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  1. #1
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    Default S8 Contemporary TV

    Most of us will be too young of course, or not even born, but it may interest some to know what the nation was watching in January 1971 while Terror of the Autons was on air. The figures quoted here are by millions of homes, rather than viewers, so you'd need to at least double them to get number of viewers.

    1) This Is Your Life - 8.1m
    2) Nearest and Dearest - 7.9m
    3) Coronation Street - 7.8m
    4) A Family At War - 7.7m
    5) Hadleigh - 7.6m
    6) Coronation Street - 7.6m
    7) News At Ten (ITV) - 7.4m
    8) Dixon of Dock Green - 7.3m
    9) The World of Whicker - 7.3m
    10) On The Buses - 7.2m
    11) Softly, Softly - 6.9m
    12) News At Ten - 6.9m
    13) Laughter In Paradise - 6.8m
    14) Six Dates With Barker - 6.7m
    15) Z Cars - 6.6m
    16) The Rolf Harris Show - 6.6m
    17) The Cliff Richard Show - 6.5m
    18) Man At The Top - 6.4m
    19) Shadow Over Elveron - 6.3m
    20) The Val Doonican Show - 6.1m

    ITV dominate with 9 of the Top 10. As for the BBC, it's all about police dramas and variety with Rolf, Cliff and Val!

  2. #2
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    Not from 1971, but I do fondly remember the Val Doonican show from my young days.

    Maybe I shouldn't have admitted to that!!

  3. #3
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    I think I saw a seasonal compilation of his the Christmas before last on BBC4 and found it quite charming. As was a similar one on Andy Williams that I watched last month again on BBC4 and who had many years of Christmas TV shows in the 60s and 70s - it was most watchable!

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    It's funny, but my Dad was born just as "Terror of the Autons" Episode 2 aired.

    Si.

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    Six Dates With Barker
    I presume this is Ronnie Barker - what has happened to this? DVD release or repeats?

    Glad to see the TV schedules as dominated by cheap tat as it is today - This Is Your Life and the various XX XX Shows. Cliff Richard! Val! Rolf! Blimey.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    I presume this is Ronnie Barker - what has happened to this? DVD release or repeats?
    Wasn't that the series of six comedy pilots he did? From memory, one of them became "Porridge" and one of them became "Open All Hours".

    Si.

  7. #7
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    Yes and no! This 1971 one was on ITV (LWT) and notably included "The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town".

    Two years later on BBC2 came a series of pilots called Seven Of One which included those Porridge and Open All Hours pilots.

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    From late September 1970, and crossing over into the first three months of season eight of Doctor Who, ITV screened children's serial Timeslip. It followed the adventures of young Simon Randall and his friend Liz Skinner as they journeyed through time via a "time barrier" at an old airfield.
    It was an interesting series, I'd race home from school not to miss it, although it was shown at 5:15 on Monday afternoons.
    It was meant as a serious contender for Doctor Who but never got beyond its first and only series.
    Watching it today and it seems to have seriously dated, due in part to its black and white nature, twenty five of its twenty six colour prints were lost, some only recorded in black and white due to an industrial strike by ITV workers objecting to the new colour cameras, it's a familiar story we know only too well. But it's a good series, and puts forward some good theories about time travel while exploring issues regarding longevity drugs, cryogenics, global warming, cloning and scientific intrigue. Ideas which seemed far fetched to some audiences of the day, something that maybe was better left for the future.
    Timeslip has its faults, some of the acting is pretty atrocious, but it does put its ideas forward in a convincing manner and is well worth checking out.

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    I've seen some of Timeslip and it was... OK. Very much of its time and a bit slow perhaps, but quite likeable I think. I'd be interested in seeing some more.

    It's not as fun or as camp as The Tomorrow People though!

    Was Ace of Wands on ITV around this time? How does that compare?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    I never knew what to make of Tomorrow People, I don't think I could ever take it seriously, but it was seriously hampered in Wales by opt out "regional variations" so I missed a lot of it, and never got beyond the first story on DVD.
    As for Ace of Wands, it ran for three series between July 1970 and October 1972. Apart from the lead character, Tarot, I remember very little about it. Maybe I'll check out the DVDs one day.

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    An anniversary that passed me by last weekend was the fortieth anniversary of children's TV listings comic, Look In, first issued on January 9th 1971.
    A sort of TV Times for kids, it featured comic strips, interviews, star features, music items and contemporary children's TV listings on the back page.
    I bought a lot of the early issues, at least until early 1973 when I started work, strange that as I was in the habit of keeping all the Marvel comics at the time I never kept an issue of Look In. Shame really as they command quite a lot on E Bay these days.

    Also launched in 1971 (Feb. 20th) was Countdown, another comic dedicated to the top Sci-Fi and fantasy shows of the day, UFO, The Persuaders, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and an excellent Dr. Who strip featuring Pertwee's Doctor in some of the best stories ever committed to comicdom.
    It was an expensive comic, 1 shilling against 6pence or 7pence for any other boys comics (old money, decimals are around the corner, Feb 15th 1971) But it looked good printed on photogravure, glossy paper.
    Countdown lasted for about two years in various forms before folding in 1973 as TV Action, degenerating in quality through that time.
    At one time I had the first twelve issues, but for some reason I cannot recall I am left with issues 7 to 12, but they are a great reminder of those days.
    Last edited by Stephen Morgan; 14th Jan 2011 at 5:57 PM.

