The pain of "Regional Variations"

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The pain of "Regional Variations"

Postby Peter Thomas on Mon Oct 09, 2006 2:48 pm

If you had the misfortune of living outside the midlands, you just had to rely on luck on whether you got Tiswas or not, as it slowly grew across the UK during its lifespan, being picked up by the other ITV regions (and dropped in some cases).

For the past few weeks, I've been compiling Saturday morning TV listings for Tiswas' era (1974 - early 1982) for the 14 geographic ITV regions of that time.

I've been using old copies of the Times newspaper, and tapping away at writing what was transmitted on a Saturday morning in place of Tiswas in some regions.

So far I have written details for:

  • North west (Granada)
  • London (LWT)
  • South east (Southern, TVS)


The fruits of my labour are not directly visible on our site, but can be accessed via these URLs...

London Weekend Saturday mornings 1974-1982
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1974
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1975
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1976
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1977
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1978
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1979
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1980
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1981
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1982

Granada Saturday mornings 1974-1982
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1974
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1975
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1976
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1977
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1978
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1979
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1980
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1981
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1982

Southern and TVS Saturday mornings 1974-1982
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1974
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1975
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1976
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1977
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1978
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1979
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1980
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1981
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1982

Disclaimer!
We haven't got all the Times newspaper listings for this time period, so some data is missing. A lot of 1979 is missing due to a strike by Times journalists. We will be getting the listings in the future from other sources. And the site will carry an easy-to-use control system that will let you see these obscure regional listings, alongside each other.

Of special note...
Note London Weekend's efforts for Saturday mornings (which actually began in the last week of 1973, fact fans). Not great, but a damn sight better than Granada's fare of ancient films almost all the time.

Granada picking up Tiswas for the first time from the beginning of 1978! And then not coming back for it when the fifth series began later that year.

Southern getting their own Saturday Banana transmitted in both their region and London's, probably after having carried a lot of LWT's Our Show.

Granada seem to eventually brand their diet of dreadful old films as 'Tuppenny Rush' to evoke memories of Saturday matinees among the over-90s, it would seem.

TVS's first few months on air has their home-grown Number 73 blocking out Tiswas for unlucky viewers down south.

To come...
Yorkshire, Anglia, HTV, Westward (and replacement TSW), Channel, Tyne Tees, Border, Ulster, Scottish, Grampian... and maybe BBC1 listings.
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Postby Yorkshire on Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:43 pm

It'll be interesting for me to see what my mummy & daddy would probably have seen on saturday mornings back then. If you can't guess which ITV region (or opt-out as it should be called) I currently live in, then there's a little clue in my forum name.
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Postby Neunie on Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:02 pm

I like Baked Beans, but I am more of a peas person. I like peas.
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Knight-On-A-Horse Land.

Postby Peter Thomas on Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:25 pm

This week, I have entered in the details for the Anglia region, home to myself and SXBarnes, and has always seemed like a station run by pensioners for pensioners. And farmers.

Saturday mornings in Anglia-land began (if we count 1974 as the epoch) with a diet of old films (much like Granada's fare), then had a regular schedule of miscellaneous children's programmes, and in late 1977, became (jointly) the first region to show Tiswas in full outside the midlands.

It dropped Tiswas in 1978 to show the last few Our Shows, then aired Southern's Saturday Banana. Continued doing so the next year, even when every other region (except Southern) had dropped it.

Anglia then returned to showing Tiswas, and would resume a showing of crappy ancient films during Tiswas' downtime.

Anglia Saturday mornings 1974-1982
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1974
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1975
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1976
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1977
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1978
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1979
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1980
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1981
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1982

(The daftest film title I have ever typed in, occured today - 'Robinson Crusoe On Mars'. I kid you not. It sounds like an Ed Wood movie, but sadly, that's not the case. Also, it's not actually about Robinson Crusoe being on Mars (which sounds like a fantastically awful plot), it's a metaphor for the situation the lead character finds himself in.)

Yorkshire wrote:If you can't guess which ITV region (or opt-out as it should be called) I currently live in, then there's a little clue in my forum name.


Not so much as a "clue", more like the actual answer, isn't it? Are you in demand as a pub quiz master, Yorkshire? "In which year did the first World War begin? I'll give you a clue, it's 1914."
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Cwstard Pastai Teledu

Postby Peter Thomas on Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:13 pm

This week, I've covered HTV - that's the entire country of Wales, and the Bristol and Bath areas.

Tiswas first got aired outside the midlands thanks to this ITV region. 2nd April 1977 was the first time Tiswas was seen outside of the ATV service, but it aired for just 25 minutes, and would continue that way for the rest of that series (the third, ending on 28th May).

The reason being was that HTV decided to simulcast just a segment of Tiswas as part of its Ten On Saturday show - a Saturday morning compendium of ten different items.

When the fourth series started, HTV aired it in full, alongside Anglia and Border. When that series finished for the summer, HTV did what LWT were doing, thus it showed the last five Our Shows, and proceeded with the first few editions of The Saturday Banana.

