ITV puts its announcers in the picture 

13 January 2021


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From the Daily Mirror for 25 February 1956

COMMERCIAL TV has changed its mind about announcers being heard and not seen.

The faces behind the voices that introduce week-day programmes in London and the Midlands are to appear after all.

When Commercial TV began last September, officials announced that they had no intention of putting their announcers before the cameras in the B.B.C. method.

Now there have been second thoughts.

An official of Associated-Rediffusion, the programme contractors who put on London weekday programmes, told me yesterday:

“We had a firm decision that we would not have announcers in ‘vision.’

“But that decision has now been changed.

“We don’t intend to have our announcers before the camera every time there is an announcement to make, but they will be when we feel the occasion calls for an announcer’s personality.

Associated Television, the Midlands week-day contractors, say that they, too, are likely to put their announcers before cameras.



The New Faces

Who are these “new faces”?

In London, attractive brunette actress MURIEL YOUNG, 27, who was one of the B.B.C.’s “Quite Contrary” beauties;

Ex-British Forces Network and Radio Luxembourg announcer TOM GLASER, 22, and newcomer REDVERS KYLE, who has been a Commercial radio announcer in South Africa.

In the Midlands:

The following section is commentary from Transdiffusion's expert writers

Russ J Graham writes: It’s been the case for so long that the BBC are out-of-vision and most ITV companies were in-vision that it comes as a surprise to find it the other way around.

What has caused ITV (well, two-thirds of it at this moment in time) to change its mind on a random Saturday in February? The answer is likely to be the big splash that ABC Weekend TV made last weekend when they launched in the Midlands with every gap between programmes featuring on screen Edward Ward, their “station host”. He wasn’t just a continuity announcer as we might think of them: his job was to be a guide to the programmes and the layout of each weekend, to explain what was happening and to talk to stars crammed into the tiny continuity studio at Alpha Television in Birmingham. He gave titbits of news, the weather, even traffic reports, all in an urbane style.

ABC was not to be a series of programmes one after another with adverts interspersed. It was an experience, an all-day event, a rolling revue, all designed to make sure that even a weak programme wouldn’t cause people to turn over, or at least to turn back quickly, as Ward introduced a ‘fear of missing out’ years before it became the hashtag #FOMO.

This would appear to have worked, if it caused the other two-thirds of ITV to rush into vision a mere week after ABC’s launch.

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