24 May 2004 0 comments. tbs.pm/1996
TWW (Television Wales and the West)
South Wales and Western England: 1958-1968
North and west Wales as Teledu Cymru 1964-1968
Hard done by all
You wouldn’t expect adults to be capable of it. You wouldn’t expect adults to want to do it. But it happened.
When the ITA made its sacrifice in the system in 1967, TWW was the one to go. The Harlech Consortium – its main rival for the West and Wales – promised a glittering future of star-filled entertainment and quality documentaries. In the face of that – and internal politics at the ITA – TWW was doomed. But then ITV contracts are temporary. They always were and all companies should have known that.
Lord Derby, chairman of TWW, was horrified. His friend Lord Hill had stabbed him in the back and his company has been destroyed, in front of his eyes. It defied all logic to replace a tried and trusted company with an untried, unknown quantity – especially one dominated by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, of all people. It didn’t make sense to replace a London-run station with one run from Cardiff of all places – how would the company be even-handed without being run from the capital of the UK? It was ridiculous and humiliating and unexpected and….
It begins to sound like a child’s tantrum, doesn’t it? And yet, corporately, TWW seemed to be throwing exactly that. A tantrum. Lord Hill was quick to attmpt to soothe the unhappy baby. Warm milk was offered in the form of ordering Harlech to buy the TWW studios and take on all the TWW staff. The baby continued to shout and stamp, so a rusk was offered: TWW could claim 40% of the stock of Harlech, guaranteeing a profit and a connection with television.
The peace-offerings failed. The baby began to kick and stamp and scream louder and louder until the tantrum faded and was replaced by a pouting sulk. No, TWW would not accept 40% of the new company. No, TWW wouldn’t take this sweetener or that inducement.
Then the final stamp. No, TWW would not continue to run the existing franchise. The company downed tools, selling the remaining few months (the tantrum having lasted over a year) of the licence to an ill-prepared Harlech. TWW didn’t need ITV. TWW would continue to be a big name without them. Damn the lot of you! Where are they now?
TWW appeared to have an odd idea of branding. They seemed to be of the belief that the letters ‘TWW’ were enough to sell the station, and making them into a logotype was unnecessary. Therefore, whilst the above sequence is their longest-used ident, it doesn’t represent the station’s logo. There wasn’t one.
An announcement that required all the skills of the late actor Ivor Roberts.
In less than 7 seconds, he had to fit in a mention of the company, the region, the transmitter and the Authority – mainly because the bed in the music for the announcement isn’t real – it’s simply a coincidental lull that Eric Coates, the composer, had left in the music when he wrote it for his own use some time earlier.
He manages it with microseconds to spare – leaving one to wonder how many times he had to record the announcement before he got it spot on.