Tonight’s BBC Television Service… in 1957 

30 September 2014

19570930 BBCtvBBC bats start-up 2From the Radio Times for Monday 27 September 1957 comes this run down of what you could be watching on BBCtv’s single channel. Things worth noting:

  • Advertising the tuning signal (for schools) at 2pm, as sets generally needed fine tuning every time they were switched on
  • The Northern Scene with Judith Chalmers. Oh, yes please!
  • The 1950s were a very different place. Children’s television, for instance, has the playing of a pop record. Just the one
  • Meanwhile, the main topical news programme features a calypso in every edition
  • The Radio Times is struggling to find a useful way of mentioning different news programmes in different regions – they’re not very new, but new enough for a house style not to have developed
  • Future US President Ronald Reagan stars in a filmed play at 7.05pm
  • Panorama isn’t the 30-minute documentary strand it is now. The 45mins are taken up with a number of reports, some on film, some live in the studio, linked by Richard Dimbleby. Some items were remarkably light by today’s standards
  • Christopher Chataway at 10.45pm has been pinched from ITN
  • This week has seen the BBC getting something of a relaunch. The Light, Home and Third radio networks have been reorganised to hold them tighter to their formats. Meanwhile, BBCtv has had its presentation refreshed, programme timings tidied up and a news bulletin added on the hour every hour (except 9pm) in the evening

A Transdiffusion Presentation

Report an error


Jessica Fielding Contact More by me

You Say

6 responses to this article

Pete Singleton BEM 30 September 2014 at 3:06 pm

Children’s Television – “Elephant Catching in the Indian Jungle” – what every 1957 child needs to know.

“Strictly’s” roots at 10.15 – but half an hour is all you’re getting.

Glad we only had to suffer 15 minutes of the Brighton LPC at 10.45… and by 11.0 (not 11:00), that’s enough of Television (pron. ‘Tillyvision’) from the BBC thank you very much, although there might be another half hour or so from those common “ITA” johnnies on the other side.

It’s about time we made the cocoa and went to bed!

Arthur Nibble 1 October 2014 at 7:52 pm

I love the fact we’re shown after the Children’s Television listing what Ronnie Stevens is appearing in and where. It reminds me of the announcements at the end of 1970’s BBC and ITV light entertainment shows, when you were told that person W you’ve just seen is appearing in “X” at the Y Theatre in Z.

Matthew Keenan 18 October 2014 at 12:52 pm

Interesting to see that Hancock’s Half-Hour is listed as only 28 minutes long.

Alan Keeling 14 May 2016 at 12:09 am

The 2pm “Schools Tuning Signal” was, in fact (from memory) the famous ‘bat-wings’ version.

Ben Rigsby 25 July 2016 at 10:11 pm

Watch with Mother’s ‘new’ timeslot only lasted 5 weeks, before going back to a later slot of 2.30pm.

Alan George Keeling 20 May 2023 at 8:38 pm

The only US TV programme shown that evening on BBC TV starred Ronald Reagan in Time to Remember, an episode of General Electric Theatre from 1956.

Your comment

Enter it below

A member of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
Liverpool, Friday 12 July 2024