Thames Television comes to Kent! 

16 April 2024

Thames Television comes to Kent

May 1981


Thames Television comes to Kent!


See an exhibition at the Spa Hotel, Royal Tunbridge Wells – and discover all you need to know about your local ITV station!

How much do you know about Thames Television? Did you know that it’s the leading ITV contractor among the 15 independent companies who make up the ITV network? Or that it has won more programme awards than any other ITV company, and been praised for its considerable all-round strength by the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

These and other aspects of your local TV station are featured in an exhibition at the Spa Hotel, which not only gives details of Thames’ regional news services and its coverage of local issues, but which covers the company’s nationally networked programmes too.

Thames News is good news

For nearly 3 million people every evening – many of them in Kent – Thames News is their local television news. Presented by Andrew Gardner, (who travels up daily from his home near Hawkhurst) and Rita Carter, it dispels the myth that local news is all dreary debate and flower shows. Working from the most up-to-date news studio in Europe, Thames News has covered many of the important Kent issues.

The deficiencies of the M26 motorway. The proposed closure of the Pembury Hospital cancer unit. The problems of rural isolation for Kent villages. How the cuts are affecting Kent police, ambulancemen and health services. The arson at the Royal Tunbridge Wells nightclub. And the never ending problems faced by Kent commuters travelling in and out of the capital daily.

And soon, with the introduction of electronic news gathering equipment (ENG), Thames News’ local coverage promises to be far better than ever, even more flexible.

Local features and household names

If you’ve ever watched Thames Sport (Fridays at 6.30), Thames Report (Thursdays at 10.30) and Afternoon Plus (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday afternoons at 2.30) you’ll know just how extensive, varied and interesting Thames programmes with a strong local content can be.

But as the largest supplier of programmes to the ITV network, Thames is perhaps more known for its major drama series, like Rumpole of the Bailey. Love in a Cold Climate and Edward and Mrs. Simpson.

As well as for its light entertainment shows featuring artists such as Benny Hill, Morecambe and Wise and Max Bygraves. Its superb documentaries which have included the monumental Hollywood and World at War series. And for many top audience favourites like the ever-popular This is Your Life. Many of those h programmes have not only found favour with the viewing public but have gone on to receive awards from the television industry here and abroad.

Come and meet Thames Television

An insight into Thames Television and its programmes is contained in an exhibition at the Spa Hotel, Royal Tunbridge Wells. Come along and see it for yourself, find out more about your local television station – and meet some of the people who work in it.


A Transdiffusion Presentation

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1 response to this article

Paul Bainbridge 17 April 2024 at 12:35 am

The irony here is that just over 6 months later, the Bluebell Hill transmitter would switch from the London companies to the new TVS franchise (which was what Southern had been fighting for for years).

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