A new forest romp 

28 September 2015 tbs.pm/1706

TELEVISION SOUTH

Notional Date: March 1982
Announcer: [Disputed: see comments]
Music: TVS Morning Overture (Hill), used from 1982

 

The short period between the start of TVS in 1982, and the arrival of breakfast television on the ITV network in 1983 gave rise to an intriguing new habit in the history of daily start-up routines. It will always be of interest to know how regional, daily start-ups would have developed if they had not been curtailed and later swept away by the arrival of the breakfast contractor.

Whereas previously the start-up had been seen as ‘engineers territory’ with transmitter information, tuning signals and so on, suddenly the focus changed to the viewer, and TVS was among the first to use a programme menu as part of the standard sequence. Good though this idea may have seemed, it was the seminal moment that started the shift away from presentation as a tool of corporate identity, to a promotional method of audience building.

TVS001

It may seem obvious in retrospect that a menu would be an ideal part of these daily events, but it had not often been attempted before. It was importing to the commercial sector something that the BBC had been doing for years. The IBA badge topped the menu slide, and was possibly the first occasion than the IBA logo had shared a caption with programme names.

The music was as usual specially commissioned. This piece together with its Central and TSW counterparts were the last of the classic ITV start-up commissions. New companies that came later were in the 24-hour television era, and had no need of start-ups or closedowns. The arrival of this piece, composed by Richard Hill, was the beginning of a slow end for start-ups.

TVS002

TVS Morning Overture, also to be found under the names The New Forest or New Forest Rondo, was nicknamed ‘TVS Gallop’ by a journalist, and the unofficial name stuck with the public in the South. It was a bravura composition, conforming for the last ever time to the traditional requirement of an opening fanfare, melodic middle and crescendo to climax for final verse. Tradition was further undermined by mix to clock, BBC style, rather than dramatic symbol form up. Nevertheless, it was a good piece for the tradition to go out on…

Without the arrival of breakfast television one year later, one imagines that all start-up routines might have progressed in this direction.

TVS003

‘Viewers topple engineers’ is perhaps a meaningless headline, but would have been correct. Lovers of on-screen presentation paraphernalia can only shed a tear at what might have been, and a realisation that this was the point at which the magic of ‘TV company as icon’ began to unravel, and the point at which programme titles took centre stage. Independent Television screen presentation would never be the same again.


This article originally appeared on Transdiffusion before 2001. It has been republished in a slightly different form and with the addition of the animated TVS start-up recreation by Dave Jeffery.

This article originally referred to the TVS music as being composed by Paul Hart. In fact it was composed by Richard Hill. We regret the error.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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6 responses to this article

Alan Keeling 28 January 2015 at 8:27 pm

Not a bad start-up sequence from TVS at all, lovely piece of music, lovely station clock at the end. But I do miss the old-style start-up, with tuning signal, followed later by station ident.

Jerry Ralph 16 September 2015 at 3:13 pm

According to both TV Ark and TVS’s “Birth of a Station” programme, the “TVS Galop” / New Forest Rondo was actually composed by Sussex-based composer Richard Hill (who also created the first theme for “Coast to Coast”. I suspect that the references to Paul Hart should only refer to the fact that it was his orchestra, and not his tune.

Jerry Ralph 30 September 2015 at 5:37 pm

Having listened to the authority announcement a couple of times and comparing with IVC from the period, I think Jennifer Clulow was responsible for this announcement. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think they also used Malcolm Brown’s voice at one point.

garry robin simpson 23 October 2015 at 11:32 pm

Dosn”t sound like Jenny Cudlow. to me. By 1983 I think she was at THAMES TELEVISION. TVS used a manual clock from 1982 until 1984 and then a vomputer clock from 1985 until 1989. My poor 87 year old mother who is now in Ashley Lodge Care Home always thought SOUTHERN TELEVISION was better. TVS always got into trouble by showing Regional programmes instead of Network Programming. Nu. 73 instead of TISWAS,Afternoon Club instead of ITV Horse Racing and Movies instead of LIVE sport. But in 1984 most of ITV SPORT especially in the evenings moved to Channel Four. From the New Forest GOD BLESS!

Wesley Smith 9 November 2015 at 3:02 pm

Hello,
The TVS announcer in the clip is definitely Jennifer Clulow formerly of Westward and star of the Cointreau adverts.

garry 28 August 2016 at 10:41 pm

Thanks Welsley. Yes you are correct It was Jenny. Sadly my late and lovely Mum passed away in March of 2016. I was her disabled carer for seven years [Along with my brother.] These videos bring back many happy and now sad Memories. Of an I.T.V now a P.L.C. Let us hope I.T.V.P.L.C is not taken over by N.B.C. Universal. In Memory of my late and lovely Mum. From The New Forest GOD BLESS!

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