Announcers’ choice 

25 December 2016

TVWorld magazine tells us what the Midlands announcers will be watching at Christmas in 1964…

Christmas Day by Jill Bechley of ATV

19641225-jillbechleyI love carols and am looking forward to starting the big day by listening to 400 children singing in the carol service from Auckland Castle (9 a.m.). Then I shall watch the Christmas Morning Service (11 a.m.).

atveye-decoThe Queen (3.0) and Tommy Steele’s big show, Richard Whittington, Esquire (3.5) will be the highspots of my afternoon.

Then I’d like you to join me in watching the ATV Today Christmas Party (6.10) from our own Midlands’ studios.

Of course, Crossroads (6.35) is a favourite with us in the Midlands. We watch Meg and her two children as though they were part of our families. On this day, of all days, we won’t want to miss them.

I’m hoping to see all of the splendid film The Pride and the Passion (8.0) before ending a busy, but pleasant day on duty.

Boxing Day by John Benson of ABC

19641225-johnbensonJoin me in a flutter in the Steeplechasing (12.20 and 1.15). If we’re lucky, we’ll recoup some of our Christmas money.

You will also be able to share my sympathy for the sweat-and-grunt boys who will give us an extra long session of Professional Wrestling (3.15).


I won’t miss the gala Thank Your Lucky Stars (5.50) and I’m also looking forward to watching Mike and Bernie Winters in Boxing Night Out (6.35).

I hope you’ll stay tuned in after The News (9.5) to watch Laurence Olivier and much-missed Marilyn Monroe in The Prince and the Showgirl (9.15). It’s the film of Terence Rattigan’s modern-day fairy story, “The Sleeping Prince.”

To round off the day I’m going to watch Tempo (11.15). There’s a surprise item here which I’ve had to promise not to tell you about until the day.

Sunday by John Edmunds of ABC

19641225-johnedmundsTry to keep Dad still during the rough-and-tumble excitement of Rugby League (2.10). Then Bernard Braden is On the Braden Beat (2.45). This is a “must” for me.

Teenagers will get their ration of music in Big Beat ’64 (3.15). The programme fearures a galaxy of top recording stars, including Cliff Richard and The Shadows.

atveye-decoDon’t forget to let the kids share the screen for Just Jimmy (5.10) and the Bugs Bunny Show (5.40).

The evening’s viewing starts with a bumper Sunday Night at the London Palladium (7.29). featuring the cream of entertainment I certainly won’t miss it.

Alec Guinness fans have a treat in store for them with the Film Premiere presentation. “Kind Hearts and Coronets” (8.55).

The day is rounded off with The Eamonn Andrews Show (11.5).

A Transdiffusion Presentation

Report an error


Jill Bechley, John Benson and John Edmunds Contact More by me

You Say

4 responses to this article

Alan Keeling 27 December 2016 at 3:39 pm

In September 1965, there was an open day at the ITA’s Lichfield transmitter, Jean Morton appeared with the Tingha & Tucker puppet koalas as well as announcer Jill Bechley, who very politely gave me an autographed photo of herself. Jill was also one of the continuity announcers, during the summer 1968 ITV strike, she then went on to announce for LWT & that was the last time I saw her.

Kif Bowden-Smith 29 December 2016 at 4:32 pm

When they were jointly Aston based, Jill did some announcing in the mid sixties for both ATV Midlands and ABC Midlands. This was very unusual as both companies tried to be distinct and this rarity would have blurred that!
I don’t recall whether the stints were concurrent or consecutive but while announcers often varied regions or companies, “careerwise” it was unusual to appear on stints for both weekend and weekday contractor in the *same* region during the same era..

Alan Keeling 31 December 2016 at 11:41 pm

I am fairly sure that John Benson was in an indoor scene in “The Dambusters”. A background scene where a bunch of ‘squaddies’ are the worse for drink & carrying John out of the mess. Have a look in slow motion, next time you play the DVD of the film.

Alan Keeling 7 January 2017 at 11:09 pm

Jill Bechley did occasional continuity stints during that lovely two week ITV strike in 1968, when programmes (mainly from telecine) & commercials were networked to all ITV regions from London.

Your comment

Enter it below

A member of the Transdiffusion Broadcasting System
Liverpool, Thursday 11 April 2024