Tonight’s BBCtv… in 1960 

21 October 2015


The Radio Times gives us a run down of the BBC Television Service’s programmes for Friday 21 October 1960. Things worth noting include:

  • Anything the Queen does is considered notable by the BBC, and the public of the time largely agree. Her launching of the submarine Dreadnought – the UK’s first nuclear powered sub – was therefore worth sending Wynford Vaughan Thomas and an OB crew to watch her smash the champagne on the bow for 20 minutes.
  • The news and a rather dry programme, both in Welsh, go out at between 1pm and 1.20 on the English northern and midlands transmitters. This is both to reach Welsh speakers not near a Welsh transmitter and also to catch the diaspora in England. Sometimes London got included in this. Not today.
  • It’s Friday, so it’s The Woodentops at 2.30pm.
  • The news and weather take 10 minutes at 6pm, as does the local news (not all that local when covering an area the runs from Hereford to Norwich, but still…) but we’ll be back for the headlines at 7.29pm and for a further bulletin at 10pm.
  • Primetime consists of the popular current affairs programme Tonight, the 39-episode gritty police drama RCMP (a CBC Canada, ABC Australia and BBC co-production), variety with The Friday Show at 7.55, card tricks with Chan Canasta, a costume drama and a documentary about housing conditions. Yeah, I agree with you.
  • The North opts out of Kenneth Kendall’s fluffy news digest at 10.45pm in order to take a programme called World of Sport (no relation).

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3 responses to this article

Dave Rhodes 21 October 2015 at 1:05 pm

People of Many Lands (10.5 am) is in its first term here. One of those BBC Schools ‘brands’ – like Music Time and Going to Work – that had a long run in various forms. Last shown under its own name in 1974, but some episodes seem to have been shown as a strand in Near and Far around 1977.

Make Way for Music is better remembered as a Light Programme radio series – but seems to have been running as a TV spinoff sporadically in 1959 and 1960. This is the final episode.

Also, did two o’clock really count as ‘lunchtime’ back then?

DAVE RHODES 21 October 2015 at 9:38 pm

A BBC Chan Canasta programme, apparently from earlier in 1960, again introduced by John Freeman, is online:

Alan Keeling 10 June 2016 at 11:54 pm

The BBC co-production of the R.C.M.P series, to my knowledge had just a first run & was never repeated.

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