At the start of the 1950s, there were over 400 theaters across the UK putting on twice-nightly 'variety' shows for the public. Acts such as: comedians, magicians, dancers and acrobats would tour the country to entertain people. Some famous 'top-of-the-bill' artists who began their careers doing variety shows include: Bruce Forsyth, Ken Dodd and Morecambe and Wise.
As television became more popular however, many of the variety theaters were forced to close. Families could now be entertained with: dramas, sitcoms and sport programmes from the comfort of their own homes instead. Independent Television Authority (later named ITV) began broadcasting its television channel on 22nd September 1955 and became a rival to the BBC.