Some new faces in view 

20 May 2024




Lord Harlech

Lord Harlech, Chairman of Harlech Television Ltd.

IT has been exciting creating a new television company for Wales and the West of England. That period is now over and on Monday, May 20, the curtain goes up for Harlech Television. We have promised that we would put on programmes that would, first, reflect the life in the unique and remarkable area we serve, that would, secondly, make full use of the matchless talent which has sprung from this area and that would, thirdly, be the very best of their kind. We intend to fulfil these promises. In addition we intend to bring you the best and most entertaining programmes produced by other television companies.

To my mind our area has a marvellous quality about it. Indeed it has everything from stretches of the most beautiful country In Britain, to the most advanced industrial enterprises. It has a rich culture and a history of religious and political fervour. I doubt that any other part of Britain has in recent years thrown up so many outstanding writers and performers as Wales and the West. Some of them are involved in Harlech. Indeed, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Stanley Baker from stage and screen, Geraint Evans from opera, Wynford Vaughan-Thomas and John Morgan from journalism and television were founder members of the company. Ail will be intimately concerned with the programmes we shall be showing you over the years.

What kind of programmes will they be? First I would like to put at rest some concern expressed in the West of England that the company may be dominated by the Welsh. This will not be so. Throughout our organisation the West has equal representation. The Welsh language service will be separate on Channel 7. The Channel 10 service will reflect the interests of Bristol and the West as well as of South Wales, and will contain no Welsh language programmes.

Our policy is to provide a better news and magazine service for the West of England than they have ever enjoyed before. At the same time we are determined to meet the legitimate interests of the Welsh people. I promise you that the doubts expressed in the West will be shown to have no basis.

I know that a few people are worried that we shall be too highbrow. That is another doubt we can put to rest. What stars in the world attract larger and more enthusiastic audiences than the Burtons and Stanley Baker? Yet their work is serious as well as popular. That illustrates what we are aiming at — to ensure that whatever we do, is the best of its kind.

Our studios will be among the finest outside London — we plan to make them, both in Bristol and Cardiff, centres of creative activity

In all fields from light entertainment to news and drama. We will keep those popular programmes you have enjoyed over the years, but we hope to create new favourites as well. Of course, we cannot do all we intend to do overnight. You will see many changes after May 20, but it will take at least a year to bring about the full development of our programme policy.

We have undertaken the responsibility of serving you. We believe we can do that by entertaining you, stimulating your thoughts and interesting you in the marvellous richness of the world around us.

Our goal can be simply stated — it is to become the best television company for our size anywhere on earth.



Cover of Television Weekly

From Television Weekly for 20–24 May 1968

A girl who was voted the top actress in Gloucestershire last year; another who has trained as a teacher of Drama and English; a former Bristol Grammar School boy, and a former member of the Welsh National Youth Orchestra, are the first four new announcers to be engaged by Harlech, the new ITV company for the West of England and Wales. They have been selected from hundreds of applicants and after lengthy auditions and interviews. They will be seen on the screen when Harlech’s first productions go on the air on Monday and below Television Weekly introduces them to our readers.


A new compere for Report

Peter Tomlinson

PETER TOMLINSON will, from Monday be the new compère of Harlech’s news and magazine programme REPORT, which goes out every weekday at 6.05 pm.

He is a former Bristol Grammar School boy who later took a degree in English at Worcester College, Oxford.

He is 25, recently married and lives at Northville, Bristol.

While at university he began freelance radio broadcasting with the BBC West Region and was a correspondent for them in London. His voice is also well-known to motor sport enthusiasts as a public address commentator at motor racing events at Castle Combe and Weston-super-Mare.

Before joining Harlech he was a management trainee with De La Rue, the security printers.


Horse-riding hobby

Daphne Neville

DAPHNE NEVILLE, who won the award last year as the best actress in Gloucestershire, lives with her husband and three young children at Frampton Mansell, near Stroud. She is 31.

She will be a general presentation announcer and will later be involved in general programme work.

As a student at Bedford High School she had an ambition to be an actress, but on leaving school she took a secretarial job. At 19 she entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and took an LRAM in speech and drama.

During the three years she has lived near Stroud she has taken a particular interest in youth club drama, speaking contests and county festivals. Last October she played the lead in the Stroud Festival production of The Man Who Walked Uprightly.

She is not entirely a newcomer to independent television, for she has taken part in several commercials.

Her hobbies are horse-riding, breeding donkeys and archery. She is a member of the Worcestershire Archery Society.


Introduces new quiz

Endaf Emlyn

ENDAF EMLYN will be introducing the new Harlech quiz programme Up To Date, which will feature students from sixth forms and agricultural and technical colleges in the West of England and Wales and deal specifically with current affairs of immediate significance. He will also undertake general presentation announcing.

Born at Pwllheli, he is 23, married, and lives in Llandaff.

