Tonight’s ATV… in 1976 

5 April 2016 tbs.pm/8781

TVTimes gives us a run down of ATV programmes for Monday 5 April 1976. Things worth noting include:

  • The schools are off for their Easter holiday, so ATV fills the gap left by the education programmes with repeats of shows for younger children, plus a “replay” of motorcycle racing from Leicestershire.
  • Adult programmes kick off at 12.30pm with a double replay – a selection of features from last week’s ATV Today editions, a repeat from Saturday.
  • First Report at 1pm would become News at One in September.
  • Emmerdale Farm at 1.30pm was seasonal, running for only half the year, but was slowly picking up a large audience and went all-year. Regions began to experiment with moving it into the slot taken by General Hospital here, then into Crossroads‘ 6.35pm position when the IBA cut back the number of weekly episodes of that soap to improve quality, and finally into peaktime just before an aeroplane fell on the village.
  • Good Afternoon here looks very mumsy with Judith Chalmers and Mary Berry cooking, but it had a varied format, with some editions getting very deep on the issues of the day – homosexual equality, male chauvinism, equal pay. Come to think of it, those would be the issues some of us are still protesting about 40 years later.
  • Rendezvous with Romance is an umbrella title for various US TV movies. This one, from 1973, features Raymond Massey (Dr Gillespie in Doctor Kildare) in his last acting role.
  • Betty Boop’s Rise to Fame is a clip show. It’s lovely, as Betty’s stuff usually is, and as usual has a subliminal flash of her naked anatomy within – this time one of her boobs.

  • “All programmes are in colour unless otherwise stated” says the TVTimes, promptly forgetting Betty Boop.
  • General Hospital is on a repeat run. It had done 270 half-hour daytime episodes and was promoted to hour-long primetime, with ATV rerunning the daytime episodes in its old slot. Contrary to popular belief, the show is unrelated to the American soap opera General Hospital.
  • 4.50pm’s The Kids from 47A was quite a gritty children’s drama set in a house with no mum or dad but with the eldest daughter in loco parentis. It attracted writers like Lynda La Plante and Phil Redmond.
  • ATV Today at 6pm gets 45 minutes – this is usually for a weekend sports round-up.
  • Pat Phoenix left Coronation Street several times, hoping to find other dramatic or comedic roles. They never arrived and she would eventually return to the soap, the door always being left open for her by Granada. Her one break-out role was in Central’s 1986 sitcom Constant Hot Water. It died after only six unfunny episodes and Pat sadly followed later the same year.
  • NBC’s Police Woman at 9pm was phenomenal. Angie Dickinson’s undercover Sgt Pepper Anderson became a feminist icon, encouraging a surge of women to join the police and President Gerald Ford to move his press conferences to stop them clashing with the programme. This is episode 5 of season 2.
  • More feminism at 10.30pm as Wendy Jones and an all-female audience grill Labour’s Willie Hamilton MP, who had fought for an Equal Pay Act.
  • ITC’s The Protectors at 11.15pm rounds off the evening (except for the epilogue) with a repeat of episode 11 of series 2. This was Gerry Anderson’s second foray into live-action drama. The title sequence has everything.

You Say

10 responses to this article

4ever_eighties on Twitter 5 April 2016 at 2:36 pm

Protectors was pushed all over the schedules in different regions wasn’t it?

Sunday afternoons I definitely remember, but I think I’ve seen listings of 2.30 weekday, 5.15 weekday and late night like this well into the 80s.

Did it ever have a weekday prime time spot, which you’d expect of a programme that clearly had shedloads spent on it, with cast and locations?

Arthur Nibble 5 April 2016 at 4:27 pm

Two starring roles in consecutive features for Tony Adams, Doctor Bywaters in “General Hospital” and Adam Chance as mentioned in the feature about the end of “Crossroads” (Did Jill choose him or John Haddingham?).

They couldn’t get away with mentioning Joanne Lumley’s vital statistic these days.

Interesting how HTV West split its news programmes’ content into one half for the west of England and one half for Wales, whereas we can’t tell the national / regional content of HTV Wales’s versions, whose titles translate as “Today” and “This Week”.

Poor old Tony Anholt got a raw deal in those opening credits for “The Protectors”. He doesn’t even get a namecheck.

