To light entertainment, as to many aspects of programmes, Independent Television has introduced many features which are new to British broadcasting. Some of the wide range of variety, light music and comedy shows presented by the programme companies are illustrated in the following pages. Many of these shows have wide popularity throughout this country and some are seen by television viewers overseas. Many programmes, however, are essentially local in their emphasis and presentation, and are seen only in the transmission areas of the producing companies.
The traditional flavour of the variety theatre is retained in Val Parnell’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV). Leading artistes from all parts of the world come to take part in this popular weekly show which has been running since 1955.
From the television studios comes a wide range of variety and spectacular series. Regular lunch-time variety is presented by Scottish Television, Tyne Tees, and ATV in the Midlands. Granada regularly presents variety programmes, the current series under the title West End. Associated-Rediffusion presents a regular series Hippodrome, and special shows. ABC presents the Comedy Bandbox series and regular summer shows from holiday resorts. A rather different approach is provided in Bruce’s Show (ATV). In addition, there are a few local variety shows during evening transmissions.
All the programme companies produce series of light music programmes. Most of these are only seen locally and many are of particular local interest. Among the networked series are the weekly review of hit records Thank Your Lucky Stars (ABC), Swinging Along (Granada) and All That Jazz (ATV). The local programmes include folk music, record programmes and musical performances of all kinds.
Several companies produce weekly half-hour film magazine or review programmes. These include Associated-Rediffusion, TWW, Westward and Tyne Tees. Preview, a weekly programme by Ulster Television, includes theatre and book reviews.
Contests of various kinds are a popular feature of television services. Two longstanding general knowledge series are Take Your Pick presented by Michael Miles and Double Your Money presented by Hughie Green (Associated-Rediffusion). Pencil and Paper (ATV) provides tests of intelligence presented by Shaw Taylor. University Challenge (Granada) brings together teams of university students in a contest of general knowledge and quick wits under the chairmanship of Bamber Gascoigne. In Take a Letter (Granada), contestants race to fill the gaps in well-known phrases. Several programme companies present local quiz contests.
Comedy drama series, generally half-hour programmes, are a popular element of Independent Television. Currently to be seen are Hancock (ATV), Bootsie and Snudge (Granada) and The Dickie Henderson Show (Associated-Rediffusion). A favourite feature of weekend viewing is The Arthur Haynes Show (ATV) in which comedy sketches are interspersed with music.
LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT EARLY 1963
|Programme||Description||Company||Mins.||Time & Day||Distribution|
|One O’Clock Gang||Lunchtime variety||Scottish||30||1.00 Mon.-Fri.||Part Network|
|Tea Time with Tommy||Light music||Ulster||18||6.07 Mon.-Fri.||Local|
|Sounds New||Light music||Grampian||30||6.15 Monday||Local|
|Who Knows?||Inter-schools contest||Tyne Tees||30||6.30 Monday||Local|
|Discs a Gogo||“Pop” record programme||TWW||30||7.00 Monday||Part Network|
|A’ the Airts||Quiz||Grampian||30||7.00 Monday||Local|
|Preview||Film, theatre and book review||Ulster||30||7.00 Monday||Local|
|Spin Along||“Pop” record programme||Westward||30||7.00 Monday||Local|
|Aye Yours||Light music||Grampian||60||8.00 Monday||Local|
|Pick o’ the North||Talent competition||Grampian||30||8.30 Monday||Local|
|University Challenge||University contest||Granada||20||10.10 Monday||Network|
|Their Kind of Music||Light music||Southern||30||11.04 Monday||Part Network|
|Lunch Box||Lunchtime variety||ATV||35||12.47 Tues.-Fri.||Local|
|One O’Clock Show||Lunchtime variety||Tyne Tees||40||1.02 Tues.-Fri.||Part Network|
|Movie Magazine||Film review||TWW||30||6.13 Tuesday||Part Network|
|Stars in the West||Review||Westward||30||6.15 Tuesday||Local|
|Star Parade||Film review||Tyne Tees||30||6.30 Tuesday||Local|
|Song Album||Light music||Southern||15||6.45 Tuesday||Local|
|Treasure Hunt||Quiz||Westward||30||7.00 Tuesday||Part Network|
|Beat Your Neighbour||Inter-town competition||Southern||30||7.00 Tuesday||Local|
|Try for Ten||Quiz||TWW||30||7.00 Tuesday||Part Network|
|Beat in the Border||Dance music and instruction||Border||45||6.15 Wednesday||Local|
|The Ingle Neuk||Local entertainment||Grampian||25||6.35 Wednesday||Local|
|Take a Letter||Word game||Granada||30||7.00 Wednesday||Part Network|
|The Dickie Henderson Show||Comedy series||A-R||30||9.15 Wednesday||Part Network|
|Music Match||Musical quiz||Anglia||30||9.45 Wednesday||Local|
|Let’s Dance||Ballroom dancing||Granada||25||11.12 Wed.||Local|
|Double Your Money||Quiz||A-R||30||7.00 Thursday||Network|
|Bootsie and Snudge||Comedy series||Granada||30||7.30 Thursday||Network|
|Come Aboard||Nautical music||Grampian||30||8.00 Thursday||Local|
|Hancock||Comedy series||ATV||30||8.30 Thursday||Network|
|Close Up||Film review||A-R||30||6.15 Friday||Part Network|
|Take Your Pick||Quiz||A-R||30||7.00 Friday||Part Network|
|Thank Your Lucky Stars||“Pop” singers and records||ABC||40||5.50 Saturday||Part Network|
|Comedy Bandbox||Variety||ABC||55||6.30 Saturday||Part Network|
|The Arthur Haynes Show||Comedy series||ATV||35||8.25 Saturday||Network|
|Candid Camera||Real-life comedy series||ABC||30||4.20 Sunday||Part Network|
|Best of Friends||Comedy series||ABC||30||4.25 Sunday||Part Network|
|Land of Song||Music in Welsh||TWW||45||6.15 Sunday (monthly)||Part Network|
|Sunday Palladium||Variety||ATV||60||8.25 Sunday||Network|