This article aims to contribute to historical knowledge about television's relations with fame, while simultaneously exploring the conceptual tools used to study this field. With this in mind, this article examines two case studies from the 1950s: the BBC's popular serial The Grove Family and the interview-in-depth programme Face to Face . A key aim is to draw out the different meanings which circulated around television's relations with fame. Television has always constructed its own `personalities' (the Groves), while simultaneously circulating personae `outside' of their primary public or media roles (Face to Face). The article suggests that returning to this earlier context raises important questions. Where do these later conceptual claims of television fame locate their historical roots? To what extent were the debates about television fame a continuation of those surrounding radio? And to what degree are concepts such as `ordinariness' historical?