✎ One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a really weird historical anachronism 

19 Jan 2017 2 tbs.pm/10618 Article text released under the Creative Commons Attribution license Media copyrighted Report an error in this article

Well, this is odd.

Every quarter, TWW sent a leaflet out to potential advertisers, giving them a run down of the provisional schedule for the next few month to allow them to choose suitable advertising spots.

Here’s the TWW leaflet for the third quarter (July, August and September) of 1967:

I’ve highlighted the problem: the programme Magpie. The Magpie we know and love is a year away: it’s a Thames programme and aired for the first time on the network on Thames’s opening day in 1968. So, okay, fine, it’s a different programme with the same name… in roughly the same slot. It happens.

A quick look at a copy of Television Weekly, TWW’s listing magazine, for 22-28 July 1967 should show us what this Magpie was about.

Nope.

In that slot, on both Tuesday and Friday (Tuesday is shown above) is a now-forgotten Rediffusion show, Come Here Often. A show with a description that’s very similar to the later Thames Magpie. Double coincidence.

Right. Let’s look at the next, 4th (October, November, December), quarter of 1967.

Hello, Come Here Often. You’ve appeared. Well, that’s very helpful and it seems… oh.

Cancelled, either by Rediffusion or locally by TWW. Okay.

And, no, it’s not that the year is printed wrong on the leaflet(s) – OpNox and Armchair Theatre are still shown as being on the weekend, but both were taken to weekdays when ABC became most of Thames in a year’s time.

So what is going on here?

No idea. I’m completely baffled. It’s likely just a strangely coincidence, and 50 years later it probably doesn’t matter to anybody besides me. But nevertheless.

Anyone care to theorise?

With thanks to Paul S for spotting this anachronism.


UPDATE: In the TWW and Teledu Cymru Facebook group, Richard Wyn Jones says “I noticed [the above], too, and decided that Magpie was in the pipeline from Rediffusion but was postponed until the launch of Thames…”

Meanwhile, on Transdiffusion’s main Facebook page, Oliver Ashmole says: “I’ve looked at TV times from 1967 for Anglia, Border and Rediffusion and they all show the programme to be Come Here Often. So looks like Magpie was the working title for the programme in 1967 that was not used in the end. Photo attached of the TV Times for the 1st programme of Come Here Often.”

Thanks, guys! Any other theories?

    

Russ J Graham

gaynewsarchive.com

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2 responses to ✎ One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a really weird historical anachronism

Geoff Nash 19 Jan 2017 at 8:44 pm

I always understood that Magpie was a Thames initiative especially coming from Teddington rather than Television House. For that reason I’d be very surprised if Rediffusion had promoted it early, albeit re-titlinget it as Come Here Often (a show I enjoyed and remember well).

Arthur Nibble 20 Jan 2017 at 4:30 pm

This is interesting. I didn’t realise Cliff (commentator for “that try”) Morgan was a children’s presenter during his career. The Imdb website shows a certain Mick Robertson as both a researcher and a host of this programme at some point, with Spike Milligan making occasional appearances and Pink Floyd were in one edition.

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