Tonight’s ATV Midlands… in 1958 

16 May 2018

The TVTimes tells us what’s on ATV Midlands on Friday 16 May 1958. Things worth noting include:

ATV persists in offering 43 minutes (exactly) of lunchtime programming, designed to catch factory workers watching in canteens. With broadcasting hours legally restricted, this 43 minutes is deducted from the end of the day, seeing ATV off-air at 11.30pm whilst other companies push on towards midnight.

Broadcasting limits are suspended for live sports, so racing from Lingfield in Surrey and the Royal Windsor Horse Show get a bye.

Lingfield is in the Associated-Rediffusion area, and not just because Southern Television haven’t launched yet. It’s one of those commuter towns where the people are very clear that they are not part of London, despite their lives revolving round the nearby metropolis. Southern’s VHF transmissions didn’t officially reach them. UHF split the difference somewhat, leaving the town, at least at first, in the fringe reception area of both regions.

Windsor is very much in the Associated-Rediffusion area, perhaps going towards explaining why the trials there are merely an ATV Presentation.

Unusual company credits continue in this edition of the TVTimes. 5.25pm sees Carroll Levis Junior Discoveries (I suspect there should be an apostrophe in that title somewhere) is an ATV Telerecording.

Captain David Grief at 6.10pm is a 2-season, 39-episode serial made for syndication in the US. It is still in production as this episode goes out.

The Sword of Freedom at 7.00pm is another 2-series, 39-episode serial, this time made by ATV subsidiary ITC and from the same stable as The Adventures of Robin Hood. This episode is number 13 of series 1 and is premiering here.

Back to unusual company credits: The Army Game at 8.30pm is lacking a credit at all. Poor old Granada!

Midlands Montage at 10.30pm is the local magazine programme. Later, thanks to Granada pioneering the idea, such shows would go out in the slot here given over to the the plain local news and would fill half an hour. At this point, it’s just a curiously specific 16 minutes shoved in before the late ITN bulletin.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents at 11.00pm was a creepy anthology series topped and tailed with humorously spooky vignettes from the master himself, but otherwise unrelated to him. It was made for CBS, then NBC, then CBS again, then NBC again again, over the course of 10 seasons. This is a CBS episode, number 19 from season 2, which premiered a little over a year earlier in the States.

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4 responses to this article

Paul Mason 16 May 2018 at 10:05 pm

Although in the Granada region, my late mother would moan about, (until 1972) “Nothing on in the afternoon except horse racing, cricket or tennis!”. We didn’t get Lunch Box, or Ms Gordon’s other programme (until 1972).She ironically got a job that year!My mother didn’t know about the unlimited sport allowance but she wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised at that.

Paul Mason 16 May 2018 at 10:07 pm

To correct a sentence,my mother got a job in 1972, not Noele Gordon.

Arthur Nibble 16 May 2018 at 11:33 pm

The early beginnings of audience participation (or, sit back and let others do the work for you) in the children’s write-it-for us play during the programme starting at 5.0.

Way down the Television Playhouse cast is Eric Lander, soon to make it big in “No Hiding Place” and his own staring vehicle, truncated by strike action , “Echo Four-Two”.

Nigel Stapley 17 May 2018 at 5:56 pm

“Alfred Hitchcock Presents” was the cause of a family anecdote.

The show was still running in some regions in the late 60s. My Auntie Florrie, recently widowed and living in a chilly council house facing into the north-easterlies of winter, used to get changed for bed in the living room as that had a gas fire. She would then trudge up the stairs and try to get into bed before she got cold.

One evening, with the telly on, she was just in that intermediate state between taking off everything she intended to and putting on her night attire when “AHP” came on. On came Hitchcock, turned to the camera and intoned:

“You think I can’t see you, don’tcha? Well, I can!”

Auntie Flo was pushing 60, but she said that she touched 90 as she hurtled up the stairs. From that night onwards, not only did she switch the set off before disrobing, but she unplugged it as well.

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