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Life in Britain in the early 1980s

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  • Originally posted by Arran View Post

    Merseyvision and North West TV were completely separate companies.

    I have a cynical view that Granada was undefeatable at a franchise round because of Coronation Street. If Granada lost in 1980 then that could have been the end of Coronation Street. If Granada lost in 1991 then Coronation Street would probably move over to Sky in 1993.

    Granada was a conglomerate in the 1980s that even owned motorway service stations.
    If Granada had lost, their still had their TV Rental business to fall back on a la Rediffusion, and they still owned motorway service stations and other leisure businesses.
    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
    I'm having so much fun
    My lucky number's one
    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

    Comment


    • Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
      If Granada had lost, their still had their TV Rental business to fall back on a la Rediffusion, and they still owned motorway service stations and other leisure businesses.
      True, but Coronation street would probably have been axed.

      An ITV without Granada in the 1980s would have been almost as unimaginable as an ITV without Thames in the 1980s, even if Granada was disproportionately Manchester centric.

      Comment


      • I remember opened another studio at the Albert Dock in Liverpool in the mid 1980s so they wouldn't be so Manchester-centric.
        The Trickster On The Roof

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Arran View Post

          True, but Coronation street would probably have been axed.

          An ITV without Granada in the 1980s would have been almost as unimaginable as an ITV without Thames in the 1980s, even if Granada was disproportionately Manchester centric.
          I don't think so - I think of Coronation Street being axed as being the same probability as a serving Prime Minister losing their seat in a General Election - I cannot imagine it happening. Soaps seem like survivors in things like that.

          Even Croissroads survived ATV when the became Central - I have a feeling that Central didn't want to continue it but had to, and it survived another six years. Although Thames decided to stop showing Crossroads when they started in 1968, but viewers and even Harold Wilson protested and it returned in early 1969.

          As Richard has just mentioned above, I assumed that is why Granada opened a studio near the Albert Dock in Liverpool - to be less centric towards Manchester. This Morning (the floating weather map, remember that? - although not the man who used it of course), and Granada Reports were based there from 1986 onwards.

          Don't forget that prior to 1968 they also had Yorkshire TV's areas (with exception of East Riding as it was called then and Lincolnshire which was part of Anglia's area), and Yorkshire was founded on the eastern side of the Peninnes because Granada was biased towards the western side. I will be visiting Liverpool at the end of August so I might see for myself then.


          I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
          There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
          I'm having so much fun
          My lucky number's one
          Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post
            I remember opened another studio at the Albert Dock in Liverpool in the mid 1980s so they wouldn't be so Manchester-centric.
            I last visited in 2004 for the day and the floating weather map had gone by then - I might look again as I will be staying there at the end of August.
            I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
            There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
            I'm having so much fun
            My lucky number's one
            Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
              I don't think so - I think of Coronation Street being axed as being the same probability as a serving Prime Minister losing their seat in a General Election - I cannot imagine it happening. Soaps seem like survivors in things like that.
              An ITV programme contractor that lost in the 1980 franchise round was finished as a broadcaster.

              It's unlikely that Granada would have continued as an independent producer of Coronation Street if it lost to Merseyvision. ITV programme contractors in the 1980s generally produced their own programmes rather than bought programmes from an independent production company, unless they were foreign programmes, and C4 was still a few years away.

              Southern ceased all production after TVS took over, although certain programmes from their archive were shown on C4 during the 1980s. Very few Southern programmes were continued by TVS.

              One factor that stood in the way of Merseyvision winning was heavy trade union powers in ITV. A winning programme contractor had to, by law, take on all the technical staff (like cameramen and engineers) from the ousted incumbent. That would almost certainly mean having to move into the Granada TV studios in Manchester although they wouldn't have been able to systematically continue producing Coronation Street as Granada has rights to the programme.

              TVS bought the TV studios off Southern along with a piece of land in Maidstone.

              Comment


              • Fair enough, but it is interesting that Granada and Yorkshire both won in 1980 and they produced soap operas for the ITV network, while Crossroads survived ATV becoming Central. Most of the changes in both 1980 and 1991 affected the south of England, probably because of the cutthroat competition in the south as well as incumbents bidding too high.

                I cannot think of a programme that Southern made which was continued by TVS - the closest I think of was How was made by Southern and revived as How 2 in 1990 by TVS before Scottish TV took it over. I know that Out of Town and other Jack Hargreaves programmes continued on Channel 4, and Worzel Gummidge was repeated on Channel 4 on Sunday mornings in 1987 (Jon Pertwee appeared on TV-am around that time in order to promote it).
                I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                I'm having so much fun
                My lucky number's one
                Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                  I started Infant School in 1983 (the Nursery part a year before) - we still had the Joyce Grenfell-stereotype of teachers in the school, as well as the small sized bottles of milk (ironic that the "milk snatcher" as she was called over a decade before, was by then, PM).
                  They had the small sized bottles of milk at my primary school in the 1990s after Margaret Thatcher had left Parliament. I have known people who had cartons of milk back in the 1980s, so the bottles may have been localised.

                  The teachers were more modern though.

                  Comment


                  • In my day, we still had the middle-aged teachers who were a few years from retirement (my own teacher retired two years after I left), but I would guess that many of them had been inside a classroom professionally for at least 20 years or so. These days, it's more water than milk.

