ITV in 1988: Channel 

2 February 2023

Channel print logo



The Television Centre, St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Tel: 0534 73999
Telex: 4192265 CTV JY G
Fax: 0634 50446

The Television Centre, St. George’s Place, St. Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Tel: 0481 23451

Directors John Riley (Chairman); John Henwood (Managing Director and Director of Programmes); Michael Le Cocq (Director of Sales and Marketing); Euan MacGregor (Director of Finance); Geoffrey Dorey; Martine Kay-Mouat; David Le Marquand; John Rowe.

Officers Andrew Hearne (Technical Controller); Rosemary Mathew (Company Secretary); Michael Lucas (Head of Local Programmes); Gordon de Ste. Croix (Publications Manager); Roger Bowns (Guernsey Officer Manager); Bob Evans (Head of Production); Gillian Le Cornu (Head of Programme Planning, Presentation & Promotion).

Staff Total staff of the company is 102.

Religious Advisory Committee The Very Revd Canon John Foster, Dean of Guernsey (representing Anglican Church, Guernsey); The Very Revd Basil O’Ferrall, Dean of Jersey (representing Anglican Church, Jersey); The Rt. Revd Mgr. Canon W. Raymond Lawrence (representing Roman Catholic Church, Guernsey); The Very Revd Canon David Mahy (representing Roman Catholic Church, Jersey); The Revd Alan Morton (representing Free Church, Guernsey); The Revd John Farley (representing Free Church, Jersey).

Programme Journal Channel TV Times is published by Channel Television Limited.
Editorial address: The Television Centre, St Helier, Jersey. Editor: Stuart C. Guilliard.

Channel Oracle Channel Television operates a full regional teletext service including local news, weather, sport and events diary. Channel Index is on page 200 of Oracle.

Technical Facilities JERSEY: The main studio is 1,000 sq. ft. with three cameras and normal sound facilities for live and recorded productions. The presentation studio has one camera for in-vision presentation. One multiplexed telecine unit provides facilities for transmission of 16mm film, 35mm film and 35mm slides and sepmag capability with 16mm film, and there is an ADS1 16/35mm telecine. There are five ENG units in the field equipped with Sony Broadcast BVP3P and BVP5P cameras and BVV-1 and BVW-25 portable recorders. Editing comprises three suites, each consisting of four playback machines and one recorder giving dual format working in both BVU and Betacam, and two BVH-2000 recorders are also available. Audio post production is carried out using a Q lock synchroniser with BVU800P video-recorder, Sony 8 track and two Studer 2 track audio recorders. There is a preview theatre with video viewing facilities from the technical area. GUERNSEY: The studio is 500 sq. ft. with facilities for two cameras and is used for live inserts during local programmes via microwave link to Jersey as well as recorded productions. There is one ENG unit in the field equipped in the same way as the Jersey units.

Programmes News, current affairs and documentaries provide the bulk of Channel’s local programme output, but in Channel’s 25th anniversary year, nostalgia, too, has been the order of the day. There have been a variety of programmes made up of material drawn from the archives, material which was produced in Channel’s early years. Channel went on air on 1st September 1962, and on 1st September 1987 a week of Channel Report ‘Birthday Specials’ was launched. Channel Report remains the region’s top rating show – the six o’clock review of news and views from the islands.

Other anniversary programmes included This Month, That Year, a monthly review of the events of our first full year of broadcasting. Memories reminded viewers of early features from the archives, musicians who had entertained the audience of the 60s were returned to the screen, and early documentaries were re-edited and re-broadcast. It all underlined how much the Islands have changed over 25 years, but proved popular programming in small communities where memories are shared by many and, more often than not, cherished.

In the middle two weeks of September, further Channel Report ‘Specials’ were mounted to reflect four important events being staged simultaneously in Guernsey – the first ever Festival, the second ever staging of the Island Games, an International Powerboat Competition, and the Battle of Britain air display. Channel Report is flexible in format so that it can most effectively reflect what’s happening in the Islands. However, its most usual form is a hard news first part followed by special interest second part – highlighting subjects ranging from sport, politics, religion and drama and the arts, to the latest video release’s and gardening. The other main regional news bulletins are the Lunchtime News and the Late News at 22.30 – both following the ITN News.

Major technical advances in the last year have meant that our Guernsey reporters have, for the first time, been able to regularly present Channel Report from our Guernsey studio. And a newsroom computer, with terminals in Jersey and Guernsey, has brought Guernsey stories to the attention of the news editor in Jersey as quickly as those of their Jersey counterparts.

A sailing ship

The square-rigger Lord Nelson featured in Channel TV’s About Britain programme ‘One Man’s Dream’.

Also in 1987, coverage of the smaller islands – Alderney and Sark – was improved with the basing of a television camera in both islands, so that moving pictures can be incorporated within all bulletins as soon as anything important happens. Resident correspondents who have been the traditional news gatherers now work alongside the cameramen – and reporters and crews from the Jersey or Guernsey base’s continue to make frequent visits to the smaller islands to ensure full coverage.

Documentaries provided this year as part of Channel’s increasing contribution to the ITV network have included ‘Announcing the Arrival’ and ‘One Man’s Dream’ – both in the About Britain series. The first traced 50 years of Jersey Airport, the second the inception and development of what is likely to prove an international trust dedicated to enabling the physically handicapped to sail a square rigger, the Lord Nelson, alongside able-bodied companions.

Sir Harry Secombe took to the Highway with Channel on visits to Alderney, Sark, St. Helier and Mont St. Michel on the nearby coast of Normandy.

One of Jerseys most famous assets, Gerald Durrell’s zoo, featured in The Dodo Club, a series of 12 programmes for children’s ITV presented by Sue Robbie, which told the story of how Gerald Durrell and his staff are helping to save animals in danger of extinction. The series has led to a special programme later in the year, The Dodo Christmas Club, which continues the story and gives advice to children who receive pets for Christmas. Jambo, the patriarch of Jersey zoo’s gorilla family became an international ‘personality’ after people around the world saw pictures of the caring way he protected a young boy who accidentally fell into the gorilla complex. By dipping into our archives the zoo’s progress over 25 years and using new footage, Channel produced Jambo, The Gentle Giant, in a half-hour documentary which proved how wrong some film makers and writers were in depicting gorillas as terrifying, ferocious creatures. Animals at the zoo also starred in Get Fresh, and Channel provided several different items for this popular Saturday morning children’s programme.

Channel cameras did not spend much time in their case’s during the year Apart from recording the happenings at Jersey zoo over twelve months, they followed the life cycle of island wildlife for the same period in producing Wildabout, an adult education series of five programmes. Adult education and leisure were the themes of the series commissioned by Channel 4. Valued Opinion, presented by Max Robertson, gave advice to retired people with the time to browse round antique markets or start a collection of their own. Great British Isles, currently in production, is Channel’s most ambitious project to date. Written and presented by Leslie Thomas, the series features six of Britain’s islands as viewed by Leslie, who has been an island enthusiast for most of his life.


In memory of our friend and colleague Rob Milburn. Sleep well, mate. x


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