1957, about an American private detective based in London and working all over Europe. It starred William Gargan who had previously played the part on American radio and TV, hence the ‘new’ title. Brian Reece played  Superintendent David Page – at last getting promoted from PC and a significant promotion at that! He appeared in thirteen of the series’ thirty nine episodes, which were produced by Towers of London Productions and broadcast on ITV and in syndication in America.  His other series was a six part comedy called Don’t Do it Dempsey! which provided him with the starring role of James Dempsey, a man of eternal optimism and ‘an eye for the girls’ who leapt headlong into any promising romantic situation. Written by Patrick Campbell and Vivienne Knight, it was a B.B.C. production, made and broadcast in 1960. Brian also appeared in many one-off comedy and musical plays, often adapted for television from West End productions. These included a production of the musical Bless the Bride in 1956, which Brian had played in the West End. His performance in a radio adaptation of this play back in 1947 had won him the part of PC 49. Among his other parts was the leading role of Charles Battle in W. Somerset Maugham’s play The Breadwinner in 1960.

It is an indication of Brian’s fame as an actor, presenter and personality that he appeared twice as the celebrity ‘castaway’ on the long running radio series Desert Island Discs. These came in July 1953 and April 1961. Sadly he died in April 1962 of a bone disease, but despite serious illness he continued to present the radio series Movietime until shortly before his death.

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