Tonight’s TV… in 1966 

30 December 2014


2 later tonightThe defunct London Evening News gives us a run down of the programmes for 30 December 1966. Things worth noting include:

  • Reviewer Bill Boorne referring to the main networks as Channel One and Channel Nine, their VHF frequencies.
  • Later, he refers to the two networks as “the BBC” and “on ITA”.
  • Southern sticking ATV’s Crossroads out of the way at 4.20pm and sticking a local programme in its 6.35pm place.
  • BBC-2’s extremely limited hours – about 3 and half at this point.
  • BBC-1 and Rediffusion’s schedules seemed designed to provide choice rather than competition, with three prominent “you can switch over now” junctions – 7.30, 8.00 and the forever bewildering 10.47

You Say

8 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 30 December 2014 at 8:49 pm

The Earl of Harewood, presenter or Ravi Shankar’s show on BBC2, was not only a music fan and an avid opera lover, he was a WWII prisoner of war whose death warrant was signed by Adolf Hitler, but the SS commanding officer refused to have him killed, realising Germany were about to lose the war.

“The Terrific Adventures of the Terrible Ten” (aka “Ten Town” by some) on Southern was an Australian children’s series where at least one of the production crew (Roger Mirams) managed to get his child and some of their friends acting and ad-libbing in the series.

There was a one-off comedy called “Mild and Bitter” in 1966, starring June Whitfield, Peter Jones and James Beck, but the IMDB site shows it as a BBC production. Is the Anglia show a channel hopping re-run, is it a separate programme with a similar title, or have IMDB got their details wrong?

Arthur Nibble 30 December 2014 at 9:04 pm

Sorry, just discovered “Mild and Bitter” was actually a now wiped six-parter.

I’ve discovered a web page about Roger Mirams – not only did he make “The Terrible Ten” (a series about some kids who set up their own town with its own rules), it looks like he also had a big hand in “Adventures Of The Seaspray”, filmed on location in Fiji and raspberried in the recent rundown of ABC North’s Christmas Day 1966 schedule.

Dave Rhodes 30 December 2014 at 10:56 pm

Presumably Southern intended for housewives to watch ‘Crossroads’ before making the family tea, and Rediffusion imagined mums seeing it after finishing the washing-up!

Questions arising elsewhere: What is Coronation Street doing on a Friday in ’66, and in London only? Did Rediffusion displace it earlier in the week? And how did they get back-to-back U.S. sitcoms at 8pm past the ITA? (Incidentally, ‘Run Buddy Run’ is apparently a very loose parody of ‘The Fugitive’, which fills the same slot on Anglia. And at 10.5pm, just what is ‘Mild and Bitter’ on Anglia – a pub based sitcom perhaps?

Looks like ‘Film Preview’ on BBC1 is a London-area thing only. Think I’m right in saying the earliest episodes of ‘Film 7x’ were not networked either.

Dave Rhodes 30 December 2014 at 11:03 pm

Apologies, hadn’t seen Arthur’s comments on Mild and Bitter before posting!

Alan Keeling 18 January 2015 at 8:18 pm

Regarding Arthur Nibble’s mentioning of Roger Mirams. Mirams also produced another series that came from Australia, entitled “Spyforce”, a WWII series that starred Jack Thompson that ran from 1971 – 1973. Screened by ATV & Granada late-nights, due to violence.

Victor Field 23 January 2015 at 5:17 am

Mirams also produced “Adventures Of The Seaspray,” “The Lost Islands” and (comparatively) more recently “Mission Top Secret,” which was on ITV’s summer children’s lineup in the mid-90s. Impossible to imagine that on ITV nowadays.

Sarah Morris 18 December 2015 at 7:04 pm

I wonder why Brighton got an evening of jazz rather than the late film?

Alan Keeling 18 May 2016 at 8:50 pm

Have noticed that Rediffusion were showing repeats of the 1956 “Adventures of Twizzle” puppet series at 4.45, with Hanna Barbera’s “Atom Ant” series, produced in 1965, there were 2 other cartoon segments: “Precious Pup” & “The Hillbilly Bears”, with “Atom Ant” segments at the beginning & end of each programme.

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