Tonight’s ATV London… in 1964 

28 November 2015 tbs.pm/8100

The TVTimes gives us a run down of the programmes on ATV for Saturday 28 November 1964. Things worth noting include:

  • Tenpin Bowling, which only barely qualifies as a sport, comes from Leicester and is directed by David Southwood. Coincidentally, the morning church service tomorrow comes from the Central Methodist Church in Leicester and is directed by David Southwood. That’s a few pennies saved
  • The wrestling comes from ATV. It’s usually an ABC thing, not least because ABC flogged highlights to Rediffusion to show on Wednesday (where it was mysteriously an “Independent Television Production” with ABC not mentioned)
  • The Forest Rangers was a CBC-ITC co-production and ran for 104 episodes across three seasons. This is season 1, episode 31 (of 40)
  • Thank Your Lucky Stars is ITV big pop programme, a combination of Top of the Pops and Jukebox Jury. Note the mention of Janice “Oil goive it foive” Nicholls – for some reason everybody remembers her as being on Jukebox Jury, which scored records as a “hit” or a “miss”… so what she would’ve been doing there giving the record marks out of five is anybody’s guess
  • Bonanza lasted an amazing 430 episodes over 14 seasons, from 1959 to 1973, and then span off three reunion movies (1988, 1993 and 1995, with a diminishing number of the original cast still alive each time) and a failed prequel, Ponderosa, in 2001
  • Danger Man is in its second incarnation, moving from the 1960-1962 half hour serial where Patrick McGoohan’s character John Drake was American, to the 1964-1968 hour-long version where Drake was British
  • If you’ve nothing better to do, ask two fans of The Prisoner whether McGoohan is playing John Drake in the later show. Then stand well back
  • 8.25pm sees a typical ATV comedy-variety mix with Arthur Haynes and straight man Nicholas Parsons getting into various scrapes in a series of sketches interspersed with musical acts and The Dallas Boys
  • The third episode (of 26) of Gideon’s Way is at 9.10pm, another ITC production. This series still has a cult fan base and is of high quality considering it had, for the time, a packed production schedule seeing one hour-long episode being filmed each week.
  • The Sullavan Brothers, despite being from the pen of Ted Willis who also wrote everything you’ve ever watched, appears to have dropped through history’s trapdoor

  • On the Braden Beat at 11.05pm is a mix of jokes, human interest stories, consumer journalism and news reporting. It was where, a few years later, Esther Rantzen got her start. Any similarity between this format and one she invented is purely coincidental
  • 1958’s creaking The Invisible Man, yet another ITC programme, gets another outing at 11.30pm. The star you cannot see is Tim Turner, best known for being the voice of Rank’s Look at Life colour newsreels.

You Say

8 responses to this article

Victor Field 28 November 2015 at 12:47 pm

And a few days ago, another “Bonanza” cast member (David Canary) passed away.

Mark Roberts 28 November 2015 at 4:16 pm

On wrestling bill is Peter Maivia the grandfather of former WWE wrestler turned actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson!

steve brown 28 November 2015 at 6:47 pm

On Thank Your Lucky Stars,Val Doonican was probably singing his first chart hit which took him up to #3 in the charts-Walk Tall

Arthur Nibble 30 November 2015 at 11:00 am

Interesting to see Shaw “Keep ‘em peeled” Taylor commentating on the tenpin bowling, but I’d never heard of commentator Fred Verlander. Turns out Fred was head boxing coach for the army and taught Henry Cooper how to box, he commentated on two Olympic games and lived till he was 93.

Regarding “Thank Your Lucky Stars”, neither The Hullabaloos (an all blond male four piece who released at least four singles) nor The Three Bells (a girl trio who issued at least five) troubled the UK singles charts.

The epilogue stars the vicar of a village whose local airport didn’t start holiday charter flights for another 18 months or so. The rest is history.

Paul Mason 19 December 2015 at 2:46 am

This needs clearing up. Janice Nichols was ONLY on Thank Your Lucky Stars,in a section called Spin-A-Disc, where points out of five were awarded to the latest (usually USA) releases. I am only just old enough to vaguely remember the programme as a young child.

Paul Mason 19 December 2015 at 2:51 am

I forgot to mention that my earliest TV memories were of Tenpin Bowling, it was quite a craze in the early 1960s. I used to enjoy knocking glass bottles down with a ball under a table. Health and Safety? Forget it!

Paul Mason 24 December 2015 at 12:35 am

With regard to tenpin bowling, in my home city of Liverpool part of an ABC cinema was converted to a tenpin bowling alley early in 1962. Of course weekend ITV was provided by ABC, and the Tuebrook bowl was featured. It became a night club once the tenpin bowling craze faded, and the building has been derelict for 20 years. Other ABC venues will have featured, so providing a cheap broadcasting opportunity. I grew up with the Granada/ABC split, although being a child I wasn’t aware of the politics behind it.

Alan Keeling 5 April 2016 at 8:58 pm

As ATV took charge of weekend programmes for London ITV, 4 shows produced by ATV’s sister company, ITC were all screened in one evening. Beginning with “The Forest Rangers”, later “Gideons Way”, then repeats of “Danger Man” with a late-night repeat of “The Invisible Man”. A typical ATV schedule.

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