They always have an answer
30 Mar 2017 2 comments. tbs.pm/11539
From the TVTimes Midlands edition for week commencing 23 June 1963
What is the music that introduces Midland Montage? Why can’t we see Elvis Presley on television? Does Ena Sharpies wear a wig in Coronation Street?
These are typical of the varied questions that pour into the office of ATV producer David Scott from all over the Midlands every week.
Finding the answers for Caroline Lloyd to pass on in Thursday’s Postbag is a task that keeps a research team busy for hours, though the programme lasts only five minutes.
“We always go to the source for our answers, if at all possible,’ said Scott. “For instance, we had a letter asking why Bernard Braden always smokes on television. So we contacted Bernard himself for the explanation.”
The result is a tape-recorded answer from the On The Braden Beat star to be heard in this weeks Postbag.
Letters are usually retyped before they are put on the screen, resulting in some complaints that the actual letters should be shown.
“The trouble is that the majority are not written clearly enough for us to do this,” explained Scott. “But we will always show the original letter if it is suitable. No letters are rewritten.”
There are usually plenty of letters from children among the hundreds received each week.
“Most of the youngsters ask questions about Fireball XL5,” he said. “One asked why Venus was given this name, and we gave the producer’s reply that it was because it was a pretty name.
“We have also been asked to supply copies of the maps used in Bonanza and Rawhide. That’s a tall order. Isn’t the one in Bonanza burnt every week?’’
But not all the questions are concerned with entertainment.
On a far more serious level a Loughborough woman who had been ill in bed wrote: “Why not a series of half-hour programmes showing off the lovely countryside of this beautiful island? There is so much of it that I yearn to see, but I’ll never have the time or the money.”
Said Scott: “We have no plans at the moment, but there are three Looking Around programmes in the next few months — Midland Waterways, Old English Pubs and The Avon and its People — dealing with this kind of subject.”
For Caroline Lloyd, Postbag means an opportunity to show another side of her personality. She drops the smiling, amiable style she uses for announcing, in favour of a more formal investigator approach.