Around the Beatles

Around the Beatles was a 1964 television special featuring the Beatles, produced by Jack Good for ITV/Rediffusion London. It was taped in Wembley Park Studios (now known as Fountain Studios) in London on 28 April 1964, and broadcast internationally, with its initial airing on 6 May 1964, and in the US on the ABC network on 15 November. The show featured other performers as well, with the Beatles providing backing vocals for some of them. The music had been pre-recorded at London's IBC Studios on 19 April 1964, and The Beatles mimed during the show.

Around the Beatles
An audience ticket from the dress rehearsal
GenreTV Special
Directed byRita Gillespie
Producer(s)Jack Good
Original networkITV
Original release6 May 1964 (1964-05-06)


The show opens on an image of the Globe Theatre, with Ringo Starr unfurling a flag with the legend "Around the Beatles". The studio setting is arranged as a theatre in the round, (hence the show's name) echoing the seating arrangement of the Globe. The opening act is a humorous rendition of the "play within a play", Pyramus and Thisbe (Act V, Scene I) from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Paul McCartney as Pyramus, John Lennon as his lover Thisbe, George Harrison as Moonshine, and Starr as Lion,[1] and also features Trevor Peacock in the role of Quince.

The Beatles

Other acts



The special was released as a bootleg video by Media Home Entertainment. A video segment from the special appears in The Beatles Anthology documentary film. Songs from the special appear on the Anthology 1 compilation. The Beatles' musical set features the only recorded performance of "Shout" by the group. The footage of them singing "Can't Buy Me Love" is now included on the video disk of the 2015 reissue of the compilation 1. All of the songs performed by the Beatles in the special were released on home video in 1985 by EMI and Dave Clark Productions as "Ready Steady Go! Special Edition The Beatles Live!", which was available on VHS and Beta formats and later on an 8" LaserDisc.

In March 2019, an original ticket for the show's dress rehearsal was valued at £100 on the BBC television show Antiques Roadshow.[2]


  • The Rough Guide to the Beatles, Chris Ingham. Penguin Books, third edition, 2009
  • The Unreleased Beatles: Music & Film, Richie Unterberger. San Francisco: Backbeat Books, 2006 (p. 93)
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