Tonight’s Anglia TV… in 1967 

31 March 2016

TVTimes gives us a run down of Anglia programmes for Tuesday 23 March 1965. Things worth noting include:

  • The schools have risen for the Easter break, but ITV keeps showing schools programmes. The stated reason is reluctance of teachers to use the programming provided. The reality is that the programmes don’t count against advertising minutage but time on-air does: the result being that a slight extra amount of advertising can legitimately be inserted into peaktime – worth far more than the programmes cost to make.
  • Anglia sticks in a quick round-up of the local headlines at 4.33pm before starting children’s programmes for the afternoon – not something seen in many regions.
  • Disney Wonderland at 5pm was interesting: Disney didn’t charge for the use of their characters or cartoon excerpts and supported the competitions fully. The content was entirely under Rediffusion’s editorial control, with Disney not seeking any influence. And for this, Disney only gets 25 minutes of children’s primetime splashed with its name and featuring clips of its movies and scenes from its theme parks.
  • Secret Squirrel is a package put together by Hanna-Barbera for NBC, bundling together an episode of the boy-aimed Secret Squirrel, the musical octopus character Squiddly Diddly and the girl-aimed Winnie the Witch to fill half an hour. There were 26 episodes in total and it survived for years in syndication in the US.
  • Noele Gordon is listed very far down the cast list of today’s visit to Crossroads at 6.35pm.
  • ABC America’s primetime soap Peyton Place was huge in its day – the equivalent of Dallas in the 1980s – and provided a springboard for several stars who would go on to be huge in their own right, including Mia Farrow and Ryan O’Neal. It’s also still worth watching – the story and production values have held up well over 50 years.
  • The UK’s ABC and their Midlands neighbours ATV were well known for their bickering: the two companies were both in fierce competition for advertising and had to work together closely on weekend television programming. ATV controlled virtually all the variety stars and venues in the country. Meanwhile, ABC had the most popular programme in the UK on its books. So when the two fell out, the Palladium disappeared from ABC’s schedules (replaced by the inferior Blackpool Night Out or a visit to the ballroom at New Brighton) and The Avengers started going out on Rediffusion rather than ATV. This gave the other companies the choice of when to show it: 8pm on Friday, taking the feed from Rediffusion, or 9pm on Saturday, taking it from ABC. They put it where it best suited their local audiences – 8pm on Friday here in the east.
  • Mr Rose at 9.10pm is a classy series about an ex-policeman still solving crimes from his retirement in Eastbourne. The character, played by William Mervyn, had previously appeared in two other Granada police series, The Odd Man, about a theatrical agent who also solved crimes, and It’s Dark Outside, a more edgy police procedural.
  • An abrupt change of gear as Granada puts in another appearance at 10.05pm, with what sounds like one of the most Granada programmes ever made. It’s difficult to imagine such a programme appearing on British television at all now, unless it included scenes of objects being thrown and children and parents fighting – which it certainly didn’t in 1967.
  • Mr Aitch at 10.38pm seems to have everything needed for success – Harry H Corbett in the title role, Galton and Simpson behind the typewriter… and yet it lasted only one series of 15 episodes, wasn’t picked up by Thames, and was erased by Rediffusion, so we’ll never know what didn’t gel with the public.
  • Anglia sticks in a quick visit to Westminster at 11.05pm, another startling change of gear, but good on them for keeping the localism flag flying.

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8 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 31 March 2016 at 4:16 pm

Stars of the sixth form drama at 12.0, “Conflict”, Paul Daneman and that Barbara Murray out of “Corrie” also starred as husband and wife in the second series of London Weekend comedy series “Never A Cross Word”. Nyree Dawn Porter had played Barbara’s role in the first series.

I take it “Disney Wonderland” presenter Jennifer Clulow is the same woman who became an announcer for TVS and starred in an advert for Cointreau?

Paul Mason 1 April 2016 at 3:55 am

A few bits and bobs, speaking of the latter About Anglia had three to be nationally famous Bob Wellings (Nationwide) and Joan Shenton, a substitute Esther Rantzen figure. But the third name is puzzling Geoffrey Archer. Is this the infamous Lord? He would have been 26/27 then and he became Tory MP for Louth in 1970. I know his name is Jeffrey but he could have changed the spelling – not something I’d put past him!
Peyton Place is on at 7.30 pm – Granada didnt take this soap until 1970 and ran it at 4 pm Mon-Fri.
William Mervyn was also on All Gas and Gaiters on BBC1 at the time.
Mr Aitch was an attempt to keep Harry H Corbett busy after Wilfrid Brambell quit Steptoe. WB was in America in an ill-fated bid to star in Broadway musicals, his US fame coming from the Hard Days Night film. Steptoe came back in 1969/70. A nice touch is the quick guide to Saturdays programmes.

Paul Mason 1 April 2016 at 4:00 am

I admit a slight error I should have said three PEOPLE from About Anglia became nationally known, there was only one Bob!

steve brown 1 April 2016 at 2:52 pm

peter Hawkins,the voice of bill and ben the flowerpot men,voicing on Disney wonderland,with the Cointreau girl

steve brown 1 April 2016 at 2:55 pm

About Anglia had a good line-up,Bob Wellings,who later hosted Nationwide,Keith Hatfield and Geoffrey Archer who went on to be ITN reporters,Christopher Robbie,who went on to be an announcer on Southern

Paul Mason 1 April 2016 at 7:26 pm

Ive just been on Wikipedia and there is a Geoffrey Archer who was a broadcaster and is also a writer, and it states he was on About Anglia. So that mystery is cleared up.

Arthur Vasey 5 April 2016 at 11:29 am

I believe that same Geoffrey (not to be confused with Jeffrey) Archer did a brief stint at Tyne Tees as a reporter as well, prior to appearing on ITN, doing the sane thing.

As for children’s show The Romper Room – only three UK ITV regions had their own variations on this American concept – there was a national version – but many affiliates aired their own versions – in the UK, Anglia, Ulster and Grampian made their own unique versions of the show – in the USA, to save the hassle of dragging four and five year old kids across America, some affiliates made their own versions – kids appeared on several shows – the hostesses (no men – only women) – despite marital status, were known as Miss, followed by their first name – more often than not, they were employed by the TV stations themselves!

Had more ITV regions took it, each version would be presented by a female continuity announcer or something – someone who would feel comfortable around children – in fact, most of the American presenters were former kindergarten teachers.

There’s a lengthy entry on Wikipedia about it – including the regional variations, the people presenting each version and international franchises of the show – go to Wikipedia and search for Romper Room.

Alan Keeling 22 July 2016 at 12:49 pm

Regarding Rediffusion’s “Disney Wonderland”, actress Francesca Annis was the show’s first hostess, with Jennifer Clulow taking over, later in the series.

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