Tonight’s Harlech TV… in 1968 

11 October 2017

The TVTimes tells us what was on Harlech on Friday 11 October 1968. Things worth noting include:

It’s that thrilling annual staple of the schedules: Party Conference season. The Conservative MPs are living it up in Blackpool. Guesthouse owners and publicans must be loving it as the Labour Party had been there the week before. Harlech are paying three visits to the Conservative Party Conference today, down from four on the past two days.

After his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in April, commentators pondered whether Enoch Powell might make some equally controversial statement at the year’s Conservative Party Conference. He was, perhaps wisely, given little speaking time. Powell’s views on immigration were too extreme for some Conservatives and he had been sacked from the Shadow Cabinet. Other Conservatives at the conference were still, well, conservative on immigration issues, with leader Edward Heath stating, ‘we will help those who wish to return to their own country’.

Today’s school programmes are all repeats. The World Around Us, Primary French and Drama are all from Wednesday, How We Used To Live from Tuesday, Ici La France from Monday and Conflict from Thursday. They all have an intermission of a few minutes to get one class out and the next lot in. There is a longer break from 12.30 until 1.40, presumably to account for the various school lunch breaks across the land.

The World Around Us sounds slightly exciting as today’s episode is about ‘Properties’ and tries to pull youngsters into science by showing ‘an oil tanker stranded on the rocks’ and ‘a car sliding on a slippery surface’.

Drama presents three ‘kyogen‘ or ‘farcical interludes between the serious Noh plays of Japan’. The cast includes Kevin Stoney, Terrence Woodfield, Lynette Erving, Roy Herrick and Jeffrey Shankley. Stoney, Woodfield and Herrick are linked by having all appeared in Doctor Who at some point, with Stoney’s appearance in ‘The Invasion’ starting on the other side next month.

How We Used To Live is looking at the Victorian era, a time which some school children’s grandparents at this time would have been able to remember.

We start back up at the wonderfully precise time of 4.23 for a mix of children’s TV and soap. Harlech gives Crossroads an earlier showing than most of the other regions, who prefer to give it an early evening slot.

Following the news, it’s a mixture of genres on the General Service this evening, with a ‘something for everyone’ vibe: comedy, talent show, drama, comedy, soap, more news, comedy, drunken rambling.

The drama series Gazette follows events on a local newspaper. Gazette only ran for one thirteen episode series but would morph into Hadleigh – named after main character James Hadleigh (Gerald Harper) – the following year and run for four series until 1976. This week the paper is trying to find the motive behind a young woman’s suicide. One suspects that with a description including ‘they must keep one step ahead of the police’, the paper do not follow 21st century suicide reporting standards.

The Welsh service opts out of the US imports Wendy and Me and Peyton Place. Instead of Wendy, viewers get a golf tip and part 2 of a Batman serial. The popular Peyton Place is shoved aside for a programme on the arts in Wales.

Stumble in from the pub at 11 in time to catch Free House, presumably to watch the residents of the bar at The Bridge chat some nonsense. The description gives little away so it would appear the programme consists entirely of members of the general public discussing the issues of the day in a pub, ‘somewhere’ in the vicinity of the Severn Bridge. No such pub appears to still exist.

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9 responses to this article

Jason D'Arcy 11 October 2017 at 3:16 pm

Interesting to see Harlech not airing Frost on Friday from London Weekend. All the other regions listed are

Geoff Nash 11 October 2017 at 3:54 pm

Also interesting to see no credits to the producing companies at the foot of the individual programmes.

Westy 11 October 2017 at 5:04 pm

Who actually showed the various Frost programmes & when, because I read somewhere Atv didnt take all the Frost shows?

Kif Bowden-Smith 11 October 2017 at 7:38 pm

The lack of credits in tv times was not a Harlech policy but a very short lived tv times policy that lead (perhaps surprisingly) to complaints from readers. They were reinstated soon after. Viewers seemed more interested in production credits then, than they supposedly were in the nineties when whole itv brands were ended to supposedly “simplify itv for the confused viewer”… this was all bollocks of course for mergers and takeovers to “increase shareholder value”. Viewers sensibilities were a higher priority in 1968.

David Rhodes 12 October 2017 at 9:07 am

9.30, 10.15 and 10.30 a.m. – three different start times around the companies for Conference coverage.

Op Knox at 7 means a Thames programme in London Weekend time; strange, too, to see Kingsway as the address to send your votes. Thames’ Euston Road move still a little way off.

Southern’s use of a Popeye cartoon at 8.45 pm, followed by a five minute What’s on Guide is a charmingly strange piece of scheduling.

Arthur Nibble 12 October 2017 at 9:20 am

Keeping the above theme going…

Interesting to see the regions’ programmes listed in full rather than the usual “As Harlech except…” .

Also interesting to see Noele Gordon bottom of the bill in “Crossroads”.

Jane and Ruth Earl, playing themselves in Connie Stevens’ vehicle “Wendy and Me”, were twins who danced and acted in a number of films in the early 60’s.

The fragmentation of London Weekend’s efforts is also shown by “We Have Ways Of Making You Laugh”, only being shown tonight on Harlech and Westward out of the five regions and also at different times.

Thanks to Google Translate, at 9.30 on Harlech Wales is “Workshop” – a look at the Welsh arts with performance in the studio and on film.

Paul Mason 12 October 2017 at 7:15 pm

I bet some effort went into not letting Noele Gordon see that billing. She was “Dame ATV” after all until 1981.

Alan Keeling 12 October 2017 at 8:15 pm

George Burns played himself in the one season Wendy & Me sitcom (1964/65) with Connie Stevens as a substitute for Gracie Allen in this Warner Brothers production. Episode 29 in the 6.30 slot is near the end of the run.

Sarah Morris 8 April 2018 at 2:30 pm

That £23 for the Radio Rentals TV for a years rent is about £370 today and only 19″, and in ‘vivid’ black and white.

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