Happy ending 

10 September 2015 tbs.pm/6921

We tend to think of endcaps as being the preserve of commercial companies – seen on the end of ITV productions or showing the various independent producers of American shows.

We don’t tend to associate animated endcaps with the BBC, save for the odd American import. We certainly don’t associate them with BBC productions – other than seeing BBC Worldwide’s various idents on DVD and on YouTube. But that isn’t to say BBC endcaps don’t exist.

The BBC has in its time made a lot of programming for export, and this was the endcap it used in the 1960s. We have a copy because the BBC didn’t keep their domestic copy of the docudrama The War Game when the then Director-General Hugh Carleton Greene banned it. It did, however, keep the export copy that it promptly sold domestically to film societies and many private schools. The endcap in the video was on the end.

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4 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 11 September 2015 at 2:03 pm

Fascinated by that ATV / Westward joint production endcap. Which programme or series did they join forces for?

Kif Bowden-Smith 13 September 2015 at 1:13 am

Hi Arthur,
It was a Sunday evening religious programme in the 6.15 to 7.25 “God Slot” on ABC in 1964. It carried a joint endcap because The Post Office had only provided a one way circuit from London to Plymouth, the network being wholly dependent on the GPO in those days and under developed at that point compared to later. The programme was “run off” by ATV London from their Foley Street switching centre at Britalian House in London. So it was networked by ATV rather than produced jointly.
There was a lot of this in the fifties & sixties and among the “minors”, initially only TWW, STV & Southern had return circuits to London, mainly for news events coverage and World of Sport inserts. Outside broadcasts were often sent back via temporary microwave links between O.B.units, as the costs of permanent Post Office cables were very high and the GPO charged ITV & BBC per minute! :-) Things improved radically at the end of the sixties when the ITA developed some links of its own, though still reliant on Post Office Telecomms for switching centres and microwave circuits.
Anglia’s original plays were networked for them by Rediffusion for example but a two way GPO circuit was finally put in for Weaver’s Green in 1966.
There was of course a full set of “outward only” circuits from London, Birmingham, Manchester (and later Leeds) going *to* the minors, from the start.

Arthur Nibble 14 September 2015 at 3:48 pm

Thanks for the explanation, Kif. Really intriguing details. I assume that would be a bit like a takeaway outlet making a pizza but not having a delivery bike, so the couriers get a joint credit! Shame Anglia finally got a two-way circuit for a show that wasn’t given a proper chance to be fully networked.

beebthings 30 May 2022 at 8:05 pm

I hope you’ll forgive a bit of blatant self-promotion in my website. Only seven years late!

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