Tonight’s ABC North… in 1963 

9 November 2016

TVTimes tells us what was on ABC in the north Saturday 9 November 1963. Things worth noting include:

  • World of Sport has yet to be invented, so the sports programmes are merely grouped together under the banner Saturday Sportstime – there’s no overall linking and continuity between each item is left with each ITV company
  • A science fiction thriller serial for family viewing going out on Saturday evenings after the sports results starting in November 1963? Gosh. Emerald Soup at 5.15pm was not renewed for a further series, having been crushed by something over on the BBC later in its run
  • Down to the Alpha Studios in Aston, Birmingham, at 5.50pm for Thank Your Lucky Stars. Pop music as we think of it now basically began in 1963, so this episode captures the tail-end of the era of manufactured groups singing each other’s songs and the start of original groups singing their own material
  • Janice Nicholls (I am, by law, required to call her Janice “Oi’ll give it foive” Nicholls, I believe) is already a star. Her moment of stardom would be brief, but her fame still persists
  • Series 5 (of 6) of ATV sitcom The Larkins premieres at 8.10pm, with a change of format. Gone is 66 Sycamore Street and the crowd of relatives who live there and nearby. Now Alf and Ada run a café, the family are never mentioned again (including the family of Barbara Mitchell’s character Hetty) and Hugh Paddick arrives as their posh-but-poor lodger Osbert
  • ITC’s Espionage at 8.55pm took advantage of a fashion for anthology series in the States at the time. It had no regular cast or situation or plot, just an overarching theme of “spying”. Anthology series were popular with producers mainly because they were cheap to make (no actor egos demanding more cash all the time) and were generally shot on film with multiple episodes in production at any one time, making them easy to export. This one was picked up by NBC
  • Episode 7 of the third series of ABC’s The Avengers at 9.50pm is a stunner of an episode. So much double-dealing and tension and a great fight scene denouement as Steed and Mrs Gale steal gold bullion
  • ABC News Desk at 11.40pm settles forever the idea that weekend companies didn’t do news. This was combined news from the north and the midlands, making for a very very odd bulletin

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9 responses to this article

Paul Mason 9 November 2016 at 2:12 pm

Thank Your Lucky Stars has a couple of not well known but interesting acts. Dion DaMucci ( misspelt) and the late Timi Yuro whose records have been adopted by the Northern Soul fraternity but who sadly never had a British hit. The presenter Brian Matthew is now the oldest year-round presenter on BBC Radio (2) with Sounds of the Sixties.
Emerald Soup would be crushed byDr Who which started a fortnight later on BBC TV.
The late night show Hullabaloo is billed as a folk music show, but two acts Cyril DAVIS and Long John Baldry tended more towards blues/R&B than folk. This show would have been up against TW3 on BBC TV.

Paul Mason 9 November 2016 at 2:20 pm

Just a reminder Janice Nichols was part of THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS on the Spin-A-Disc section where a panel of teenagers gave discs points out of five.

She had nothing to do with Juke Box Jury where records were voted a HIT or MISS. People confuse the two but NOT ME!

Dave Roberts 9 November 2016 at 3:16 pm

You’re dead right about Janice and the confusion between ‘Spin-a-disc’ and ‘JBJ’. Back in the 1970s I wrote to Thames TV (as successor to ABC) and asked them for confirmation of the name of the show she appeared in.
For years I kept the Thames letterhead with the precious information in my wallet and could guarantee winning pub bets.
Oddly, although people remembered Janice and ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ they didn’t remember ‘Spin-a-dsic’ and nine out of ten people were adamant that she and her famous catch-phrase were part of ‘Juke Box Jury’ Which is odd when you consider that JBJ didn’t award ‘points’ to new releases, merely voted on whether they would be a HIT or a MISS. Truly the human memory is a fickle thing!

steve brown 9 November 2016 at 9:53 pm

On TYLS,billy j was singing his new release,i’ll keep you satisfied,written by lennon and McCartney,and Freddie and the dreamers performed their new hit-you were made for me

Paul Mason 10 November 2016 at 5:22 am

I have to come back to Thank Your Lucky Stars and one of the acts that week. Timi Yuro (1940-2004) , born Rosemary Timothy Aurro had a powerful voice but she never cracked the UK market, probably because of the beat boom. There were many Italian descent singers who crossed over into soul and Timii’s music was played at soul venues from the 60s onwards. Hers was an emotional and melancholy sound, as her version of “,Hurt” demonstrates. She retired in the 1970s but when she attempted a comeback throat cancer was discovered and she could sing no more. This happened around 1990 and she was known as the lost voice of soul. She died aged 64. If you listen to her music you’ll need plenty of handkerchiefs. A sad loss.

Alan Keeling 10 November 2016 at 10:04 am

Whiplash was an ITC production filmed ‘down under’ starring Peter Graves as the legendary Christopher Cobb, the rest of the cast were from Britain and Australia. Every episode had action & violence a plenty. Graves’s previous TV series was also an ITC production filmed in Hollywood & called Fury, an adventure series about a black stallion.

UnclePhil 10 November 2016 at 10:05 am

Janice Nicholls was often partnered on TYLS by Billy Butler, later a famous scouse DJ.

Alan Keeling 10 November 2016 at 10:11 am

Espionage was filmed in Britain, two episodes were made in Hollywood, mind you, the series was produced by a US company, guest stars included Jim Backus, Patrick Cargill, Patricia Neal, Dennis Hopper, Barry Foster, Millicent Martin, etc. The series was last repeated in the Midlands during 1969/70.

Arthur Nibble 10 November 2016 at 7:26 pm

Cover star Helen Fraser appeared as Betty in four of the seven episodes of Granada’s “Friday Night” drama series.

Tenpin bowling from the Top Rank Bowl. Now that’s a long gone entertainments mecca (sorry for the pun). Top Rank also had a relatively successful record label which was taken over by EMI in 1960.

The late Bert Wkouk there in spin-off show “The Sentimental Agent”, which lasted 13 episodes, seven less than its parent series “Man Of The World”.

Quite a bit of coverage in this edition of TV Times for virtually forgotten folk show “Hullabaloo” which was mention in despatches in a recent TV listing on this bespoke site. Shame we don’t get to see page 11 to learn a bit more.

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