                    Assembly, (or "Service" as our Headteacher liked to call it), was usually twice a week with a professional pianist coming in on Friday mornings (the HT herself used to tinkle the ivories herself on a Wednesday morning or whenever), and even in 1983-1985 the feel of the place could have came from the 1950s.,although the school seemed to have "opened" in 1970 where it had another name prior to that and was already a school. However, I know at the 1995 reunion I went to, there were a couple of former pupils who were there in the 1950s, and so it was only 25 years of the school having its present name and not the foundation of the school.
                    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                    I'm having so much fun
                    My lucky number's one
                    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                      Fair enough, but it is interesting that Granada and Yorkshire both won in 1980 and they produced soap operas for the ITV network, while Crossroads survived ATV becoming Central. Most of the changes in both 1980 and 1991 affected the south of England, probably because of the cutthroat competition in the south as well as incumbents bidding too high.
                      Yorkshire was generally doing well in 1980 and had one weak competitor.

                      Westward losing was almost a foregone conclusion as their management was in a state of civil war. Their second competitor was called Westcountry but it was a completely different company from the Westcountry which won in the 1991 franchise round.

                      Southern had more competitors than any other incumbent, although it's unclear whether it's because they knew that Southern was vulnerable or the south east region was very lucrative.

                      Thames was unopposed until the 11th hour when London Independent Broadcasting, who was the only competitor to LWT, decided to contest the London weekday region as well.

                      I cannot think of a programme that Southern made which was continued by TVS
                      The Glyndebourne Opera.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Arran View Post

                        They had the small sized bottles of milk at my primary school in the 1990s after Margaret Thatcher had left Parliament. I have known people who had cartons of milk back in the 1980s, so the bottles may have been localised.

                        The teachers were more modern though.
                        I remember at primary school in the 1980s we would have small bottles of milk about once ever 2-3 weeks with our lunch.

                        They were available at my secondary school canteen, but were replaced by cartoons while I was there in the early 1990s.
                        The Trickster On The Roof

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Richard1978 View Post

                          I remember at primary school in the 1980s we would have small bottles of milk about once ever 2-3 weeks with our lunch.

                          They were available at my secondary school canteen, but were replaced by cartoons while I was there in the early 1990s.
                          What do we have these days? - I believe that water filters have almost replaced milk in classrooms as water seems to be the most beneficial thing for youngsters rather than milk.
                          I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                          There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                          I'm having so much fun
                          My lucky number's one
                          Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Arran View Post

                            Yorkshire was generally doing well in 1980 and had one weak competitor.

                            Westward losing was almost a foregone conclusion as their management was in a state of civil war. Their second competitor was called Westcountry but it was a completely different company from the Westcountry which won in the 1991 franchise round.

                            Southern had more competitors than any other incumbent, although it's unclear whether it's because they knew that Southern was vulnerable or the south east region was very lucrative.

                            Thames was unopposed until the 11th hour when London Independent Broadcasting, who was the only competitor to LWT, decided to contest the London weekday region as well.
                            The south west's competitor was called West Country (two words) instead of Westcountry (one word) which won in 1991. Breakfast TV also had one bid from a Good Morning Television in 1980 - nothing to do with GMTV (who in fact was called Sunrise until Sky TV threatened legal action due to its breakfast programme having the same name).

                            There was a BBC regional programme in late 1980s (in the Friday 10.15 pm slot on BBC 1) about the south region applicants which was on YouTube - in addition to incumbent Southern and winners TVS (bid under a slightly different name, I believe), there was Network South who was run by a former LWT man who wanted the region to be carved up into seven different regions and gave names like "Wessex TV", "Estuary TV" and so on, trying to make TV stations sound like radio stations. Southern Counties TV (which used a font on the cover of their application book which looked similar to the one that TSW used), and TV South and South East (although that might also have been TVS under another guise).

                            London Independent Broadcasting was led by Hughie Green, and rumoured had it that the board wasn't exactly politically neutral as it consisted mostly of politicians and House of Lords members - look at how much hot water TV-am got into with having serving MP Jonathan Aitken as Chief Executive.


                            Originally posted by Arran View Post

                            The Glyndebourne Opera.
                            Made for Channel 4 I believe in later years - if that was the case, I wouldn't have counted that as it was no longer an ITV programme.

                            I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
                            There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
                            I'm having so much fun
                            My lucky number's one
                            Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by George 1978 View Post
                              Southern Counties TV (which used a font on the cover of their application book which looked similar to the one that TSW used), and TV South and South East (although that might also have been TVS under another guise).
                              Southern Counties TV was the company run by Gerry Anderson who created Thunderbirds. I think there were concerns that the team behind it had no real connection with the south east ITV region and it was unclear why they had even picked that particular region.

                              TV South and South East was the company run by Freddie Laker. It was more interested in making big money rather than making TV programmes and providing a decent service.

                              Comment


                              • STV had two competitors in 1980. It was potentially vulnerable due to concerns about the low quality of its programmes.

                                In the 1960s it was joked that they only broadcast westerns and commercials.

                                Grampian was unopposed. They had come up with a winning formula for the company back in the 1970s and intended to continue it in the 1980s. It may have been a hard to defeat company, like Thames.

                                Border was also unopposed and were seriously considering closing down by not re-applying in 1980 due to the low profitability of the region.

                                Comment

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