Tonight’s ATV… in 1955 

27 November 2014

From the TVTimes for Sunday 27 November 1955 comes this schedule for ATV London. Things worth noting:

  • The startling mix of light and heavy – from Jack Jackson to Michael Foot to Liberace all before 3.30pm
  • Tom Driberg introduces the most interesting people he has met this week, quite possibly while out cottaging
  • With Driberg, Tony Benn and Ludovic Kennedy, Sunday Afternoon would appear to be quite left wing
  • Actress Jill Balcon was married to Cecil Day-Lewis and one wonders whose poems she chose to read
  • It being Sunday, we’re off-air from 6pm to 7.30pm, to allow for both putting the children to bed and for popping off to church for the evening service
  • The TVTimes has little to say about the Palladium show, so uses the space for a big stock photo of a theatre audience and an information-free plug for… next week’s Palladium show
  • A historical trapdoor has opened beneath Esther Minto, with no further information about her or her show being easily available
  • The I Love Lucy episode is episode 10 from season 1, first shown on CBS in December 1951
  • Rene Ray was a famous actor in her day who had switched to writing novels and short stories by the early 1950s
  • The BBC habit of separating the news (the current headlines read live) from the newsfilm (the events of the last few days as processed and edited) is continued by ITN
  • We’re off air at 10.30pm, the day’s statutory allocation of hours having been fully used

You Say

8 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 27 November 2014 at 2:24 pm

“Esther loathes having her photograph taken” – you really couldn’t tell from that snapshot, could you?

No less than two inimitable items in the schedule, at 3.0 and 10.0. Leslie Randall’s show was probably going to be inimitable as well, but they settled for intimate instead.

How many other Sapphire Films productions were there apart from “The Adventures of Robin Hood”?

If this week’s Palladium show was star-studded, why does the programme description feature an eclipse instead of a list of the galaxy on view?

“Star Turntable”comes across as a mini-admag for middle of the road music, despite Alam Cogan pleading she has catholic (eclectic) tastes in music. Nice mention for ATV maestro Wally Stott, though. For anyone interested, Max Bygraves’ single was his highest charting hit reaching number 2, ‘tip for future greatness’ Ronnie Hilton was enjoying his fifth hit single at the time, “Seventeen” reached 18, and there was no chart success for Bing, Eddie or Joan with their efforts.

Arthur Nibble 27 November 2014 at 10:30 pm

Not only was it episode 10 from season 1 of “I Love Lucy”, it was also edition 10 from season 1 of “Sunday Night at the London Palladium”. At least one internet archive says Bruce Forsyth was in this edition.

Dave Rhodes 27 November 2014 at 11:18 pm

The whole schedule does have the feel of ITV’s troubled early months about it – ATV pedalling very hard to keep going, with no ABC to share the burden of filling a weekend schedule.

Odd to see two different newscasters at 7.30 and 10.15. I’m going to take a punt here and assume that David Lloyd-James is the same chap who voiced the BBC’s famous ‘London to Brighton in Four Minutes’ interlude, and later became head of presentation at BBC Radio. Wiki claims that Rex Keating only spent a few months at ITN, but a quick Google should uncover a broadcast he made for BBC Radio on the trumpets of Tutankhamun.

‘Sunday Afternoon’, with its procession of personalities, may owe something to the BBC’s long-running ‘Picture Page’, which only ended three years previously.

Intrigued to see ‘Theatre Magazine’ at 7.40 – theatrical excerpts were showcased regularly on the BBC for some years; I don’t associate them with ITV so much, so very interesting to spot this.

Dave Rhodes 27 November 2014 at 11:52 pm

Brief footnote on Esther Minto – she was still doing ‘Air on an Apronstring’ spots on A-R afternoon programmes as late as 20 August 1956. An ad in The Observer of 14 Oct 1956 for Bourne and Hollingsworth department store on Oxford Street shows her in one of their creations, and talks of her going to New York in the winter to appear on TV there. The lost television cook, it seems.

Arthur Nibble 28 November 2014 at 9:31 am

Talking of lost television cooks, Zena Skinner comes to mind as well.

Dave Rhodes 28 November 2014 at 2:06 pm

Yes, I’m guessing she never pops up on retrospectives – although I seem to think she did have a renaissance of sorts on C4’s Years Ahead.

Stephen Weir 17 April 2015 at 10:03 pm

Esther Minto did go on being a very wonderful cook, although not in the US and not on TV as the American embassy lost her Visa application for the New York role and were too slow to produce a new one meaning she missed the chance for that adventure….. Today 17/4/15 would be her 80th Birthday, and I am her 50 year old son. Esther has 3 grandchildren, 2 sons and her brother Colin and his wife Rosemary Minto who out-survive Esther who sadly passed in 1980. Anyone with information or TV footage of her shows would be very very welcome to contact me.

Alan Keeling 14 May 2016 at 12:16 am

“Theatre Royal” at 9pm, is a very rare ITC anthology series, not seen for well over 55 years.

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