Tonight’s ABC North… in 1963 

21 December 2014

ABC serif 6From the TVTimes for Saturday 21 December 1963 comes this run down of what you could be watching on ABC in the North. Things worth noting:

  • This is from before World of Sport started, so the individual sports are contained within individual programmes. They are given the umbrella title Saturday Sportstime
  • Tenpin bowling comes from Tyne Tees (here referred to as TTT), the racing from ABC Midlands and the swimming from TWW. ABC’s wrestling is a separate strand not included in Saturday Sportstime
  • The full football results, then as now, are presented separately and very formally because of the pools coupons people were checking off at home: in the 1950s and 60s, the pools were hugely popular and played by most households
  • Thank Your Lucky Stars at 5.50pm is a special ‘Liverpool Beat’ edition which includes The Beatles, who are named individually. The Beatles were at that time a successful group but Beatlemania hadn’t quite started
  • The Avengers at 8.55pm is still on video and stars the gorgeous Honor Blackman
  • Hullabaloo! at 11.15pm is a now totally forgotten series of folk and blues concerts
  • ABC News Desk at 11.40pm is 10 minutes of regional news from the ABC at Large team and is interesting because it is Midlands and North joint regional news


With thanks to Jessica Fielding.

You Say

8 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 21 December 2014 at 2:49 pm

Never seen Tyne Tees shown as TTT before, no mention of ATV or ITC for “The Sentimental Agent”, and the Welsh spelling of Llanelli for the swimming.

“Emerald Soup”, a children’s sci-fi series, clashed timewise with “Doctor Who”. It concerned some children in a rural community who discover, and try to stop, a laboratory conducting radiation tests.

A real sea change from The Beatles to Ted Ray in consecutive programmes. Note the mention of Mike Yarwood in “Comedy Bandbox” which suggests it was his televison debut.

Dave Rhodes 21 December 2014 at 11:32 pm

At the bottom of the bill on Hullabaloo are The Duo Ofarim, who as Esther and Abi Ofarim had a no.1 with ‘Cinderella Rockefeller’ in 1968.

Neil Crosswaite 27 December 2014 at 9:47 pm

I didn’t think ABC had a regional news service. Reassuring to see that there was some news provision.

Kif Bowden-Smith 28 December 2014 at 2:33 pm

Yes they certainly had one, but a smaller operation than the weekday Granada & ATV ones. It mainly concentrated on producing ABC’s two (seasonal) local magazine programmes ABC at Large and ABC Weekend, but provided short bulletins as well. It was unusual as it was North & Midlands regional news mixed together. Very different to the weekday fare. There is a good article about the ABC Newsroom in our ABC section..

Kif Bowden-Smith 28 December 2014 at 2:35 pm

The article about the ABC newsroom is at:

Russ J Graham 2 June 2015 at 11:49 am

This was wholly the result of the General Post Office’s restriction on broadcasting hours and nothing to do with any ITV network policy – ITN was keen to provide a lunchtime news, but time could not be found for it.

Both ATV Midlands and Granada started each day with national news headlines provided by teleprinter from ITN and read by the continuity announcer or the local newsroom.

Joseph Gallant 21 January 2016 at 12:38 am

In America, there was a separate “Hullabaloo” TV series that aired on NBC in 1965 and 1966 which in fact was transmitted in full colour (although few colour tapes still exist; most episodes survive only in black-and-white).

But the American show with that title was a rock ‘n roll music show, with a different guest host or hostess every week.

Alan Keeling 14 May 2016 at 8:23 pm

“Espionage”, made in 63/64 was produced by Herbert Brodkin, running for 26 episodes. This featured episode was the only one shot in Hollywood, while the rest were shot in Britain. Each episode of this dark spy series featured U.S. guest stars.

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