Tonight’s Border TV… in 1971 

16 August 2014

A 19710816 Border

From the TVTimes for Monday 16 August 1971 comes this run down of what you could be watching on Border. Things worth noting:

  • Your only chance to see Scotland’s first soap opera High Living at 4.10pm – at the time of writing, no editions have been found in STV’s archives. The series’s final episode went out on STV later this same week
  • Yes, there is actually a programme devoted to making origami hats
  • OpNox moved to Thames from ABC and is here placed on a Monday early evening – an uncomfortable place for what still felt like a weekend staple
  • YTV is doing well tonight with four programmes to a value of 1 hour 50 minutes, with all except Origami being networked.


You Say

6 responses to this article

Dave Rhodes 16 August 2014 at 12:04 pm

Among the variations, note the Tyne Tees coverage of Billingham Folk Festival – a rare local OB (also carried on YTV). Useful as it would effectively earn extra ad minutage elsewhere in the day. Anyone know what ‘Double Talk’ (STV) was, and why they opened up to show it at 10.35 before closing again? Later in the 70s, I seem to recall Yorkshire stretching the Monday ‘Calendar’ to 45 minutes to fit the odd start time of Opp Knocks.

Chris Bowden-Smith 17 August 2014 at 2:07 pm

While I dont know what ‘Double Talk’ was, I can imagine that STV were ‘playing the Rediffusion game’. This was a habit Rediffusion had developed in the early sixties that was a smart notion but was looked at askance by the ITA; though never stopped. The idea was to knock together a cheap factual programme of medium quality, pretend that it was adult education (no adverts allowed) and then use the minutes broadcast to affect and increase the advertising per minute allowance, for use in the evening, bringing extra income to the contractor. This is the idea Dave refers to above but had become a bit of a craze on Rediffusion and Granada in the early sixties. The ITA didn’t mind the concept but rather felt these odd inserts were bunged out when no one was watching and were at very odd times.

Rediffusion used to claim that it was so that Adult Education colleges could watch them but no one was really convinced by this, as many such colleges (common then) had no television sets in the early sixties. Rediffusion and occasionally Ulster and Tyne Tees, occasionally shoved on something late at night to extend their hours, as Adult Education did not count towards the Post Office imposed maximum of seven hours (later 7.5 hours) of “entertainment” transmission per weekday. Slightly different considerations arose at weekends, with Sport and Religion “not counting” either. Rediffusion’s futuristic “Towards 2000” was a rare good example of an engaging programme of this type and was later repeated late at night in some regions.

Arthur Nibble 26 August 2014 at 9:42 pm

I seem to recall there was also a weekly programme, at least in the Rediffusion region, called something like “Today’s Newcomers”, which gave a sneaky early morning preview of some of the new adverts to be shown on the channel that week.

Kif Bowden-Smith 27 August 2014 at 3:27 pm

Yes indeed. It was nationally seen and called “Monday’s Newcomers”. It was not aimed at the general viewer at all, thus the odd morning timing, well apart from all other transmissions. It was intended for advertising agencies and their clients, so they could see their latest handiwork and demonstate to the client how their handiwork looked ‘on screen’. There were no domestic video facilities then and it was the only way the agencies could demonstrate the ‘finished product’ to the clients on a real tv screen. It was coordinated by the ITCA (Independent Television Companies Association) and was not a discrete part of the contractors ‘own output’ as such. It obviously only applied to the bigger advertisers and their planned ‘national campaigns’ , as local advertisers could rarely afford the prices of bespoke adverts made by the bigger agencies..

David Strachan 21 September 2014 at 10:24 pm

Thankyou Arthur Nibble and Kif Bowden-Smith, you’ve just confirmed a childhood memory.
I was about 11 and at home and waiting to go for a hospital appointment, my Dad was upstairs having a shave or scrape as he called it, and I put on the TV, low and behold advert after advert.
we had a B&W tv back then, does anyone know if those ad were broadcast in colour? and I’m fairly certain there was a Carling black label ad in there,
“advertising beer at 10 in the morning” was my Dads incredulous response..

Elleandback 25 January 2022 at 8:09 pm

The ads were broadcast in colour if they were made in colour, yes. That only applied in the colour era, of course. I remember Monday’s Newcomers very well from earlier on though; around 1964 onwards, when it was always shown at 10am. I stumbled across it by accident but it became a regular viewing habit whenever I wasn’t at school for any reason and my mum would sit and watch with me while she had her elevenses, as a welcome break from housework. It was like my very own unpublicised secret programme, given that programmes before 4.45pm in those days were rare (outside of schools, Watch With Mother and a Welsh language series at 1pm)! There were trade test films randomly on BBC-2, of course – but that’s another story entirely!

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