Wednesday, 1 April 2015

I Didn't Know There Was So Much in it: A Week to View from TV Times' past - Saturday 28th March to Friday 3rd April 1970

Another week, brings another chance to reflect back at the this week from the past via the TV Times. We journey back to 1970 and The Beatles have just released 'Let It Be' and the country braces itself for Mexican World Cup fever later in the summer. Who or what is gracing the cover of the TV Times at this time?


Another superstar of the age, motor racing driver Jackie Stewart who later in the week was the subject of a documentary both on the track and away from it, plus also looking forward to defending his Formula One World Championship which he had won in 1969. But if only having one superstar was not enough, the cover hints at look at Frank Sinatra's life so far as well.

Inside Jackie Stewart is both pictured with his wife Helen and also his son Paul as well about she feels about Jackie racing such fast cars and also their relationship on and off track as well, the interview also looks in depth at where they will both be in the future and also reflecting on what it is like to be around the circus that is Formula One. For all what is said by Jackie Stewart, nearly all can be transposed on the latest British star driver Lewis Hamilton in the will to win and also how they are so grounded even though they competed or in Hamilton's case competing, in such a very dangerous sport.

But as it is the start of new F1 season, the TV Times looks at some of the greatest drivers in the sport, at both their attributes as drivers and also their superstitions as well. Though if it makes any difference, what pet each driver has, if they have one at all. Though when interviewed, as Jim Russell both a former racing driver and also motor racing teacher puts it about one of the things that you need to be able to succeed in motorsport 

"Background doesn't matter. Education doesn't matter. It is natural ability that counts - and that can take a season or two of club racing to show."



So who's turn is it to have the Big Red Book sprung upon this week by Eamonn Andrews? Actually, no-one on the television, as the device of 'This Is Your Life' is used to have a potted history of Frank Sinatra, looking at old blue eyes' career so far with plenty of pictures to fill out the article. Hmm, yes.. But, hang on though, the article also handily has a mocked up picture to show readers what it would be like if Eamonn did hand the book over to Frank.




Another portrait from the week's TV Times is of John Alderton, starring as Bernard Hedges in LWT's Please Sir but giving a rather shorter potted biography than Frank Sinatra had, perhaps Mr Alderton didn't quite have the connections that Mr Sinatra had or even that he couldn't find Eamonn Andrews to give him the star treatment.

However, Alderton does get one thing that Sinatra doesn't, his very own painted portrait by artist Harold Walter. Let's see this masterpiece which will rival the Mona Lisa and hang in the National Portrait gallery for all to see. 


OK, then. Somehow, Alderton looks like a Dickensian villain combined with a university professor. Well good luck to the person having their portrait done next week, which is Engelbert Humperdinck.

But as this is 1970, there are chances to win tickets to the World Cup in Mexico. How? All by picking a team of footballers for an unofficial Great Britain XI, thus trying not to offend viewers in the Scottish, Grampian, Ulster and HTV regions. With this being the second week of the competition, its time to pick the centre backs with the introduction in the first week being that of Scotland's Billy Bremner, the captain of the team. 

The choices include Mike England of Wales and Tottenham, John Greig of Scotland and Glasgow Rangers, Terry Hennessy of Wales and Derby County, Chris Lawler of England and Liverpool, Ronnie McKinnon of Scotland and Glasgow Rangers, Bobby Moncur of Scotland and Newcastle United, Terry Neill of Northern Ireland and Arsenal, David Powell of Wales and Sheffield United, Peter Rodrigues of Wales and Leicester, finally Alan Stephenson of England and West Ham.


But in addition to this to find the two lucky winners, who would get tickets to all of England's group games, plus also to the semi-finals and the final as well. There is a touch of 'Spot the Ball' as well to decide the prize with a panel including the sponsor's chairman, Malcolm Allison, the assistant manager at Manchester City, Billy Bremner, the Scotland and Leeds United captain, Jimmy Hill, the Head of Sport at LWT and also Brian Moore, the ITV football commentator as well. 



