Until 1968 the head of the Royal Household, the Lord Chamberlain, was charged with licensing and, where necessary, censoring all plays which were to appear in the theatre. At first, he was only concerned with political lampooning, but by the mid-20th century nudity and matters of taste and decency were his main concern. Unfortunately, there was one huge arena of popular entertainment not covered by his authority - the Music Hall, where almost anything went.
In the first of two programmes, Barbara Windsor traces the roots of nudity and innuendo on-stage, starting with one of the greatest purveyors of Music Hall sauciness, Marie Lloyd
In 1931, the Lord Chamberlain, who was responsible for licensing and, where necessary, censoring most theatrical productions, agreed to permit the appearance on-stage of nude figures so long as they didn't move.
The first theatre to exploit the new liberalism was The Windmill in London, where Vivian Van Damm's 'Revudevilles' featured scantily-clad women and 'nude tableaux'.
The Second World War brought new concerns about the doubtful morality of 'blue' comedians both on-stage and on radio, but it also changed the climate of popular opinion forever.
By the 1960s, the Lord Chamberlain's role in licensing plays seemed increasingly anachronistic, and in 1968, his role was abolished.
The following day, the musical 'Hair', featuring nudity aplenty, opened in London.