When Tiswas' fifth series started, HTV revived Ten On Saturday, and kept Tiswas back to being simulcast to viewers in Wales and the west for a half an hour, or occasionally, 45 minutes. Also, the Saturday Banana got the same treatment, but was dropped out of Ten On Saturday after just three weeks.

I can't tell you fully what happened the following year, as I have no details for Jan-Oct 1979 (yet), but HTV did air Tiswas fully from late 1979 onwards.

HTV Saturday mornings 1974-1982
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1974
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1975
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1976
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1977
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1978
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1979
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1980
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1981
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1982
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Gus Honeybun gives you birthday greetings.

Postby Peter Thomas on Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:30 pm

Well, I've finally finished off Westward/TSW. This has been a right pain, because it appears the first time they broadcast Tiswas, was on the second week of 1980! That's incredibly late!

To cap it off, the new franchise (TSW) didn't bother to show Tiswas at all in 1982, it thought University Challenge would be best for Saturday morning viewers! Aaargh! (And their home-grown Saturday morning show - The Saturday Show - was a snore-a-thon.)

Here we go, as usual, a few dates missing (especially most of 1979)...

Westward and TSW Saturday mornings 1974-1982
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1974
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1975
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1976
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1977
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1978
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1979
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1980
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1981
http://www.tiswasonline.com/episode_gui ... &year=1982

To do: Channel; Ulster; Border; Tyne Tees; Scottish; Grampian and Yorkshire.
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Postby staplingmachine on Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:31 am

Doing a grand job there, Peter. Bringing back lots of memories.

Thanks!

Andrew
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Postby Yorkshire on Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:50 am

Peter, you've listed Gus Honeybun as "Gun Honeybun" in the first 6 or 7 weeks of the Westward 1974 listings!
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Postby Peter Thomas on Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:15 pm

Yorkshire wrote:Peter, you've listed Gus Honeybun as "Gun Honeybun" in the first 6 or 7 weeks of the Westward 1974 listings!


Gah, you're right. Shows that cut-and-paste can take one error and multiply it. I've gone and corrected it now.

Still, I'm scratching my head over that "Don't you mean "entertaining"?" 'correction' you posted in this thread.
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Postby Peter Thomas on Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:19 pm

staplingmachine wrote:Doing a grand job there, Peter. Bringing back lots of memories. Thanks!


This week's listings only brought back memories for me when I came across the absolutely atrocious Saturday Show (the one made by TSW, not Central's own one). One weekend spent in Ilfracombe in 1982 showed me the horrors of that. Thankfully it was in the summer, at a time when Tiswas wasn't on anywhere, and I guess it was better than Anglia's diet of ancient films to fill those summer months.

Despite, being born in 1974, I can't remember Westward at all. I don't think I visited the region until that Ilfracombe trip, by which time, Westward were no more.
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Postby Neunie on Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:04 pm

Yorkshire wrote:It'll be interesting for me to see what my mummy & daddy would probably have seen on saturday mornings back then. If you can't guess which ITV region (or opt-out as it should be called) I currently live in, then there's a little clue in my forum name.


Is it Anglia? Do I win a prize?
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Postby Peter Thomas on Sat Nov 04, 2006 9:37 am

Neunie wrote:Is it Anglia? Do I win a prize?


I'm fairly certain it's TV Northern Associated South-West Scotland Weekend.

They broadcast as part of the ITV network until 1954, and you can still pick up the echoes of their broadcasts if you stick a wet bent coat-hanger into the back of a 48" HDTV set.

Look out for the often-repeated blooper clip where announcer Malcolm Spanners introduces the Royal Coronation while wearing a burgundy tie. Despite being transmitted in black-and-white, the poor guy was sent to the Tower for that.

So, that's my suggestion to forum member YORKSHIRE, whose only little clue is that the TV region is in his forum name. Shame the clue can't be a big one, I'm having problems thinking what it could be. I'm now awaitng for the rising damp in my house to be fixed. The landlord should be in here 3-2-1 seconds.
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Postby Yorkshire on Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:34 pm

Peter Thomas wrote:Still, I'm scratching my head over that "Don't you mean "entertaining"?" 'correction' you posted in this thread.


When I wrote "entertaining" in speech marks, I was being sarcastic. (Apart from Dick and Dom), I have always hated the Beeb's Saturday morning fares, especially Live and Kicking. Grrrrrrrrrr!
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Postby Yorkshire on Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:38 pm

Yorkshire wrote:It'll be interesting for me to see what my mummy & daddy would probably have seen on saturday mornings back then. If you can't guess which ITV region (or opt-out as it should be called) I currently live in, then there's a little clue in my forum name.


Look at how I describe my parents in this post! I sound like a four-year old!
Last edited by Yorkshire on Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Neunie on Sat Nov 04, 2006 6:31 pm

Peter Thomas wrote:shame the clue can't be a big one, I'm having problems thinking what it could be. I'm now awaitng for the rising damp in my house to be fixed. The landlord should be in here 3-2-1 seconds.


Does he have to come from Emmerdale Farm Pete via that large Countdown clock in his village?
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