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The Judges of Miss World, 1970: Bombs, Blacks And The Angry Brigade


ON 21 November 1970, in his usual smooth and professional manner and while, “the girls were changing into their extremely expensive evening gowns”, Michael Aspel introduced the judges of that year’s Miss World. In the late Sixties and early Seventies Miss World was extremely popular around the world and the show regularly got over 20 million viewers in the UK alone.  Considering the huge global audience, Eric Morley – the man in charge of the contest, chose some very odd people to judge the competition.

The first judge on Aspel’s cue card that night was: “His excellency — the High Commissioner of Malawi”. ‘His excellency’ remained nameless but was warmly applauded by a Royal Albert Hall audience that would not have had the slightest idea who he was nor, almost certainly, the whereabouts of the country he represented. The south-eastern African country Malawi, formerly known as Nyasaland, had been colonised by the British in 1891. The initial Victorian administrators were given just £10,000 per year to employ ten European civilians, two military officers, seventy Punjab Sikhs and Eight-five Zanzibar porters. Enough to administer and police about 1.5 million people.

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Posted: 28th, November 2013 | In: Flashback, Key Posts | Comment