Tonight’s Westward TV… in 1964 

26 August 2016

Look Westward magazine tells us what was on Westward on Wednesday 26 August 1964. Things worth noting include:

  • Westward comes on air at the wonderfully specific time of 4.43pm with a local news bulletin. Most regions didn’t do this – the regional news was at 6.05pm or 6.30pm and that was the first peep you heard from your local newsroom
  • 5.25pm sees Gerry Anderson’s second delve into puppet science fiction with a repeat of Fireball XL5. As the names Space City, Kudos, and Planet Zanadu and the existence of Lazoons suggests, it’s aimed at a younger audience than his later sci-fi shows. Certainly by the time of Captain Scarlet in three years time, the shows were being enjoyed by adults and the very young had been left behind
  • Westward Diary, the local news and magazine show at 6.05pm, shows how the name of the region caused arguments. Look Westward calls it “the West”, but TWW served “the West”, with Westward in “the Southwest”. But the bigger money was in the West, and there was a huge overlap of Westward and TWW, so it seemed fair game to everybody – except the Independent Television Authority
  • 7pm’s Ready, Steady, Win! passed me by. Such was the popularity of parent show Ready, Steady, Go!, it’s no surprise to see the brand being extended to a talent competition with an array of slightly strange prizes, but it may have only been part-networked, so I missed it
  • Bonanza at 8pm also gets a mention on the cover. This series was phenomenally popular in its native United States from 1959 until it petered out in the early 1970s. It was also a bankable standby for BBC-1 in the late 1970s through to the mid-1980s. This is episode 29 (of 34) of season 4 and first aired on NBC in colour on 21 April 1963
  • Stan Getz (2 February 1927 – 6 June 1991), saxophonist and Joe Williams (12 December 1918 – 29 March 1999), jazz singer, get 20 minutes to blow our socks off at 9.10pm
  • Insert your own comment about the programme at 9.30pm – which is also on BBC-1 and BBC-2 to make sure you can’t avoid it
  • More socks-blowing-off music at 9.40pm as Rediffusion brings Ray Charles on to sing
  • The wrestling at 10.25pm is unusual for being a straight-out Rediffusion production – it was usually an ABC production pretending to be by “Independent Television”. The odds are that it was repeated on Saturday, where it would be an “Independent Television” presentation after all
  • ABC’s Dial 999 gets an (uncredited) outing at 11.10pm. This programme was made, in the style of ITC productions, primarily for export – it would be paid for by its first showing on ITV and the export dollars would be pure profit. This episode was made in 1958 and features Rediffusion’s Muriel Young in a small part
  • Lighthouse at 11.35pm comes all the way from Border. It’s unlikely to have got a network slot, but seems a good sale for Border into the more sea-dependent regions – Westward, Tyne Tees, Grampian, perhaps even Anglia

You Say

6 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 26 August 2016 at 2:41 pm

From memory, “Zoo Time” was a serious and studious animal programme compared to “Animal Magic” but still enjoyable.

I love that double camera caption which tries to make “Westward Diary” seem dynamic.

Joint winners of “Ready, Steady, Win!” were The Bo Street Runners from the Harrow area and the Wild Oats from Leiston in Suffolk. Ironic that the competition strove to find the next Beatles and the Runners’ eventually released a cover of “Drive My Car”.

“Coronation Street” – David has a showdown with Elsie. Hmmm, wonder who’d normally come out on top? Winner faces Ena Sharples in the semis.

Looks like Westward were trying to combat BBC2’s “Jazz 625” series, or provide an alternative for those in the (south) west if that new fangled second BBC channel wasn’t available.

Despite the photo caption, no real giants of the wrestling ring on display. I watched a lot of telly wrestling as a youngster and I remember Tibor Szakacs and his brother Peter as unglamorous, earnest and classic wrestlers.

Jack Jackson was astute. P.J. Proby’s “Try To Forget Her” was a complete chart flop. I’m guessing Mike Cotton’s theme tune to “Discs A Go Go” was a single called “Round And Round”.

Arthur Nibble 26 August 2016 at 3:57 pm

“Firecrackers”, featuring Cardew Robinson and Dave Allen sidekick Ronnie Brody on the cover, was an ATV comedy which lasted 15 editions over two series in 1964 and 1965.

Jeremy Rogers 26 August 2016 at 4:12 pm

At this time “The Ten”, ie the regionals sold programmes to each other at half the cost that the programme would have been if bought from “The Four”. This was intended to boost production between them through cooperating within the British Regional Television Association (secretariat hosted by TWW), but it never really developed much.

Kif Bowden-Smith 27 August 2016 at 1:44 am

I had forgotten the BRTA. Sharing the costs of Mr & Mrs between TWW and Border was a deal brokered by them IIRC.

Arthur Nibble 27 August 2016 at 12:35 pm

Another aspect of ITV I wasn’t aware of. I didn’t know “The Ten” were referred to like that or the existence and aims of the BRTA. Thanks, Jeremy.

Alan Keeling 28 August 2016 at 12:19 pm

Couldn’t help noticing the DIAL 999 repeat at 11.10, this mid to late 1950s Brit crime series starred Robert Beatty as Mike Maguire, a Canadian Mountie assigned to learn Scotland Yard police methods of solving crime. An ABC/ZIV co production.

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