Tonight’s BBCtv… in 1968 

22 October 2014 tbs.pm/5837

Radio Times takes us back to BBC1 and 2’s offerings for Tuesday, 22 October 1968.

  • The Olympics are clearly the main focus of attention here, which means a rare chance to catch some breakfast viewing with Frank Bough, fifteen years before the early shift became his regular gig. Note that this, and the late Olympics programme, are shared with BBC2. Such simulcasts cropped up from time to time, for instance for Prince Charles’ investiture the following year, before the arrival of colour on BBC1.
  • Anchoring the lunchtime (BBC1) and teatime (BBC2) Olympics sessions is David Vine – seemingly the up and coming man at the Beeb after his move from Westward, here demonstrating he is just as at home covering top-flight sport as the comic capers of It’s A Knockout, which he also co-hosted in its early years.
  • The absence of any Olympic action in peak time seems an oddity, although presumably it would at least have been touched upon in news bulletins.
  • Events in Mexico mean today’s Welsh language programme on English transmitters is pushed back to 2.25pm from its customary lunchtime spot. Heddiw at 9.5pm on BBC Wales is at a rather more convenient hour for Welsh speakers, but likely gifts Harlech the lion’s share of post-watershed viewing.
  • Among the schools programmes, Watch, Look and Read and Going to Work all enjoyed lengthy runs, and will be recalled by children of the eighties as much as by those of the late sixties. Making Music with its pupils-playing-along-in-studio theme, was presumably the precursor to the well-remembered Music Time.
  • Talkback was a kind of Right to Reply meets You the Jury, Cliff Michelmore having just taken over the reins from David Coleman.
  • Pot Black may be the best known made-for-television sports tournament BBC2 supported, but Floodlit Rugby League came before it, and ran for some fifteen years. Huddersfield won tonight’s tie 11-8 in case you were wondering. Incidentally, London’s Associated-Rediffusion had experimented with their own floodlit tournament as early as 1955.
  • The neatness of the programme planning in the later part of the evening is worth noting. BBC1 and 2 enjoy common junctions at 8.50, 9.5, 9.55, and 10.25 – an ideal opportunity for a little cross-trailing.

You Say

1 response to this article

Alan Keeling 14 May 2016 at 8:43 pm

4.55 sees yet another repeat of “The Range Rider”, where the star Jock Mahoney is billed on the opening titles as ‘Jack’, nevertheless this early 50s kids western ran from 1951 to 1954, produced by Gene Autry’s Flying A production unit, it was first screened by the BBC alongside “The Cisco Kid” in 1952.

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