Following the sad news about Sir Christopher Chataway, we republish this 2005 interview with him remembering ITN's opening night
Comment and Opinion
30 Second Guide
ABC, originally Associated British Cinemas (Television), later Associated British Corporation, was the original Saturday and Sunday contractor for the Midlands and the North. ABC came on air in the Midlands on Saturday 18 February, in the North West on Saturday 5 May and in Yorkshire on Saturday 3 November 1956, on the first Saturday of the opening of each of the three transmitters. ABC had studios in a converted cinema in Didsbury, Greater Manchester, timeshared the Alpha Studios with ATV in Aston Cross in Birmingham, and took over the former Warner Bros film studios in Teddington, Middlesex. In 1968, the ITA abolished the weekday/weekend splits outside London and ABC was left homeless.
Whilst the company had hoped to secure the London weekends contract from ATV, the appearance of the future LWT scuppered this plan. The ITA decided to offer the London weekday (to cover Monday mornings to Friday evenings) to a joint company formed by ABC and the incumbent, Rediffusion. ABC would hold the majority of the shares in the new company, called Thames Television. Famous figures in ABC included Howard Thomas, Brian Tesler and Sydney Newman. Famous programmes included The Avengers, Armchair Theatre, Redcap, Human Jungle, Eamonn Andrews Show, Public Eye, Callan, ABC at Large, Tempo, The National Stakes, Fighting Talk, State Your Case, The Cold War, Forum, Mystery & Imagination, Police Surgeon, Intrigue, Ambition, ABC Weekend, Holiday Town Parade, Opportunity Knocks, David Nixon's Variety Bandbox, ABC Farming Comment, World of Sport and Thank Your Lucky Stars.
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