Tonight’s BBCtv… in 1968 

31 December 2014

BBC-1 side-lit globe 1968From the Radio Times for Tuesday 31 December 1968 comes this run down of what you could be watching on BBC television. Things worth noting:

  • BBC-2 is entirely in colour except for Medicine Today. BBC-1 would follow late in 1969
  • It may be New Year’s Eve, but BBC-1 takes the chance to shove schools programmes on, under the guise of them being a preview for teachers
  • BBC-2’s Playschool gets a BBC-1 repeat to pacify viewers without BBC-2 who wanted access to this superb programme for young children
  • Circus Boy at 4.55pm on BBC-1 stars Mickey Braddock, later better known as Micky Dolenz of The Monkees
  • Jackanory at 4.40pm is presented by Kenneth Williams. He was one of the strand’s best readers, popular with children and adults alike and was invited back to present very often
  • The three editions of Look North are advertised by transmitter name. The new Leeds edition goes out on the original pan-north transmitter Holme Moss, while the existing Manchester edition is now confined to the northwest on the new Winter Hill channel 12 service
  • Dora Bryan and Hugh Paddick team up for the semi-surrealist comedy series According to Dora at 7.30 on 1. At the time of writing, none of the 15 episodes of this series have been found
  • Newsroom at 7.30pm on BBC-2 has three ‘firsts’ to its name: first British news bulletin in colour; first British half-hour news bulletin; and first British news bulletin with two anchors
  • Fanny Cradock gets her name above the stereotypical BBC-2 title of her programme, Colourful Cookery. Episode 13 is entitled Emergency Cake Icing. We’re saying nothing.
  • At midnight, it’s off to BBC Scotland for the inevitable Hogmanay programme, this year with Stuart Henry (later of Radio Luxembourg) presenting the antics of Jimmy Logan and Chic Murray


With thanks to Jessica Fielding.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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5 responses to this article

Retrogadget 31 December 2014 at 9:47 pm

‘Out of School’ was a TV highlight of the school holidays giving ‘anoraks’ like me an opportunity to see programmes we wouldn’t normally see because we were at school!

Arthur Nibble 2 January 2015 at 3:25 pm

Aha, “Tom Tom” on BBC1 presented by Norman Tozer, that heartthrob who used to be on ATV London (“Famous Faces”, 20th October 2014…I need to get out more!).

Another production company to cut out and collect in BBC2’s schedule – Talent Associates (“Brief Lives”, 9.5) – with a ‘Brucie Bonus’ straight afterwards of a cartoon made for the wonderfully named Kaiser Aluminium and Chemical Corporation.

Sarah Morris 18 December 2015 at 7:00 pm

I love these old listings, but the ads are quite fascinating as well. I’m off to the Soviet Union on my hols.

Russ J Graham 18 December 2015 at 7:21 pm

My husband had a Communist shop steward in the early 1980s who took all his holidays in the USSR or China, getting there using free railway travel offered to Western railwaymen by sympathetic national railway corporations.

It took forever to get there and forever to get back, but if you were willing to take three weeks off work in order to visit Beijing for a day or so, you could do the whole trip for free.

I’d be up for that even now!

Graham Pearson 15 June 2019 at 9:38 pm

Saturday 15th November 1969 was the first day of BBC1 and ITV transmissions in colour but some programmes were being recorded in black and white as late as 1970.

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