British Universities Film & Video Council

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Alan Howland

Profile

Dates
1935-1939
Role
Commentator
Newsreels / Cinemagazines
British Movietone News
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Career

Alan Howland was a BBC radio announcer who became a commentator for British Movietone News. He was apparently appointed as part of Movietone’s redesign in April 1935, and his first credit is for ‘EMPEROR KANG TEH RIDES WITH MIKADO FOR ARMY REVIEW’ in No.310 from May 1935. Howland was soon regularly employed on sports items, apparently because of his fast delivery. The credit for ‘SPORT: Reported by Alan Howland’ first appeared in British Movietone News No.312A of May 1935, but within a few months he was almost exclusively employed on this work. In March 1937 Howland commentated for ‘THE BOAT RACE’ in British Movietone News No.407A, and a writer in the World Film News noted that when he viewed the story ‘in a tiny Lancashire village hall’: ‘The event of the evening was the derisive roar that greeted [the] commentator’s: ‘Ah expect you reahlahs that ahm an Oxford man mahself’.' Howland’s last credit was ‘Leslie Mitchell Reviews the News pageant of Movietone. Sports Reported by Alan Howland’ in British Movietone News No.531A from August 1939.

Sources

World Film News, September 1937, ‘Newsreel Rushes: A Wide-Open Letter to Mr Gerald Sanger,' September 1937, p.32; December 1937, ‘Newsreel rushes: newsreel notes by The Commentator,' p.39: P. Purser ‘Voices off,' Sunday Telegraph, 28/10/1962.

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