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    Of course, also on TV at this time were The Goodies and Monty Python's Flying Circus!

    It was also the first year for The Two Ronnies and The Old Grey Whistle Test.

    Upstairs Downstairs and The Persuaders! also had their first episodes in 1971.

    Actually, Wikipedia has a list of British Television 'events'.

    3 January – BBC Open University broadcasts begin.
    27 January – Valerie Barlow is electrocuted by a faulty hairdryer, and then perishes in a house fire on Coronation Street.
    1 February – Radio only and combined radio & television licences are abolished.
    8 February – The Colour Strike ends after three months of industrial action by ITV staff who had refused to work with colour television equipment after a dispute with their managers over pay.
    February – BBC2 airs Elizabeth R, a drama serial of six 85-minute plays starring Glenda Jackson in the title role.
    10 April – The Two Ronnies debuts on BBC1.
    7 June – The UK children's magazine show Blue Peter buries a time capsule in the grounds of BBC Television Centre, due to be opened on the first episode of the year 2000. (let's dig it up in the year 2000?)
    21 September – The Old Grey Whistle Test premieres on BBC2.
    10 October – Upstairs, Downstairs debuts on ITV.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    8 February – The Colour Strike ends after three months of industrial action by ITV staff who had refused to work with colour television equipment after a dispute with their managers over pay.
    .


    That strike affected no end of programmes in the early part of 1971. Coronation Street, which had had colour episodes go out for almost two years was forced to transmit in black and white. On The Buses, one of ITV's top comedies went the same way. Even series being recorded at the time, Upstairs Downstairs, Family at War, Budgie, Hadleigh, Please Sir, the aforementioned Timeslip.
    Even though the strike was over by February it had a far reaching effect for the rest of the year. Mind you, the biggest part of the audience wouldn't have noticed any difference.

    Glad to see this thread inspiring you to do your research Mr. McCow

    I've just noticed a certain irony in this post. Over on the BBC where this strike didn't affect any programmes, shows that were made in colour now only exist in black and white. In Feb 1971 The Mind of Evil, made and transmitted in colour now only survives in monochrome.
    Last edited by Stephen Morgan; 17th Jan 2011 at 5:56 PM.

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    In Feb 1971 The Mind of Evil, made and transmitted in colour now only survives in monochrome.
    Luckily though, small Chroma Dots were found to be hiding in Episodes 2 to 6 and years and years later, engineers at the BBC found them and created new colour versions of the episodes, due for release next year. Episode 1 was found to contain no Chroma Dots, the creatures having apparently abandoned the episode due to the absence of Roger Delgado as the Master, who they were big fans of.

    Si.

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    As I never saw The Mind of Evil in colour in the first place I'm very much looking forward to the way today's technology has improved and re-coloured the episodes. I was very impressed with episode three of Planet of the Daleks last year hopefully we'll get just as good results on this one.

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    I fear not. Due to a quirk of timing, that episode ended up both chroma recovered AND manually coloured in, leading to a better result than had been intended.

    Si.

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    Mid way through transmission of The Mind of Evil, and accompanied by a massive TV advertising campaign, the UK went Decimal.
    The idea of a decimal system for the UK was first mooted as far back as 1824, but it wasn't until Chancelllor James Callaghan in his "Little Budget" on 1st March 1966, that it was confirmed as a system to take over from pounds, shillings and pence within five years.
    Schools began teaching the new system and the first new coins were given out as packs to schools as soon as they were minted in 1968, a grand total on 17 and a half new pence which we couldn't spend until 1971.
    The 50 pence piece arrived in October 1969 (this would gradually replace the old ten shilling note), and the run up to decimalisation began in earnest, and the next 16 months or so saw a massive ad campaign on national tv, Granny Gets the Point, starring Doris Hare (On The Buses) and Christopher Ellis as grandmother and grandson who are both trying to understand the new currency. A few of these public information films can be seen on You Tube for those who are interested, some of them are a great insight into life in the early seventies.

    "On Monday 15 February 1971, Britain went decimal. The old money - pounds, shillings and pence was replaced by a new system with 100 pence in the pound and no shillings. It seems simple to us now, but at the time people were worried about it. Imagine the confusion though, if we were to go the other way now!


    For a while the old and the new currencies ran hand in hand. People could pay in pounds, shillings and pence and get new pence in their change. There was an original intention to keep the old money in circulation for eighteen months, but in the end, the old penny, halfpenny and threepenny bits were no longer legal tender by August 1971. There were also a handful of shops that refused to switch, resolutely clinging onto the past, but eventually even they had to change.

    The big controversy with decimal currency was that people thought the shops used it as an excuse to put up prices. This may have been true, as many changed their prices when the new money came in, but inflation was quite high at the time and no doubt prices would have risen anyway."


