Sunday, 8 November 2009

Those Radio Times! (BBC Radio and TV for 8 November 1969)

40 years ago today, if you lived in Great Britain, there were only three television channels.

There was no breakfast news or Saturday morning kids television when BBC1 started up at 10am. In fact,  Black and White television still ruled supreme, (regular colour television broadcasting was still over a week away and that depended where you lived! - a bit like the current switchover to Digital television!).

Radio Times (then, only providing listings for BBC programming) encouraged us to start voting for our BBC Sports Personality of the Year (Footballer Francis Lee gracing the cover with fan Winnie Holman!).

So here's a look at what you might have been listening to or watching at the time...

Saturday Morning TV and Radio In November 1969

BBC1 started at 10am with two foreign language programmes. Repondez S'il Vous Plais invited us to learn French with Max Bellancourt while at 10.30 Wie bitte? with Leslie Banks, continued a beginners course in German. At 11.00 am it was Closedown.

Might as well see whats on the radio then... Thankfully there's a great choice of progs on Radio's 1 and 2 (no Sounds of the Sixties here though, we are still in the 60s!). Ed Stewart hosted Junior Choice on Radio 1 and 2 between 8.32 and 9.55 and then there was a choice of listening on Radio's 1 and 2 from 10.0.

Kenny Everett delighted with his Grannyphone in Everett Is Here on Radio 1, while if you wanted lighter sounds you could listen to Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson over on Radio 2 with Melody Time with his two piano's, The Stan Foster 1920 Impression, Janie Marsden and the strings of the radio orchestra conducted by George French! (Beats Jonathan Ross 40 years later I guess!).

Radios 3 and 4 had a diverse range of programming to offer too. Record Review at 11.0am looked at Building a library with Schubert's Symphony No.5 in a flat major by Trevor Hardy while over on Radio 4 at mid day Bill Hartley introduced Motoring and The Motorist...

Charlie Chaplin Kicks Off Afternoon Television Viewing

Back on TV, BBC1 resumed broadcasting after an hour off at 12.00 as Jack Scott gave us the weekend weather.

At 12.5; there was a rerun of the Casey Jones episode Old Timer followed by at 12.25 a classic Charlie Chaplin short, The Cure.

Frank Bough introduced Grandstand at 12:45pm featuring The Emblem Handicap Steeple Chase, Rugby League from Bradford, weightlifting from Islington and Rallycross from Kent.

That should be enough to keep your Dad glued to the set till 4.55 unless Mum insists switching over to BBC2 at 3.0pm for the first programme of the day (that's right!) Song Of The Islands, a colour film starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature and Jack Oakie.

Don't plan your afternoon out on 2 though, Closedown happens at 4.15 until the news at 7.0 tonight!

A Great Choice On The Radio In 1969!

Back on Radio 1, there's a great choice of Disc Jockeys for the Saturday afternoon slot including Emperor Rosko, Johnnie Walker (still going strong 40 years later to the day on Radio 2 in Sounds of the Seventies), John Peel with Top Gear at 3.0, and Jimmy Savile hosting Speak-Easy at 5.0!

Radio 2 featured the excellent Ray Moore presenting Melody Fair at 3.31 (after the news update!) with a smooth musical mixture for a Winter afternoon!

Radio 4's Afternoon Theatre at 2.0 featured Pilgrim's Way a trilogy of plays by AR Rawlinson starring Simon Lack, Bernard Horsfall and Joanna Wake.

Saturday Evening TV in 1969 Featured Star Trek

Evening programming commenced on BBC1 at 5.15pm with the voyages of the Star-ship Enterprise in Star Trek, when Dr Korby uses some delectable ingredients that disturb his wife and trouble Captain Kirk in What are Little Girls Made of?

If Police drama is more your thing Jack Warner pounded the Dock Green beat in the Dixon Of Dock Green episode The Intruder at 6.15.

At 7.0 Raymond Baxter commentated The British Legion Festival of Remembrance held in The Royal Albert Hall, London in the presence of H.M The Queen.

Over on BBC2, Percy Thrower looked at The Versatile Fuchsia in colour (if you had a colour TV) in Gardener's World.

Rugby Special at 7.30 presented by Cliff Morgan featured action from the Midland Counties (East) V South Africa match.

On the wireless, Evelyn Rothwell, oboist, was the guest of Roy Plomley on Radio 4's Desert Island Discs at 7.0, (Current presenter Kirsty Young was barely a year old!).
Evelyn Rothwell Chooses Her Desert Island Discs

Sheila Allen and Peter Copley would also star in Saturday Night Theatre's Crown of Solitude by Lydia Ragosin at 8.30.

Back on Radio's 1 and 2 The British Legion Festival of Remembrance from The Royal Albert Hall was having a simultaneous broadcast between 7.30 and 8.30 while Rod McLennan took a look at the world of movie music in Rod's Round-up at 8.30.

The Tremeloes were amongst Tony Brandon's guests at 9.45 and Peter Latham took the Listeners on a Night Ride until the News and Weather at 2am.

Footsteps In The Fog was The Midnight Movie on BBC2

Back on TV, Harry Secombe's guests on The Harry Secombe show on BBC1 at 9.15 included Val Doonican and from America, Florence Henderson.

Ray Alan kicked off a new series of The Ice Show on BBC2 at 9pm (again, in colour, if you had it!) including amongst his guests Dad's Army's Clive Dunn!

The drama series The First Churchill''s continued at 10.5 starring John Neville, Susan Hampshire and John Standing. The Midnight Movie at 11.40 was Footsteps in The Fog starring Stewart Grainger and Jean Simmons.

Before that on BBC1 (unless you lived in Scotland!) there was Match of the Day presented by David Coleman and at 11.5pm, there was a lighter look at the news in Braden's Week with Bernard Braden and his team John Pitman and Esther Rantzen (years before hosting That's Life!). The musical memory of the week was provided by Guy Mitchell performing 'She Wears My Ring' from 1953 and Jake Thackray also performed!

Closedown occurred just before midnight, so you'd have to remember to switch off your set before going to bed!

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