Saturday, 14 November 2009

Those Radio Times! (BBC Radio and TV for 14 November 1969)

There were two big news items for BBC TV and Radio on Friday 14 November 1969.

The Apollo 12 mission to the moon was of worldwide interest, while in Great Britain the imminent arrival of Colour TV broadcasting on BBC1 from 12 midnight (depending where you were watching!) was also prominent.

The Apollo 12 Moon Mission kicked off TV coverage from 4.55pm on BBC1 straight after Jackanory. Direct from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, viewers could witness the final stages of the countdown and launch of America's second mission to land man on the moon, introduced by James Burke in the Space studio with Michael Charlton providing commentary at Launch Complex 39.

Apollo 12 and Michael Parkinson Featured on Radio 2

The Apollo 12 mission also blasted onto the airwaves of Radio 1 at (247m) and Radio 2(1.500m and VHF), featuring on Apollo 12 with David Wilson at 5.17pm and a Progress Report at 8.14pm following Thanks for the Memory with Gale Pedrick .

Friday Night Is Music Night (Radio 2, 9pm) was introduced by Jimmy Kingsbury back then featuring amongst others, Sidney Torch and the BBC Concert Orchestra and star singers Cynthia Glover and John Mitchinson.

Michael Parkinson hosted Late Night Extra on Radio's 1 and 2 after a further Apollo 12 Progress Report at 10.0pm featuring guests Ken Moule and his Music, Bobby's Girl Susan Maughan and The Syd Lawrence Orchestra.

The Third Programme on 464, 194, or 188m and VHF featured The Nutters by AP Cotterill starring Joss Ackland as 'Mad Arry' at 8pm.

At 9.30pm Patrick Moore hosted New Worlds over on Radio 4 ( North 434, 261m and VHF) in which he brought you the people whose scientific and technological achievements have changed our way of life.

James Drury Starred In The Virginian

Back on the goggle box, Harvey Hall oversaw the eighth national heat of Television Brain of Britain from Scotland at 6.25pm, then it was James Drury as The Virginian at 6.45pm in an episode first shown on BBC2, "Ring of Silence".

Wendy Craig and Ronald Hines provided sitcom entertainment in 2.4 children style with Not In Front of The Children at 7.55pm.

Keeping nostalgia buffs happy, Michael Bentine presented the stars of the silent comedy screen in Golden Silents at 8.25pm, featuring amongst others Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon and an early Walt Disney cartoon.

Still with BBC1, Peter West introduced Come Dancing from Locarno, Glasgow at 10.0pm before David Dimbleby (still in the news 40 years later - getting leave from Question Time for the first time in 15 years after tangling with a Bullock!) took a daily look at news matters in 24 Hours at 10.30pm.

Dorothy Lamour Featured In Star Close-Up

Film golden girl Dorothy Lamour who co-starred with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in the Road To... movies during the 1940s was profiled on Star Close-Up hosted by Derek Hart at 11.5pm

Wheelbase, (the 1960s equivalent of Top Gear) over on BBC2 took a look at A Mini from Milan at 8pm, while Russian sports personalities came under the spotlight in Roar of the Crowd at 9.10pm.

The Hollies (then riding high in the charts with He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother) were the guests on Line-Up at 11.45pm, though you may have missed this if you were watching Colourful One over on BBC1 at 11.40pm. Julian Pettifer introduced the new colour service while Maurice Wiggin of the Sunday Times analysed the pros and cons of colour TV.

Petula Clark Saw In The New Colour Service On BBC1

12.0 midnight was a late night indeed for BBC1, but the new colour service was celebrated in style with Petula Clark in a special colour programme An Evening With Petula recorded at The Royal Albert Hall the previous week.

'I'm very proud that I've been chosen to start BBC1's colour service', Pet told the Radio Times, "it's quite an honour isn't it?". Amongst the songs performed were "Downtown" and "This Is My Song".

Yvonne Littlewood who directed this particular show was also at the beginning of another televisual event in 1964 when BBC2 started, with Duke Ellington In Concert, exciting times indeed!

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