He took a three-year course at the Cardiff College of Education with the intention of embarking on a teaching career, but instead began writing satirical material for broadcasting, and has since been an announcer and presenter with the BBC in Wales. He is Welsh speaking.

He is a first-class musician, played the violin in the Welsh National Youth Orchestra and a number of smaller orchestras. He is also a guitarist.


A fashion model announcer

Elizabeth Carse

Elizabeth Carse studied Drama and English at a London teacher training college, but on leaving decided against a teaching career.

Instead, she became a fashion model and duplicator operator and then ‘out of the blue’ applied to Harlech for an audition She was accepted and now, at 23, becomes a general presentation announcer who will later appear in programmes.

Her home is at Fittleworth in Sussex, and she was educated at Bournemouth School For Girls until she was 18. At present she is living in Llandaff, Cardiff.




Star send-off for Harlech Television



Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in The Taming of the Shrew. They will talk about this film to John Morgan in Monday night’s Spectacular.


Aleta Morrison

Top feature-dancer Aleta Morrison will be stepping out with Bruce Forsyth.

HARLECH TELEVISION gets a star send-off on Monday night with a one-hour spectacular. Viewers in Wales and the West will be joined by millions throughout the country to share in the excitement of what promises to be a truly memorable gala occasion.

The glittering cast list for HARLECH OPENING NIGHT is headed by the international stars associated with Harlech — Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Baker, Harry Secombe and Geraint Evans. Other top names from the entertainment world, among them Bruce Forsyth, join them in launching the new service.


It will certainly be the greatest qrray of star names in the history of regional television. But Opening Night is not just a succession of star solo performances.

Harry Secombe, at present starring at Drury Lane in The Four Musketeers, will be singing a duet with leading opera singer Geraint Evans. And local talent from the region will have a unique chance to show its paces, or rather its voices, in joining these two great names from the world of music. Members of the Aelwyd Choir from Cardiff and Bristol’s Phoenix Choir will be singing with them.

Another distinguished musician appearing on the show is Welsh harpist Osian Ellis, who will be playing a solo and accompanying Geraint Evans in a special number.

As well as music, the show has plenty of laughs, and that versatile comedy duo of Bruce Forsyth and Harry Secombe have a new straight man in the person of Stanley Baker. Bruce will also be stepping out in best soft-shoe style with his dancing partner from his own television series, Aleta Morrison.

One of the biggest headaches for the show’s producer, Milo Lewis, is to gather such an array of top-line artists together in one place at one time. But planes, trains, boats, cars and coaches will be heading towards Bristol from all over the country and abroad.

Bruce Forsyth is returning from Malta, where he has been playing a weird rôle as a giant on stilts called Uncle Limelight in the Anthony Newley film Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness.

Two of the busiest people in films are Mr and Mrs Richard Burton. Currently, they are both filming on adjacent sets at Elstree Studios. Richard Burton plays a German officer in Where Eagles Dare, from the Alistair Maclean adventure novel, and Elizabeth Taylor stars with Robert Mitchum, Mia Farrow and Dame Peggy Ashcroft in a film about a mentally disturbed girl, Secret Ceremony.

Since their much-publicised romance and marriage first hit the headlines, the Burtons have been hounded by pressmen wherever they go, and tend to shun interviews. But in Opening Night they will talk frankly and informally to John Morgan, who has been a personal friend for many years. They will discuss the contribution they hope to make to television in Wales and the West. Richard Burton has already announced that he will appear early next year in a production of the Gwyn Thomas play, The Keep, and Elizabeth Taylor will be the subject of an in-depth profile by John Morgan, also for screening next year.

They will also give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of some of their memorable screen partnerships, notably The Taming Of The Shrew and Doctor Faustus.




More music and glamour is provided by two American artists, singer Julie Wilson, who now lives in Ireland, and Joan Diener, star of London’s latest musical Man Of La Mancha, who will be doing a number from the stage show.

Music for Opening Night is provided by the 60-strong Clifton Concert Orchestra, specially formed for the show, and conducted by Stanley Black, with special guest conductors Geraldo and Brian Balkwill.

Wynford Vaughan Thomas, Director of Programmes for Harlech, describes Opening Night: “It will be a joint opening night for Wales and the West with all our stars twinkling. For an hour we’ll be able to send up the curtain with a real sky-rocket.”


Television Weekly listings for Monday 20 May 1968

Television Weekly listings for Monday 20 May 1968


From the Richard Wyn Jones collection in the Transdiffusion archives


You Say

1 response to this article

Eddie Hutchinson 24 May 2024 at 9:54 am

Ah, the fabled “Harlech Opening Night”, a programme I wish still existed in the archives so I could see how badly cobbled together it was. Apparently, “the show has plenty of laughs”, not all as intended.

As I’ve previously said when seeing this advert, such a shame W.E. Fry didn’t run a chain of fish and chip shops instead.

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