Tonight’s Southern TV… in 1965 

21 September 2016

TVTimes tells us what was on Southern on Tuesday 21 September 1965. Things worth noting include:

  • Rediffusion dominates the schools programmes for the day, making and networking all three programmes
  • Southern took Crossroads due to viewer demand, but then shoved it to 4.20pm, an awkward time for most of its target audience to find it
  • Wendy Padbury is in Crossroads in her first role worthy of note as Stephanie Harris. In 1968 she would go on to see out Patrick Troughton’s time in Doctor Who
  • Five O’Clock Club from Rediffusion at 5pm has become Five O’Clock Funfair, still with Ollie and Fred as your puppet hosts
  • Tony Bilbow presents Day by Day at 6.05pm, moonlighting from his other job as one of the roster of presenters on BBC-2’s Late Night Line-up
  • Kentucky Jones at 6.35pm is a now largely forgotten comedy that lasted one season on NBC in the States, and had been cancelled in April after 26 episodes. It had been up against Gilligan’s Island on CBS and The Lawrence Welk Show on ABC – both runaway successes for their respective networks
  • 8pm sees Checkmate, another US import. This series had run for two seasons on CBS from 1960, for a total of 70 episodes. Its unique selling point was a big (well, the term is relative) guest star each week, usually from Hollywood’s golden age – Walter Pidgeon, Jayne Wyman, Lee Marvin, Cyd Charisse and the like. Inger Stevens, the guest star tonight, was probably on her way to being, if not a huge star, certainly a dependable character actress, but her career, and life, was cut short in 1970 by a drug overdose
  • Look at the people and organisations that Granada has got together for The World Tonight at 10.05pm. It’s a startling list that wouldn’t be out of place on BBC World News today. Sadly, if The Spectator is to be believed, it was rubbish
  • Southern’s epilogue, after the 11.17pm weather, takes a different angle to the usual dull sermon or worthy interview with a nun. Instead, a vicar answers questions and solves problems. Today, most of the questions sent in would be facetious. You can lay real money that they weren’t in 1965

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6 responses to this article

Victor Field 21 September 2016 at 12:45 pm

“Checkmate” is also notable for having theme music by a fellow who at that time was billed as “Johnny Williams.”

Arthur Nibble 21 September 2016 at 1:31 pm

Alexis Korner on a children’s TV show! “Five O’Clock Funfair” guests The Lancastrians had already enjoyed their brief time in the singles chart, solitary minor hit“We’ll Sing In The Sunshine” having peaked at number 44 the previous January.

I can’t find much out about “Stage One” presenter Gwyneth Surdivall, other than that she was born in Bombay in 1937, had appeared in Rediffusion’s “Small Time” strand and went on to star in that company’s “Hullabaloo” in 1968.

A couple of luminaries in “Emergency- Ward 10”… future comedy star Richard O’Sullivan, and Caroline Blakiston, who appeared in “Brass” and “Return of the Jedi”.

As soon as I saw that picture of Edward Judd, the first thing that came into my head was “Think once, think twice, think bike!”

Les 21 September 2016 at 8:23 pm

Southern took crossroads from the start … And ran it at 4.20, the same time as rediffusion. Then rediffusion started moving it around. 6.10, 6.35, and then 4.20 again! Tww ran it at 4.30. It was a great time to watch … In from school, tele on. A bit of southern rhapsody and then soap.

It ran early (5.25 from the mid 70s), until tvs took over … Who moved it to peak, probably to please their new bluebell hill viewers.

Les 21 September 2016 at 8:28 pm

Oooh and sara and hoppity .. A roberta leigh programme from the 50s .. Bet loads of kids around at the time can still sing the theme song!

Mark Jeffries 21 September 2016 at 10:11 pm

When “Kentucky Jones” started, it went against the grain of American television by being a sitcom that didn’t have a canned laugh track. (Very few sitcoms at the time were shot in front of studio audiences, most notably “The Lucy Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”) Basically, NBC told the producers that they would either have to put a laugh track on the show or not get renewed. So, the episode seen on Southern on this night, the 25th of the 26-episode run, had canned laughter against the wishes of the producers.

Alan Keeling 25 September 2016 at 9:49 pm

A pre – Man from UNCLE, Robert Vaughn guest stars in the Checkmate episode & I’m surprised to see that Kentucky Jones was shown on Southern TV (wonder how many other ITV regions screened this US series?) It certainly wasn’t shown in the Midlands area (ATV), nor where many other US series either.

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