Tonight’s Anglia TV… in 1976 

9 October 2017

A random ITV Saturday schedule in the mid 1970’s can only be described as one that contains convergence and divergence.
Only one item anchors the regions together: sport. Before and afterwards, there is no commonality. Each region goes their separate ways before linking up again for a live event.

With this schedule, we take a look at Anglia’s offerings on Saturday 9th October 1976.

Throughout ITV’s history, boxing was a staple of the schedule, often shown during World of Sport or Midweek Sport Special. With most live boxing appeared on the BBC with Harry Carpenter behind the mike, fight nights made semi-irregular appearances on ITV during the 1970’s.

On this particular Saturday night, ITV had coverage of John Conteh’s world light-heavyweight title defence against Alvaro Lopez, live from Copenhagen. I won’t say who won, but footage of the fight exists on YouTube, but sadly not containing Reg Gutteridge’s measured tones.

It wasn’t until the mid-80’s that boxing became one of ITV’s biggest draws, when it was branded as The Big Fight Live. Most Saturday nights were dominated with fighters like Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe and Naseem Hamed, fighting for world titles, which increased the profile of boxing and those boxers.

This golden era for British boxing ended in the mid-90’s when pay-tv took off and promotors like Barry Hearn and Frank Warren drifted away from ITV for the lure of Sky Sports and the big money nights that pay-per-view events promised, but nowhere near the reach of before and boxing slipped from the public eye.

Earlier in the day, Dickie Davies is on hand with World of Sport, with the usual ITV Seven from York and Aye, wrestling from Castleford and the results.

A feature of the programme throughout its run would be coverage of the Australian Rules Football finals, from Melbourne. The event takes place on the last Saturday of September, so we’ve had a fortnight to wait for this showing. Coverage would come from Channel 7 (and Hawthorn beat North Melbourne by 30 points).

In terms of regionalia, we are a year or so before Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night “got the network together”, so there is still much variance from this Anglia edition of the TV Times.

  • New Faces at 6:30 on Anglia, but 6:15 on Southern and Yorkshire, 7:00 on ATV, but not at all on LWT.
  • No agreement on which quiz to show; LWT had Sale of the Century, the erstwhile quiz of the week from Norwich, whilst Anglia itself went with an LWT production of Candid Camera and Southern went for ATV’s Celebrity Squares.
  • Plenty of choice with the film before the ITN News at 9:30 and the Conteh fight. On Anglia and Yorkshire, Company of Killers starred Van Johnson and Ray Milland, a thriller surrounding the murder of a police officer. Southern go for Carry on Henry, one of the saucier capers in the canon. ATV go for The Blob, and LWT, McCloud
  • With Anglia, we get two appearances from Jack Parnell tonight; one of the judges in New Faces, and at midnight in his own self-titled Big Band Show.

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10 responses to this article

Alan Keeling 9 October 2017 at 4:05 pm

Among the Saturday cartoon selections was Felix the Cat, not the old silent version, but made in colour from 1958 to 1960 & created by Joseph Oriolo for Translux. In these TV cartoons, Felix is never without his ‘magic bag’ which gets him out of many bad situations concerning his enemy The Professor with his bulldog assistant.

Victor Field 9 October 2017 at 8:24 pm

Rock Bottom was the assistant’s name. Jack Mercer’s line readings as the voices of all the characters (including villain The Master Cylinder, Professor’s nephew Poindexter) were a bit… stilted. And the BBC demonstrated when they ran them in the ’90s (with a new theme tune) they haven’t aged well.

Meanwhile, LWT has “Super Friends” (not one word as I always thought). Paving the way for the superb “Batman: The Animated Series” getting shown on Saturday mornings during the ’90s and surprising a lot of people expecting it to be Adam West-esque.

David Rhodes 9 October 2017 at 8:26 pm

Capital Radio’s Adrian Love following in Dave Cash’s footsteps in doing some telly for HTV – in this case ‘Breaktime’. There’s a clip of Amanda Theunissen here: – scroll to 12.11pm.

Alan Keeling 9 October 2017 at 11:11 pm

Saturday’s Space 1999 episode is episode 5 from season 1 whilst the Tarzan repeat at 5.35 is episode 19 from season 2 (1968) with guest star Michael Ansara.

Arthur Nibble 10 October 2017 at 4:42 pm

“Felix The Cat” is described as ‘Cartoon capers from the smoothest operator ever to climb into a dustbin’. Obvious to tell that “Top Cat” / “Boss Cat” wasn’t shown on ITV.

David Rhodes 10 October 2017 at 5:50 pm

Few more sidelines – Yorkshire starting the day with Tyne Tees’ Farming Outlook; they showed Anglia’s Farming Diary on Sunday. They went through a phase of screening both for a year or two; Diary always on Sunday, Outlook bounced about the schedule a bit.

A bit odd to see Within These Walls at 11pm on Anglia – no indication that it’s a repeat either – always thought it was a bigger hit than that.

London Weekend viewers enjoyed the splendid Climax Blue Band among the guests on Supersonic at teatime.

Alan Keeling 11 October 2017 at 5:47 pm

It may be of interest to know that the original silent Felix the Cat cartoons from the 1920s were screened by Associated Rediffusion during 1955 in a tea time slot.

George H 11 October 2017 at 6:35 pm

I have this feeling that having Sale of the Century mentioned on the front cover of the Anglia edition makes me think that either it was a coincidence, or that back in 1976, the front covers of the other regions’ editions that week had different shows and presenters or actors seen, mostly to suit the schedules of the regional companies. Feels too coincidental to have SOTC seen on the Anglia edition.

Arthur Nibble 12 October 2017 at 2:09 pm

Cover star Linda Hooks had minor roles in three “Carry On” films.

Alan Keeling 17 October 2017 at 10:13 am

Saturday mornings were not the best time to screen Inner Space, or Ron & Valerie Taylor’s Inner Space. This 13 part exciting Australian underwater documentary series was narrated by William Shatner in 1973 & there were plenty of thrills with creatures of the deep, large and small.

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