After the Break 

11 January 2001

Programme promotion in the early days rarely went beyond the announcer describing the programme over a fixed caption, although ABC soon developed the technique of running selected clips.

Self promotion

The 1967 “You always have an ace up your sleeve watching ABC” campaign. Note the ABC symbol replacing clubs on the ace in the foreground.

Central 'One to Watch' caption Let's get together, with Central

Central offers us a very clever slogan – The One to Watch – in the mid 1980s. And, for that matter, a less good slogan – Let’s Get Together – in the late 1980s.

Curiously, Central’s previous incarnation, ATV, was often happy to use the proto-ITV branding available to the network. This ITV end board is from an Autumn season campaign and ATV gets no mention at all. Central used similar things in its early life, maybe to cement in its image as being part of ITV.

The rundown

This 1967 Rediffusion slide looks oddly EPG-like. As the programmes were discussed they were highlighted. Note that the only programme still in production is the indistinct ‘What The Papers Say’ – and that is on BBC TWO. (News at Ten has now made half a comeback. But that spoils the story.)

This simple 1968 Southern caption is complete with branding and strapline. Hardly a thrilling evening though. Where did ‘Southern’ serve, by the way?:

The North?

The West?

The South?

(Don’t you just love these GMTV-type questions?)

Programme slides

Again there is little to these – some sort of picture from the programme and its title as a minimum.

Pretty straight forward – a picture of the main character.

A generic slide, covering the lack of a slide with any useful information on it.

Another generic example from London Weekend, this time managing to not include a station symbol.

Another straightforward slide with a still from the main titles, although could the legend really be read as The Melodies Linger on LWT?

Before CITV and the like, ATV could simply use this caption to announce the start of an hour or so of children’s programming – much of it old and endlessly repeated. The programme that followed this 1980 capture was in black and white. So it was probably Thursday.

A new series on TSW… or Westward… whichever, it was instantly forgotten.

Nearer to today

Anglia menu

Anglia in the early 1980s, with a typically horrible Saturday night lineup. The menu is virtually unbranded – no sign of the Anglia logo of the time. A example of the lazy stuff of the day.

Granada programme menu

First thing in the morning for Granada in the mid-1980s. Greater branding than Anglia, but a plainer slide than, say, Central was offering.

Start the day the HTV way

This period, judging by these slides, would appear to be one of little imagination. HTV gives up a round up of afternoon delights with a very odd font for ‘Thursday’.

There are, obviously, only so many ways you can dress up a menu. But this slide, from a TVS daily startup sequence in 1982, would seem to prove that a black background was the fashion at the time.

A blue background makes a nice change, if it’s only for Anglia’s schools rundown. Note the exact timings on a schools menu, compared to rounding used on adult programmes and the outright lies used by ITV for modern peaktimes.

Two examples from one day at Central in the early days. The first, part of an extended start-up sequence, gives highlights only, whilst the second defaults to the standard black background we’re so familiar with.

Late 1980s Central. Not really a lot of difference in concept to the Anglia slide we came into this section on, but the Central branding is more forceful than Anglia’s attempt. A neat promo for the TV Times, in the days when that was a TV m agazine first. But The “New” Avengers – 10 years old or so by then …

Today the a listing slide is a rarity on any ITV region, and makes an appearance usually only when there has been a change of programme or as filler resulting from an unexpected technical fault. This is one of the former cases, which was used on the day of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

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Liverpool, Wednesday 29 June 2022