Tonight’s BBC… in 1967 

28 October 2015

The Radio Times gives us a run down of the programmes on the BBC for Saturday 28 October 1967. Things worth noting include:

  • The little intervals, filled with testcard or the clock with music depending on the length, between each of the morning programmes: 9.45am to 10am; 10.25 to 10.30 and 10.55 to 12.40 – the latter long enough to warrant a full closedown and opening.
  • This is your only chance to see part 5 of ‘The Abominable Snowmen’, tonight’s Patrick Troughton Doctor Who adventure. It, and all except part 2, are lost.
  • Viewers in (north) Wales get Doctor Who shunted to 6.45, replacing The Monkees, in order to fit in a quiz in Welsh.
  • Simon Dee is at the height of his fame and popularity. In exactly two years he will jump ship to London Weekend and his career will almost instantly crumble to dust.
  • Dixon of Dock Green had been running since 1955 and would continue to run until 1976. By 1967, star Jack Warner was 72, well past retirement age for policemen at the time. By this time he was already wearing the uniform outside of work and stopping cars for supposed infractions on his way home at night.
  • Val Doonican’s unaccountable popularity continues, with a BBC-1 career that ran from 1963 until 1985.
  • Fritz Lang’s last film, the noir Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, had been a box office and critical success on its cinema release in 1956.
  • Viewers in Scotland skip Match of the Day to see Sportsreel from Scotland instead, then have 15 minutes of light entertainment in Gaelic.
  • Twice a Fortnight was the BBC’s answer to At Last the 1948 Show on Rediffusion, and both would be the proving grounds for what would become The Goodies and Monty Python.
  • BBC-2 comes on at 7pm with its then-usual mixed bag of highbrow and minority programming – and, yes, rugby counted as minority programming back then.
  • Release, Late Night Line-up and the boxing are all in colour – the only colour TV in the UK at this time.
  • The boxing is coming from the US, where it is being shown by ABC, via the Early Bird (Intelsat I) geostationary satellite. The standards conversion involved, from 525-line 60Hz colour to 625-line 50Hz colour was fearsomely complicated and fairly manual – according to BBC Engineering people, in testing two years earlier some of the best results had been achieved just by pointing a British camera at a US television and letting it go out of focus a bit so the sync line was less obvious.
  • The midnight movie is 1953’s The Oracle, featuring the voice of Gilbert Harding. It’s not very good.
  • BBC radio is still settling down into its new pattern after the major changes of a month before.
  • An attempt to disguise how often Radio 1 and Radio 2 collapse back into each other is made by noting the joint broadcasts patchily across both networks. It adds up to 12 hours and 25 minutes joint, vs about 8 hours 35 minutes apart.
  • Radio Three is still the “everything else” network (similar to what the original Radio 5 would launch as in 1990). The BBC report Broadcasting in the Seventies would decide to end this state of affairs, abolishing the Third Programme (officially, the programmes move to Radio 4, in reality they disappeared for the most part) and expanding the Music Programme until it became what it is today: Radio 3 itself. Sports would eventually move to Radio 2, with the exception of Test Match Special, and the weekday Study Session would wither on the vine.
  • Radio 4’s roots as the Home Service still show, with the regions still being known as ‘Home Services’.
  • It’s the 10th anniversary of the Today programme, but that’s not a special edition at 12.25pm to celebrate – there was indeed an omnibus edition of the programme on Saturdays.
  • If you think the Radio 4 schedule looks like a television schedule of the day, you’re right. The network is still huge, with a devoted following amongst the several million households who have yet to buy a television, and caters for them accordingly.
  • 3.15pm sees Home for the Day, a programme whose title has outlived its original network. It, and stablemate Home This Afternoon, were Radio 4’s answer to Radio 2’s Woman’s Hour.

You Say

5 responses to this article

Les 28 October 2015 at 12:51 pm

Used to enjoy the Jack Jackson show on radio 2. He used clips of comedy shows in his links – a style copied by others later. Also Bruce Wyndham on Breakfast special, with a great theme tune.

BBC1 used to open and close during the day – they didn’t have a complicated opening sequence like ITV – the globe would appear and the announcer used to say: this is BBC1, programmes begin in two minutes… Music, programme menu.

You may be interested to know what was on ABC in the midlands and north on saturday 28th November 1967

1230 face of the earth: geography adult education; 12.55 psychology for everyman; 1.20 itn news; 125 world of sport, 5.15 just jimmy – comedy with jimmy clitheroe and mollie sugden; 5.40 itn news; 5.50 opportunity knocks – hughie green; 6.30 sat’day while sunday – drama about the generation gap by roger mcgough (only shown by abc); 7.00. Cimarron strip – western series with a great theme tune; 8.25 des o’connor show from atv, 8.55 itn news, 9.05 avengers – diana rigg and patrick macnee (classic 60s telly, which was shown on friday at 8 in london); 10.05 sargeant cork – drama from atv about a victorian policeman; 11.00 peter maolney on foreigners; 11.30 time to rememcer – 1915.(reallly good abc history series).

At this time most tv shops had a colour set in the front of their displays… Testcard f, and later, lots of colour films to watch: gardens in new zealand, canadian parks, and the classic birth of a rainbow trout… And of course the colour receiver installation film!

steve brown 28 October 2015 at 3:20 pm

match of the day btw was Coventry 2 sunderland 2

Ant 21 November 2015 at 9:25 pm

When did closedown stop being ‘close down’?

Alan Keeling 13 May 2016 at 11:54 pm

From Spring 1967, BBC aquired the rights to screen MGMs Tom & Jerry cartoons, now never seen at all on TV. Thank goodness the cat & mouse duo are available on DVD.

Thomas Mansell 28 October 2017 at 10:29 am

Very interesting to read this on the Today programme’s “60th birthday” (trailed and celebrated with much fanfare by the programme itself). They’ve been asking for things that have changed over the past sixty years – and that is certainly one.

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