British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

This Week In Britain

1959 - 1980
Cinemagazine - Government
This Week in Britain was the longest running magazine series produced by the Central Office of Information (COI) for overseas distribution. It was a weekly five-minute film on a single topic introduced by a presenter from the country or territory it was destined for. Some of these ‘reporters,' such as Noelene Pritchard became well known figures, particularly in Australia where the programme occupied a regular slot just before the evening news for many years. Initially it was distributed in Canada, Australia and Latin America but the formula proved so popular and inexpensive that the distribution was extended in the early 1960s to include the Middle East, Africa and parts of South East Asia. With the re-structuring of television production within the COI in 1969 all editions of This Week in Britain were cut except for two, destined for Australia and Mexico, re-titled as 24 Horas. However, both editions developed a subsidiary distribution in the 1970s, to Latin America and the Caribbean among other countries. In 1980 the series was cut when its regular slot on Australian television was lost, by which time over 1,100 stories had been produced over twenty-one years.
The data for this series has been compiled from existing production files (INF 6) and COI monthly divisional reports (INF 8) held at The National Archives, production files at BUFVC, COI index cards at BFI Archive Footage Sales. Existing copies This Week In Britain are held at the British Film Institute. There is very little evidence of actual release dates for This Week In Britain so only the year has been added where the production documents or the content of the story indicate it.

Films in this series can be obtained from:

Film Archive

British Film Institute (BFI)
For BFI National Archive enquiries: For commercial/footage reuse enquiries:
020 7255 1444
020 7580 7503
21 Stephen Street
London W1T 1LN
The BFI National Archive also preserves the original nitrate film copies of British Movietone News, British Paramount News, Empire News Bulletin, Gaumont British News, Gaumont Graphic, Gaumont Sound News and Universal News (the World War II years are covered by the Imperial War Museum).
Series held
View all series held by British Film Institute (BFI)

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