Monday, 14 February 2011

Those Radio Times! (BBC Television For 14 February 1974)

George Layton and Melvyn Hayes
Starred in It Ain't Half Hot Mum
St Valentine’s Day, 1974 found Britain still in the grip of a three day week when the country was forced to conserve its use of power.

BBC TV programming therefore finished at 10.30pm every night and these were the days when daytime viewing was sporadic at best!

Anyway let’s take a trip back to what the TV highlights were on Thursday February 14, 1974! 

Thursday Morning on BBC Television on 14 February 1974

BBC2 had an early start at 6.40pm with programmes for the Open University. However they closed down again at 7.30am!

BBC1 viewing commenced at 9.41am with programmes For Schools & Colleges. The BBC always produced great programmes for schools and colleges back in the 1970s although the only time you ever got to see them was if your teacher could be bothered top schedule in a TV programme for your class to watch (this was before the VCR!) or if you were at home ill and there was nothing else on the box. Shows today included Merry-Go-Round, Maths Workshop, Television Club, Going to Work (does anyone know who recorded the theme tune for that one?), People of Many Lands (narrated by Christopher Trace) and Twentieth Century Focus which looked at health hazards in smoking. Not that anyone cared, everyone smoked in the 70s.

Back on BBC2, Play School was broadcast at 11.0am then the channel closed down at 11.25am. Yes, BBC2 really took conserving energy seriously back in the 70s.

Afternoon Viewing on BBCTV For 14 February 1974

There was a further closedown of 15 minutes on BBC1 at 12:10pm, but broadcasting recommenced at 12:25pm with Welsh dialect series Ffordd o Siarad. The News followed at 12.55pm then Pebble Mill at One at 1.0pm looked at Consumers at Large. 

Jack Scott followed with The Weather at 1.30, then there were two programmes for younger viewers. At 1.45pm Teddy Edward, narrated by Richard Baker, then Ring-a-Ding presented by Derek Griffiths.

At 2.2pm the final programme of the day For Schools and Colleges was Scene: A Child of the Jago which featured actor and pop star David Essex returning to Canning Town where he grew up and considering the reasons why he left.

Thursday Matinee at 2.25pm was 1964’s black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow starring Leo McKern, Janet Munro and Dennis Price. Radio Times film columnist, Philip Jenkinson, said of the film: “...It should have been pitched like Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry; instead it gets bogged down with too much arsenic and not enough grace or lace." The film featured music from John Barry and a guest role from Cliff Michelmore!

Over on BBC2, the channel started up for a trip to the Office at 3.0pm to look at Management Information. The channel then closed down again at 3.25pm

There was Regional News (except in Scotland, Wales, London/South-East) at 3.58pm, followed by more children’s programmes at 4.0pm which consisted of  a repeat of that days Play School presented by Julie Stevens and Lionel Morton. Boris the Bold followed at 4.25pm, then at 4.35pm, William Rushton told the story of Tim and Charlotte in Jackanory.

Blue Peter with John Noakes, Peter Purves and Lesley Judd was at 4.50pm followed by John Craven’s Newsround at 5.15pm. Wacky Races featured the Zippy Mississippi Race at 5.25, then Crystal Tipps and Alistair at 5.25pm.  Yes! Children had a great afternoon of viewing back in 1974!

Evening Programming on BBC Television For 14 February 1974

Open University recommenced on BBC2 at 5.25pm, while on BBC1 the National News with Richard Baker started at 5.45pm.  Nationwide with Michael Barrett, Frank Bough, Bob Wellings and Sue Lawley then followed at 6.0pm.

Raymond Baxter presented Tomorrows World at 7.0pm then the highlight of Thursday evenings at Top of The Pops commenced at 7.25pm. This week Noel Edmonds presented  Alvin Stardust, Lena Zavaroni, Stevie Wonder, Paper Lace, Pan’s People, The Hollies, The Wombles and Mud.

Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s classic wartime sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mum found the Concert Party stranded in a remote part of the North West frontier at 8.0pm in The Road To Bannu. This classic series featured Michael Bates as Rangi Ram, George Layton, Melvyn Hayes and Windsor Davies.

Over on BBC2 there was a repeat of last Saturday’s episode of The Pallisers, a series in 26 parts by Anthony Trollope and starring Susan Hampshire and Philip Latham.

Freddie Jones and Angharad
Rees Starred in Dennis Potter's
Joe's Ark
Back on BBC1, Cliff Michelmore and John Carter presented Holiday 74 at 8.30pm,  then Richard Baker returned with the Nine O Clock News at 9.0pm. 

BBC2’s Show Of The Week was The Vera Lynn Show. Vera Lynn’s guests were Franc Mosbaugh, Prelude, Francis Van Dyke, Roger Webb and The Young Generation.  Ah! Simpler times! 

Midweek with Ludovic Kennedy followed on BBC2 at 9.45pm

There was more to see on BBC1,as Play for Today at 9.25pm starred Freddie Jones, Angharad Rees and Dennis Waterman in Dennis Potter’s Joe’s Ark.

The Weatherman returned at 10.28pm with Closedown on BBC1 and BBC2 at 10.30pm.

Oh, and don’t forget to pull the TV Set plug out of the wall!

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