His first tv match was on May 26, 1947 no less, on the one channel that existed then, BBC tv.
Though arguably the real heyday of British wrestling was in the early sixties when McManus and Jackie Pallo were the 2 biggest stars, as opposed to the Big Daddy late seventies era.
That would have been before the TV era though, wouldn't it? The sport was definitely at it's peak, if we're measuring it by TV ratings, during the 1970s on World of Sport.
McManus was certainly a one off as it sounds like he was wrestling at the top level for many decades.