Great weekend plans from ABC 

3 May 2017

From the TVTimes Northern edition for 5-11 May 1963



This weekend Northern ITV enters its eighth year. On May 3, 1956, Granada first came on the air, followed two days later by ABC. The number of viewers then was 750,000. Now the regional audience for Northern ITV programmes is 10,655,000. But topping the 10 million was only one of many ITV highlights in the past 12 months. It has been a year of continual progress, especially in programmes appealing specifically to regional tastes and interests.And there are plenty more planned for the year ahead. On this page Granada and ABC programme personalities discuss some of them, and apart from the programmes they specifically mention, many more are on the way.

Following the success of Saki, Granada are lining up a new drama series on plays that delighted Victorian theatre-goers, as well as dramatisations of Guy de Maupassant stories.The team that was responsible for The Army Game and Bootsie and Snudge will be trying out promising new comedy ideas this summer.

Also under way is a new series of religious programmes about The Journeys of St. Paul, with camera teams filming on-the-spot material in Jordan, Greece, and Cyprus.



by RONNIE TAYLOR, ABC’s Light Entertainment Supervisor

Seven years ago this weekend, as ABCs first variety show, Ship Canal Showboat, sailed into viewers’ homes, one of the North’s — and the country’s — top comics vowed that he would never set foot in a television studio.

And he has been saying that regularly ever since — until now. Which is one of the reasons why we at ABC are excited at the way many of the light entertainment plans that have been developing in the past few months are about to be realised.

The comic was Al Read.

In the same Didsbury studio where we launched Ship Canal Showboat Al has been hard at work on a weekly series called Life and Al Read which viewers will be seeing later in the year.

Al’s change of heart will bring something to the screen which has been in all too short supply. His penetrating observations of the way we live represent comedy in its most refined form.

I forecast that for those who have never seen him in person, and who conjure up the picture of a cloth-capped North Countryman, there are a few surprises in store.

Also set to appear in a new series called That’s My Boy is comedian Jimmy Clitheroe. Standing 4ft. 3in. without his shoes and weighing 6st. 61bs. Jimmy is a firm favourite on stage and radio.

The programmes, which are scheduled for your autumn viewing, involve Jimmy as an ordinary small boy bearing the tremendous responsibilities of having an ordinary family.

His father is something of a local builder and something of a trial to young James. This may, or may not be because his father is played by Deryck Guyler.

Gordon Rollings, a familiar face on television, will appear as Dad’s righthand man.

Other programme plans on the Light Entertainment drawing board at ABC include a holiday spectacular with visiting guests from the summer seaside shows.

The accent will be firmly on comedy, although there will be a parade of top-line singing stars, presented in the glossy style of award-winning director Philip Jones. Philip’s Saturday-night disc show, Thank Your Lucky Stars, will be continuing through the summer, with Mark Stuart sitting in the director’s chair.

Everyone at the studios is enthusiastic about a new series called Green for Danger, which stars Hughie Green and is written around Hughie’s activites as a civil air pilot.

And while all these definite series get under way we are looking even further ahead with ideas for new ventures in television entertainment. Already we are booking studio space for three experimental programmes using untried techniques that could produce an entirely new type of entertainment programme.

It’s always dangerous to speculate, but I promise that it will be provocative and topical and, for me, another good reason to be excited about the developments in the next 12 months.


A Transdiffusion Presentation

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3 responses to this article

Don Clayton 3 May 2017 at 12:45 pm

I was floor manager on two of these programmes.

Alan Keeling 3 May 2017 at 8:26 pm

That’s my Boy, starring Jimmy Clitheroe is available on DVD on the Network label & as an extra, there is the only surviving episode of ABC TV’s later series called Just Jimmy.

Paul Mason 4 May 2017 at 4:24 am

Just Jimmy I recall on ABC early evening on Saturday. His mother was played by Mollie Sugden and cousin Alfie by Danny Ross, who also appeared on BBC Light, later Radio 2 the Clitheroe Kid. In the latter he had a sister and a grandfather.

Jimmy Clitheroe met a sad end, the woman he was friends with left him, his radio series was cancelled in 1972, and his dominant mother died in 1973. He took an overdose with alcohol on the day of her funeral. He was 51.
Danny Ross died three years later age 45. Mollie Sugden went on to bigger things and lived into this century.

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