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BBC and Afghan Hounds
(By Steve Tillotson 2014) BBC and Afghan Hounds


Before there was TV or the Internet there was Radio. I am of an age that was brought up on radio. Our news, entertainment, music, sports etc, mainly came via BBC radio, he only altrnatives were newspapers and other publications and live performances in theatres etc. The BBC is a treasured institution and covers just about every kind of event imaginable. This included coverage of Crufts, the worlds premier dog show. Lyall Payne uncovered a gerat picture of Sirdar Of Ghazni and Mary Amps speaking into a BBC microphone at Crufts 1930. . A remarkable photo that was front page on of the UK's leading national daily newspapers A brilliant PR achievement by Mary Amps !.

Since Lyall's great find we have uncovered various other references to Afghan hounds being on BBC radio programs. We have collected a few of these items and show them below.

On reflection, it should come as no surprise that the Afghan hound featured on the BBC on numerous occasions. Being brought up on radio, I know from personal experience how important radio was in my childhood. The family would gather around the radio and listen to the programs. The invention of the "transistor radio" in the 1960's was very exciting. I remember taking one to school, plus an earbud so I could listen to the "test match" (important series of Cricket matches between England and Australia). My form teacher knew, but he never told me off and, at break time he would ask me for an update on the match, and/or even borrow my little radio to listen for himself. The "swinging sixties" were faciltated by the existance of radio, in particular the arrival of "pirate radio" which was established in competiton to the (then) somewhat staid BBC. As a young man, everywhere I went, someody would have a rdio playing all that music from the swinging sixties.

During WWII (before my time..), not only was the BBC radio a lifeline of information for people in England, but all around the world - including the enemy. Mis-information would be broadcast by the BBC to confuse and confound the enemy, as well as genuine news items. No doubt, the power of Radio as a communication medium is pretty much unrivalled. These days by combining other technology (eg satellite) with radio it is possible to enjoy virtually any radio stations broadcast, irrespective of your physical location. Radio was, and still is, important and has a huge reach to a huge population of listeners.


Our founding breeders needed to get the name Afghan hound out there and generate interest and support in the new breed.. They did this by exhibiting their hounds, by writing articles published in a wide variety of publications, and also by mentions and features on the BBC. I had no idea until I discovered the items below that our founder breeders had (wisely) exploited radio in order to promote interest in the breed. Here are some examples....

What we have below is five examples we uncovered so far, of BBC radio programs featuring the Afghan hound, or broadcasts by people involved in Afghan hounds. We will add more as we find them. We'll work our way through those below sequentially, left to right, top to bottom.

1 EVELYN DENYER. 16th March 1925, 15 minute presentation on the Afghan hound

Evelyn Denyer was one of the founders of the Afghan Hound Club (AHC 1925) that drew up the worlds first Afghan Hound Breed Standard (sometimes referred to as the "Denyer Standard"), and was a true pioneer in the breed. Ms Denyer was the first person to have an "affix" ("of Kaf") in the breed. This is the earliest record we have uncovered so far of Afghan hound mentions on the radio.

2. MRS PAUL, 19th September 1929, 15 minute presentation on the Afghan or Barukhzy Hound

We are not sure, but we suspect that this Mrs Paul is the Mrs Paul that owned Rajah of Cloudeslee, a dog of pure Bell Murray breeding bred by Mrs Clifford in 1926

3. MARY AMPS (Ghazni) 18th February, 1930

See the link above as mentioned previously

4. BARBARA ROTHWELL-FIELDING 10th February 1938, 15 minute presentation on Crufts dog show

Mrs Rothwell-Fielding of "Kuranda" Afghan hound kennels. Kulli Khan of Kuranda is the last known pure bred Bell Murray hound, born in May 1929

5. BARBARA ROTHWELL-FIELDING 9th February 1939, 15 minute presentation on Dog Shows

Mrs Rothwell-Fielding discussing Crufts dog show

6. BBC TV (CRUFTS 1970's, 80's)

We should also mention Dennis McCarthy ("Pooghan" UK), exhibitor, breeder, breed writer and book author, broadcaster, who was the front man/main presenter of the BBC's Television coverage.

Related Content

Related content:
Miss Evelyn Denyer "Kaf" Afghan Hounds UK. (Author Lyall Payne, Bletchley Hall Afghan hounds New Zealand) October 2013
The Afghan Hound Is An Ancient Breed, by Evelyn Denyer 1925
Extract on The Afghan Hound from "The Practical Dog Book by Edward C Ash m.r.a.c (Dip. Hons.) 1931
Mysterious Bell-Murray/Cove photo" Steve Tillotson December 2011 The Hyland Painting
The Origins Section
The Dog Of The Mystic East, by Jean Manson, 1929
The Barukhzy (Afghan) And Allied Eastern Hounds. (Extract) by W. D. Drury 1903
Robert Leighton on Mrs Amps Ghazni 1926
The Ghazni Afghan Hounds of Major and Mrs Mary Amps
Sirdar Of Ghazni and Mary Amps speaking into a BBC microphone at Crufts 1930.
Lieut-Colonel L.W. Amps and Mrs Mary Amps, Ghazni Afghan Hounds UK, India, Afghanistan

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