Russ J Graham 5 April 2016 at 6:02 pm

If I recall correctly, Jill chose John, who then turned out to secretly be a millionaire rather than a pauper and had bought her a hotel as a wedding present, which she decides to name ‘Crossroads’.

Aidan Lunn 5 April 2016 at 9:52 pm

Arthur, that doesn’t say HTV West, just HTV so this will be the HTV General Service, which was on 405 only from St. Hilary (and the Bath relay), using the old TWW South Wales/Western England frequency.

What made the General Service unique as you point out was that the regional news was split – one half from one programme, one half the other.

In all, I think HTV had to run 4 separate services:
1) HTV Wales (South Wales) – The HTV Wales service with adverts targeted to the Southern half of Wales. 405 and 625
2) HTV Wales (North) – same as South, only difference being adverts targeted towards the North Wales audience (again, this service was replicated on 405 and 625).
3) HTV General Service – The HTV West service on 405, basically, but it split the regional news and may have even shown a mix of the regional programmes other than news (405-only, this service ceased a few years before 405 was switched off (possibly at the end of the franchise period in 1981), and St Hilary then just went to relaying HTV West in 405).
4) HTV West itself – the HTV West service in full, plain and simple. 625 only, from the Mendip transmitter.

Victor Field 6 April 2016 at 5:46 am

Phenomenal it may be, but a) you couldn’t get away with the fanservice shots in “Police Woman”‘s opening credits today (then again, given Angie Dickinson was 43 at the time, maybe certain columnists wouldn’t mind) and b) my parents wouldn’t have been watching, what with Thames having “The Manhunter” on at that time as per the regional variations. (Yes, “The Manhunter,” not “Manhunter” despite the listings.)

Also, note William Dozier appearing on-camera in “Batman” at 5.20 in addition to executive producing and BEING THE EXTREMELY EMPHATIC NARRATOR.

Alan Keeling 6 April 2016 at 9:01 pm

The”MGM Cartoon” was just one of a ‘job lot’ bought by ATV to show at various times, such as before or after an evening feature film & at times, late at night. There were characters from the 30s, 40s & 50s, like “Barney Bear”, “Droopy”, etc. “Tom & Jerry” were not included, as they were being shown on BBC1.

Paul Mason 7 April 2016 at 5:15 am

BBC1 did start out with afternoon shows in 1972 but a financial crisis meant the return of the testcard,and it was not until the mid 1980s when regular daytime programming resumed. ATV seem to be having an early night as by 1976 ITV usually closed down after midnight.
I remember seeing a 40-something Mary Berry on Good Afternoon SWIGGING cooking wine on air. Bet she doesn’t do that now!

n hewit 9 April 2016 at 12:26 pm

I remember the Kids from 47A very well and as an oder viewer, enjoyed the underlying serious issues connected to the series, the eldest sister Jess who acted as the Guardian to her three younger siblings George, William, Binny and also George was only 18 and was not much older than the latter two, her only support being the afable social worker: Miss Hayes. The Network series was transmitted originally in 1974, in the usual and traditional ATV children’s programme slot, Wednesday afternoon at about 4.50, the second series went out in the September, October and November of that year. Eventually Jess found the struggle too much and married her boss, she was his secretary. The opening location was excellent, Jess alighting from a WMPTE bus strugling with shopping bags, entering into the suburban Avenue of Mock tudor 1930’s style suburban houses in Northfield, South West Birmingham which was part of Worcestershire until the start of the twentieth century, and on route to her home passes her younger siblings travelling home from school without a care in the world. The series was a favourite at that time I read in the TV Times that one of the individuals behind getting the series produced was Canadian. The Kids from 47A was definately one of ATVs best children’ Drama productions. The part of Jess was played by Christina Mc Kenna, who I subsequently saw as the main charecter in YTV’S Flambards, but since then I have not seen her in any other production, although a number of commercials feature a lady who has similar very distinctive facial features.

H Cooper 14 April 2016 at 4:06 pm

I didn’t quite believe a title sequence could have “everything” yet I am amazed by that title sequence. Having never seen The Protectors, it makes the programme look superb.

Alan Keeling 15 August 2016 at 3:36 pm

The “Batman” episode shown at 5.20 was the final episode from the 3rd & last season of the series, with Zsa Zsa Gabor as the guest villainess.

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