Lord Reith was a key figure in the early history of BBC. He developed radio broadcasting throughout Britain and oversaw the development of the world?s first regular television service in 1936. During his time at the BBC, the corporation had a monopoly of broadcasting in Britain and his concept of public service broadcasting prevailed in Britain and influenced broadcasting in many other countries. In 1938 Reith went to work in the aircraft industry and during the Second World War he held ministerial appointments. John Reith was made a peer in 1940.
The series Face to Face began in 1959 and ran until 1962. John Freeman was the permanent interviewer relentlessly probing guests who were filmed in tight close ups under stark lighting conditions which made the interviews reminiscent of interrogations. During the 35 editions, Freeman very rarely appeared on camera, so usually only his questions could be heard. Guests ranged from Lord Reith, Bertrand Russell and Martin Luther King to Adam Faith and Stirling Moss. The titles were unique for every edition and showed charcoal drawings of guests illustrated by Feliks Topolski.