October 22, 1964- Ian Fleming's Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang published
The author behind 007 himself in the novels of James Bond, penned this altogether different children's novel as a bedtime story for his son, Caspar. Swapping spy gadgets for flying motorcars and glamorous Bond girls for toot sweets, Fleming's story of the inventor Caractacus Potts and his family gave way to one of the most legendary films of the 20th century starring Dick van Dyke which took the classic story to new heights of popularity.
October 25, 1976- the Queen opens the National Theatre
Some of the world's finest actors and actresses have trod the boards of the National Theatre but it was on this week that the UK's powerhouse of theatre was first opened by Her Majesty the Queen. Bands, fireworks and even a carnival featured in the opening celebrations along with a speech from Laurence Olivier who welcomed visitors with a quote from Henry V.
October 20, 1946- Muffin the Mule's first TV appearance
The loveable wooden puppet brought to life by Annette Mills made his first appearance on BBC TV in this week. Muffin was originally created in 1933 by Punch and Judy puppet maker, Fred Tickner, as part of a puppet circus for the Hogarth Puppet Theatre. He tapped his toes on top on Annette's piano along with friends including Oswald the Ostrich and Hubert the Hippo until 1957.
October 20, 1973- Dalai Lama makes first UK visit
For the first time, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists arrived in the UK for a 10-day tour. The Dalai Lama was later awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1989 for his attempts to liberate Tibet using peaceful measures.
October 22, 1964- Sandie Shaw hits number 1
In 1967 this barefoot songbird won the UK our first ever Eurovision victory but it was on this week in 1964 that Sandie Shaw first saw singing success as she hit the top of the charts with the Burt Bacharach hit “There's Always Something There to Remind Me”. The song was originally recorded as a demo for Dionne Warwick and then a track for American artist Lou Johnson before Sandie took on the song, premiering it on the pop music TV programme, Ready Steady Go!