Famous faces 

20 October 2014 tbs.pm/5683

The ATV Show Book, an annual packed with photographs of your favourite ATV and ITC stars and programmes, takes time in 1963 to remind us of some faces that were locally very very famous.

With in-vision continuity announcing now only to be found on UTV in N Ireland, we can easily forget just how much of a mainstay it was for television right up until the beginning of the 1990s. The friendly faces to be seen around programmes – and sometimes in the middle of them should anything go wrong – were household names. People wrote them fan letters, looked forward to seeing them, were even able to work out shift patterns and predict who they’d be seeing that night. In the Westward region, the day’s duty announcer was noted in Look Westward and later the TVTimes for the region – the job of being Westward’s public face and host for the evening being seen – rightfully – as very important.

The 1963 Show Book has this brief two-page feature on ATV Midlands and ATV London’s faces. Jean Morton was known throughout the country thanks to the usually networked Sunday religious version of her Tingha and Tucker programme. The rest were known only to viewers in their region. Patricia Cox presented the regional news in the Midlands, while Pat Astley is noted as being ATV’s only male announcer at the time.

In London, Arthur Adair appears to have dropped through a trapdoor of history. Little is known about him and nothing is known about what he did next. Heartthrob Norman Tozer’s later career is well known – he went to the BBC as a presenter and reporter on both television and radio.

The voices on most of ITV are now uniform and anonymous. We may sometimes discover a name to put to a voice, but rarely do we also get a face.

You Say

8 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 20 October 2014 at 4:36 pm

As I’m sure has been mentioned elsewhere on this bespoke website, there’s use of a “Call My Bluff” type word in Caroline Lloyd’s description, ‘commere’ being a now obsolete female version of ‘compere’.

The TV Ark website has clips from ATV London’s continuity on Palm Sunday the following year. Either Norman Tozer was on holiday, it wasn’t his turn on the rota, or he’d moved on by then, as future BBC announcer Trevor Lucas did the honours.

Chris Bowden-Smith 30 October 2014 at 12:53 am

Trevor Lucas was an ATV London announcer for some time and later a freelance for many years. He closed ATV London down for the last time in July 1968 and he said that night that he had announced for them ‘on and off’ since 1963. After they closed he popped up a lot on the new 7 day ATV Midlands. It is true he worked on BBC1 also, in his freelance period but I suggest he was more of an ATV man than a BBC man!

Arthur Nibble 31 October 2014 at 11:40 pm

Got my facts mixed up. I’m sure there’s a vintage piece of BBC continuity on YouTube, not more than five seconds long, featuring Trevor’s dulcet tones.

Chris Bowden-Smith 1 November 2014 at 12:55 am

You are not wrong – he did work for BBC1 quite a lot, in his freelance periods. He came and went from ATV twice!

keith martin 7 March 2015 at 10:34 am

I believe im correct – of course, i am every time! – Trevor Lucas was with ATV Midlands at weekends for a long time. I think ATV offered him weekends because that shift was well rehearsed when ATV London was around. Now for a secret …. like certain other ITV presenter/announcers …. he slept overnight in the studio in a red sleeping bag. Kevin ATV Morrison told me, so it must be true. In addition, Kevin presented the bag to me, when i was on the ATV roster! Perhaps i should present it to the highest bidder. Any offers?

Richard Jones 14 October 2015 at 2:19 am

Great bit of gossip there, Keith! What a pleasure it was to see you at the Transdiffusion gathering!

Jenny Franks 3 September 2016 at 6:11 pm

Trevor Lucas was ago of friend of my husbands,NIck Franks. He was god father to our son.

Dan Franks 22 December 2023 at 9:53 am

That’s correct mum. xx

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