    So, the day came that I could spend my 17 and a half pence (3/6d) in old money, it doesn't seem a lot when I think back on it, but sometimes today when I think of the price of a first class stamp that is now almost ten shillings my head reels. What I spent my 17 and a half pence on is anybody's guess, I wish I'd kept the pack as they are going for extortionate amounts on EBay these days, almost a pound I think.
    Last edited by Stephen Morgan; 24th Jan 2011 at 5:31 PM.

  18. #18
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    I wish I'd kept the pack as they are going for extortionate amounts on EBay these days, almost a pound I think.


    I might look some of those videos up, to get in the 1970's mood!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    Interesting stuff. Just imagine the amount of organisation it must have taken - perhaps more these days, now that everything is run by computer programs, but still the sheer number of signs, displays, tills, vending and slot machines, forms and books that must have had to be torn up and re-made... it must have cost an absolute fortune.

    Si.

  20. #20
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    So, the day came that I could spend my 17 and a half pence (3/6d) in old money, it doesn't seem a lot when I think back on it, but sometimes today when I think of the price of a first class stamp that is now almost ten shillings my head reels.
    You could have bought three and a half first class stamps for 17 1/2p in 1971 as they were only 5p- come to think of it, ten years ago they were only 27p! And the 45p it'll cost from later this year would have sent a basic letter anywhere in the world ten years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Tancredi View Post
    You could have bought three and a half first class stamps for 17 1/2p in 1971 as they were only 5p- come to think of it, ten years ago they were only 27p! And the 45p it'll cost from later this year would have sent a basic letter anywhere in the world ten years ago.
    I used to be well into philately back in the sixties and seventies, lasting until about 1988 when I got married. I've got loads of pre and post decimal stamps (definitives and commemoratives) and it's amazing to see how the postage rate developed throughout this period, and you are right when you say that postage in 1971 was only 5p (1/-). With the price of postage these days I can see the benefit of E-Mail for basic communication.

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    Here's the Top 20 for February 1971, with numbers of households rather than viewers :

    1) Coronation Street - 8.6m
    2) Coronation Street - 8.6m
    3) A Family At War - 8.5m
    4) This Is Your Life - 8.2m
    5) Nearest and Dearest - 8.1m
    6) News At Ten (ITV) - 8.0m
    7) Bless This House - 7.9m
    8) On The Buses - 7.9m
    9) Shadows of Fear - 7.6m
    10) Man At The Top - 7.5m
    11) Dixon of Dock Green - 7.5m
    12) Hadleigh - 7.2m
    13) Cilla - 7.2m
    14) News At Ten - 6.9m
    15) Dear Mother, Love Albert - 6.7m
    16) The Cliff Richard Show - 6.7m
    17) A Man Called Ironside - 6.6m
    18) David Nixon's Magic Box - 6.5m
    19) News At Ten - 6.5m
    20) Softly, Softly - 6.5m

    ITV takes the whole of the Top 10 and News At Ten is particularly popular - maybe everyone tuning in about the decimalisation?!

    I see that Bless This House was very popular - I don't remember it from the time of course, but caught some repeats on a digital channel a few years back and quite enjoyed it - but then it is Sid James!

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    Here's the Top 20 for March 1971, with numbers of households rather than viewers :

    1) This Is Your Life - 8.3m
    2) Coronation Street - 8.3m
    3) Coronation Street - 8.1m
    4) A Family At War - 7.8m
    5) Dixon of Dock Green - 7.8m
    6) Bless This House - 7.2m
    7) Doctor At Large - 7.2m
    8) The British Screen Awards - 7.1m
    9) Cilla - 7.1m
    10) News At Ten (ITV) - 6.8m
    11) Hadleigh - 6.8m
    12) World In Action - 6.7m
    13) Dear Mother, Love Albert - 6.7m
    14) State Secret - 6.7m
    15) David Nixon's Magic Box - 6.7m
    16) Joey Boy - 6.6m
    17) News At Ten - 6.6m
    18) Shadows of Fear - 6.5m
    19) Sykes and a Big, Big Show - 6.5m
    20) The Dick Emery Show - 6.5m

    A better month for the Beeb with 7 programmes in the Top 20, and 3 of them in the Top 10.

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    Here's the Top 20 for April 1971, with numbers of households rather than viewers :

    1) This Is Your Life - 8.2m
    2) Coronation Street - 7.8m
    3) Coronation Street - 7.8m
    4) Bless This House - 7.8m
    5) For The Love of Ada - 7.4m
    6) Hine - 7.1m
    7) News At Ten (ITV) - 6.9m
    8) Budgie - 6.9m
    9) The Ten Commandments - 6.8m
    10) Opportunity Knocks - 6.6m
    11) World In Action - 6.4m
    12) News At Ten - 6.1m
    13) Ironside - 5.8m
    14) The Misfit - 5.7m
    15) Slapstick And Old Lace - 5.6m
    16) News At Ten - 5.5m
    17) News At Ten - 5.5m
    18) The Two Ronnies - 5.5m
    19) Doctor At Large - 5.3m
    20) Easy Street - 5.3m

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    For The Love of Ada
    LOST!

    Si.

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