Tonight’s ATV Midlands… in 1965 

23 March 2016 tbs.pm/8762

TVWorld gives us a run down of ATV programmes for Tuesday 23 March 1965. Things worth noting include:

  • Two schools programmes in the morning, two in the afternoon, with five minutes in between each programme in order to get one class out of the television room (or the dining hall where the television sits on a stand) and another in place.
  • The racing comes from the Granada region. The meeting is referred to as the Lincolnshire Handicap as it had been held at Lincoln racecourse since the 18th century. However, the course had closed the week previously and its meetings moved to Doncaster.
  • The local news at 6.05pm is distinct from the regional magazine programme ATV Today at 6.15pm – an ITV habit that lasted into the 1970s in many regions.
  • The weekend starts here, with last Friday’s Ready, Steady, Go! getting its midlands premiere on a Tuesday. There was often an artful cutaway when the ‘weekend’ slogan appeared… but not always. One wonders what viewers made of that.
  • I’ve said this often enough that I suspect it’ll be chiselled on my gravestone: note that it’s Emergency – Ward 10 and not the slightly weird-sounding ‘Emergency Ward – 10’ that people often write.
  • The Fugitive from America’s ABC at 8pm sees Dr Kimble start his hunt for the One-Armed Man across 4 seasons of 30 episodes each. This is the first episode, first shown in the US on 17 September 1963.
  • Head up north at this point and World in Action would be in The Fugitive‘s slot. ATV shunts it to 10.05, also making room for their drama serial Front Page Story, which appears to have fallen through history’s trapdoor and is basically completely forgotten.
  • The comedy hour at 10.35 strings together two slightly less-good sequel series: The Lucy Show and The Phil Silvers Show. Ball’s show was the follow-up to I Love Lucy, minus Desi Arnaz who no longer loved her. It ran 1962-1968 on CBS for 6 seasons of 156 episodes in total. This is episode 4 of season 3.
  • The Phil Silvers Show – actually entitled The New Phil Silvers Show – lasted just 30 episodes. The character of Sgt Bilko became factory foreman Harry Grafton, still up to the same schemes across the same plots. The audience didn’t take to it and the show was cancelled after one season. This is episode 13.
  • Dateline at the curiously specific time of 11.28pm would be combined into the headlines and the weekly Roving Report to form the News at Ten in July 1967.
  • Management in Action at 11.40pm looks suspiciously like adult education, but being a Granada production it might just be one of their heavy factual programmes. ATV buries it deep in a schedule that has been mostly entertainment.

You Say

6 responses to this article

Paul Mason 24 March 2016 at 3:27 am

Its odd to see the Lucille Ball and Phil Silvers shows on ATV as I definitely remember the Lucy Show or Here’s Lucy being on BBC1 in the 60s. The BBC only screened the Bilko episodes of Phil Silvers, and Granada never screened them UNLESS I was in bed when it was on.
The afternoons my late mother complained about -schools and horse racing.She liked John Rickman doffing his hat to the camera!
AND FINALLY being ATV Crossroads is up and stumbling in its first year. Granada shunned the soap until daytime TV started in 1972 and only then took it under protest.

Arthur Nibble 24 March 2016 at 10:06 am

Funny to see a line of typewriter font advertising “The Beverley Hillbillies” on an otherwise professionally printed front cover

I’ve never heard the expression ‘puff story’ before – it’s mentioned as part of the plot for “Front Page Story”.

Nice research on Lincoln Racecourse – interesting fact. Thanks for that.

Rediffusion help out quite nicely with the schedule up until the start of prime time, where ATV snuff them out and take a slightly firmer grip on proceedings.

Mention of cutting off the weekend intro to “Ready Steady Go” reminds me that ATV were the biter bit, as WWN used to cut off the very start of the “Sunday Night at the London Palladium” credits to try and pass it the show off as one of their productions!

Ollie and Fred’s special guest, Liverpudlian singer Tommy Quickly, had already enjoyed his brief chart career, “Wild Side of Life” (later covered by Status Quo) reaching number 33 a few months previously. Quickly quickly retired from the music business and actually hosted “Five O’Clock Club” until January 1966, than had a breakdown a few months later.

Russ J Graham 24 March 2016 at 10:20 am

Funny to see a line of typewriter font advertising “The Beverley Hillbillies” on an otherwise professionally printed front cover

This was the (weird) house style of the TVWorld – every edition of the magazine, which ran from 1964 until 1968, had the featured programme captioned in that typewriter font. Presumably the designer at Aston Publications really liked it, despite it looking like an afterthought every week.

Paul Mason 25 March 2016 at 3:34 am

Of course the picture is of Donna Douglas, who died in 2015 leaving Max Baer Jr as the last survivor of the Beverly Hillbillies cast.

Russ J Graham 26 March 2016 at 10:16 am

There was thought to be no need: there were no video recorders, so no viewers were “setting the timer” to record anything; the people who were watching didn’t care about when the station went off air as they knew it was going to shortly anyway.

While the timings for programme matter and advertising were very controlled, there was little or no restriction on presentation matter, so after the final programme there might be anything from 30 seconds to 7 or 8 minutes of presentation – tomorrow’s menu, a weather forecast, a look at the clock, some chat from the announcer, the national anthem (not Granada) – which, when added to the open-ended nature of the epilogue (also not Granada) which might vary from 2 minutes up to 10 if there had been a major news story with a moral dimension that day – religious programmes didn’t count for timing purposes – led to the closedown being quite a movable feast.

The only exception to that rule was in the split regions on Friday night and Sunday night, where the ITA decreed that the out-going company had to be off air by 23:59:59 on the dot to prevent companies bickering.

Alan Keeling 4 April 2016 at 10:42 am

I recall “The New Phil Silvers Show” very well, it was not as well received as “Bilko”, but nevertheless still funny. The show only lasted for one season, the first 13 episodes were set in the factory were Harry Grafton was the foreman, with the remaining 13 with Grafton at home, as a family man.

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