Tonight’s Anglia TV… in 1973 

26 April 2017 tbs.pm/11903

The TVTimes tells us what was on Anglia Television on Thursday 26 April 1973. Things worth noting include:

  • The schools have risen for Easter, so the usual educational programmes in the morning have been replaced by an interesting mix of documentaries, historical works, adult cookery and Gerry Anderson
  • Thames’s Rainbow at 12.05pm is still in its first series. There’s no Geoffrey, let alone Rod, Jane and Freddy. And Bungle, sheathing poor John Leeson, is truly terrifying in every way
  • But the important thing to know is that today, Thursday 26 April 1973, marks the debut of camp hippo George: narrowly beaten by Harley Hare in ATV’s Inigo Pipkins as the first hint to 10% or so of the male child population that they too could be happily flaming if they wanted to be
  • YTV’s Indoor League at 1pm probably wasn’t very good television. But it had a precedent in not very good radio. When World War 2 broke out, Howard Thomas, later of ABC Weekend, was tasked with producing a radio show for bored anti-aircraft and barrage balloon staff. The resulting programme, Ack Ack Beer Beer, was made for a budget of basically nothing with no content of note. But it did feature Thomas and his staff playing various tabletop games as a way of filling time. The whole lot of them, Shove Ha’penny in particular, caught on as something bored servicemen and people on the Home Front waiting for death to rain down on their Anderson shelters could fill time with
  • The result for both Ack Ack Beer Beer and Indoor League was a upsurge in such Victorian games becoming again popular throughout the country
  • Here’s Lucy at 5.20pm was still running new episodes on CBS at this time, although this episode was from back in 1970: S03E10
  • The Thursday Film at 7pm is the 1961 Rank-by-name Information Received, in glorious black and white. The story is good, but the film takes about three times longer than is required to tell it
  • S01E10 of Longstreet at 9pm sees his guide dog killed, because he’s a blind detective (high concept there, despite having been blinded by a bomb in a champagne bottle no really) and the dog was providing an easy way out for the writers. This episode also provided an easy way out for the viewers who deserted the series, with ABC cancelling it some six months before Anglia started running it
  • Bygones at 10.30pm was Anglia’s go-to filler series for every occasion. Prime time, Sunday mornings, after the News at Ten, wherever there was a space, Anglia would shove in a Bygones, well into the 1980s
  • The evening rounds off at 11.35pm with ITC’s The Baron in a two-part episode written by Terry Nation. It dates from 1966, but was made on film in colour for export

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11 responses to this article

Geoff Nash 26 April 2017 at 12:23 pm

I see in London THAMES have a US comedy in place of the regional ‘Today’. I remember the regional magazine disappearing from the schedules during the summer holidays but this does seem a bit early in the season?

Russ J Graham 26 April 2017 at 12:39 pm

A pure guess… Easter holidays?

Arthur Nibble 26 April 2017 at 1:46 pm

Ah, shove ha’pennny, with the dexterity of the portrait painter as Fred Trueman put it.

I hadn’t heard of “Let’s Face It”, a health and beauty programme from Thames starring Peter Dimmock’s wife Polly Elwes. it turns out a tie-in book was issued (price 50p) and you can still buy a used copy from Amazon for £2.42.

“Elephant Boy” on the Midland station was a 26-episode colour spin-off of the black and white 1937 film based on Ruudyard Kipling’s book and was shot in Sri Lanka (the series, I mean, not the boy or the elephant).

“Yorksport” on Yorkshire? Surely they missed a trick as they could have called it “Calendar Sport”.

Arthur Nibble 26 April 2017 at 2:15 pm

I forgot to ask – would the angling programme on the Midland station be the one where ATV used a stylized ident with the logo’s ‘eyes’ made out of cartoon fish?

Dave Rhodes 26 April 2017 at 2:33 pm

Arthur – Happily, Yorksport was coined before YTV got into the nasty habit of ‘Calendar’ising everything.

Good spot, too, on the then Mrs Dimmock, and former BBC announcer, Polly Elwes, at 2.30 on Anglia.

Note ATV’s late start at 11am – presumably not seeing much point in running up costs when the first ad break likely didn’t come until 12.36. Ulster didn’t get going until 11.35 that morning.

Doctor in Charge on Southern at 6.35 is one for collectors of London Weekend programmes on a weekday.

As Geoff observes, the absence of local news on Thames seems odd to modern eyes. They did, however, have the weighty talking heads programme Something to Say at 11pm, and propped up What the Papers Say, which presumably would have died off in the early 70s if it hadn’t been seen in London.

Mark Jeffries 26 April 2017 at 9:04 pm

For the children’s programming experts around here–was Anglia’s “Romper Room” the only branch of the American franchise to run in the UK and did Anglia provide it for the network at any time? And for curiosity’s sake, if anyone remembers, did they use the canned accompaniment music for the songs that the American producers were providing by then for those stations that didn’t have live musicians on the show or was Peter Fenn playing the organ?

Arthur Vasey 27 April 2017 at 9:05 am

Mark – In the USA, there was a national version of Romper Room – to be made available to those areas who didn’t have their own version – a few areas made their own version – a national version shown nationwide in a big country like America would mean restricting audiences to children from the area where the national version was videotaped – or bringing in kids on a journey lasting several days – it was made locally in most areas and shown only on local stations!

As to the version on Anglia Television – only Anglia viewers saw it – it was never networked, as it would have required bringing audiences in from all over the UK – not as problematic as the US – but uneconomically viable – or economically unviable – this was the only English version made – Grampian and Ulster made versions for their respective audiences in their region – but no other ITV region took Anglia’s, Grampian’s or Ulster’s version of the show, nor made their own bespoke version for their audience!

Source: Wikipedia (see entry for full details).

Alan Keeling 28 April 2017 at 11:47 pm

In response to Arthur Nibble’s query concerning ATV’s Angling Today programme. You’re correct, the series’ symbol did consist of two cartoon style fish as its symbol.

Alan Keeling 30 April 2017 at 4:36 pm

The first of the days animated offerings begins at 10.20 with Animated Classics, a 1972 Australian series made by Air Programs International, a bevy of fine Aussie actors provide voices of the characters. Warner Brothers’ Merrie Melodies Show at 4.50 (1972) features Speedy Gonzales, Sylvester, Daffy Duck & others in a weekly trio of cartoons produced between 1956 to 1968.

Joanne Gray 1 May 2017 at 6:32 pm

Bygones was also used as a filler on Tyne Tees well into the 80s – usually somewhere in between The Sullivans and The Young Doctors.

Victor Field 16 May 2017 at 5:31 pm

“a bevy of fine Aussie actors provide voices of the characters.”

In most cases, although their version of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” had actual American actor Orson Bean as the voice of the title character – with the UK’s Bruce “Butterflies” Montague in another role.

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