Grampian Television

By Kif Bowden-Smith

Grampian Television ident, moving, on film

When Grampian decided on a presentation revamp in the seventies, they broke with tradition and ditched their long lived ‘Lochlaggan' theme for a trendy ‘new age' piece by Johnny Pearson, composer of the ‘Midlands Montage' and ‘News at Ten' themes.

This music is very redolent of seventies' film instrumentals and was originally intended to include female backing singers repeating the phrase ‘G-R-A-M-P-I-A-N' as part of the recurring motif towards the end of the piece, followed by a full chorus singing ‘GRAM-PI-ANNNNNN' with the word ‘TE-LE-VI-SION' sung on the last four notes! This would have breached guidelines about start-up themes having to be instrumentals (though ATV breached this rule briefly in the mid seventies) and was not implemented.

North East Scotland transmitters in service caption

The Authority announcement on this Grampian start-up was renowned in the industry at the time for the evident nervousness of the announcer, and it was even suggested that it was an example of ‘announcing under duress'. This story is surely apocryphal, but it does sound like an announcement with a story behind it!

Grampian ident, still, electronically generated

This music maintained the Grampian tradition of not appearing too ‘Scottish' in the kilts and tartans musical style of which STV was so fond. Grampian always felt more ‘British' than STV did, which seems surprising in retrospect. They were certainly loved by their viewers, and rather more so than STV. The announcing had a personal touch, and the station a very distinctive flavour.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System in general.

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Article ©2002 Kif Bowden-Smith

Compilation ©2002 Transdiffusion Broadcasting System

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