But Brian Moore also features in the next article in the magazine, as it points out that March is a peak month for marriages. So it looks at some celebrities' marriages including the aforementioned Moore as well as Leonard Parkin, William Roache, actress Julie Stevens, actors Brian Pringle and Sid James, also comedian Wilfred Pickles. 



Though with an eye to the future, by using astrology and also Dateline's selection computer to find wives for three of the country's highest profile male singletons. Why there are not any female singletons, I don't know because seemingly there would not be much difference between both sexes and finding out who their perfect partners would be. First off Prince Charles and the computer predicts that any wife of his would have to be deeply religious, more smarter then him and very ethical. With the predictions of Maurice Woodruff, the TV Times' astrologer says that Charles will marry in 1973 or 74 and she will not be of royal blood.



Second up, its 'Hello, good evening and welcome' to David Frost with the computer predicting for him, a middle class wife who will have gone to grammar school and is university educated, plus she will have a serious approach to love, marriage and sex as well as religion, with a less introverted nature to Frost himself. Maurice Woodruff meanwhile says "The indications is that marriage will be delayed. David Frost will not marry until middle age. His partner is likely to be serious by nature, determined and positive. She may have plenty of drive, but he is not likely to choose a woman with an overbearing nature. She could be well built with an olive complexion with dark eyes and hair, although with a hint of red in it."



Woodruff offering hair tips as well it seems, as much as Teasy Weasy Raymond would know about the stars and their fates. So with that in mind, who is the third lucky chap to go under the love microscope? It's Earl Patrick Litchfield, the doyen of photography and the computer has two upper class girls for him, who know already the upper class social scene with an unselfish nature. Well, thank you Randy Random. I think your valves are getting overheated there. 



But Maurice Woodruff just gives up with the predictions here and says that Litchfield will not get married for a good few years yet and basically she will be a photographic model. So its upto you if you think they got those predictions right in the 45 years since the magazine came out...



And speaking of eligible bachelors, hello ladies here's Alan Rothwell of Picture Box looking all moody in his specs.




And onto the listings for this week looking at the ATV Land in the Midlands, starting with Saturday 28th March and some heroic deeds at  with Captain Scarlet, the indestructible one, this week he has to work what the Mysterons mean by killing time. Not in the being bored sensem but more in the action sense. After a quick five minute visit to the studios of ITN at 12.50pm, then comes this week's World of Sport with Richard, not Dickie Davies has On The Ball, They're Off from Towcester and Doncaster, Showjumping from Hickstead in Sussex and from that sedate world to Wrestling from Nottingham with the man they love to hate Mick McManus vs Alan Dennison in a Catchweight contest before all the day's results at 4.55pm.



You'd think that people would need a rest after all that action, but then comes a Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as their crew look for The Abominable Snowman, under water. Yes, exactly. The Yeti, underwater.  Bringing some sanity back is another ITN news bulletin at ten past six. But if we needed a doctor before, then Marcus Welby M.D. has his problems as an ambitious policeman brings dramatic problems for him. In all this American action, we need a British saviour and he comes along Fez and all at 7.15pm as Tommy Cooper brings more magic and comedy to screens, ably backed up by his special guest this week Michael Bentine fresh from his Potty Time for Thames.



From comedy gold, the search for real gold is the subject for the Saturday Film at 7.45 as John Derek and Elaine Stewart star in High Hell, based in the Canadian Rockies, the film also includes Patrick Allen as well with his deep rich fruity tones. 



Afterwards comes Freddie Davies and Karen Young starring in The Batchelors own show, with Parrot Face Davies giving everyone the bird in a good way with his pet budgie with Jack Parnell and his orchestra offering music support along with the Maggie Stredder Singers. With plenty of laughs and fun galore for the Irish band to enjoy along the way.



With a Saturday edition of News at Ten comes Brian Cox and Suzanne Neve in Saturday Night Theatre in The Master and The Mask about a brilliant, ambitious schloar; an inspiring friend to his students.. that is how university professor presents to the world. But his wife Pauline, sees it differently. She sees Phillip as frustrating and strangely remote to her, retreating more and more behind the door of his study. That comes to a head when she enters his inner sanctum and finds out a secret about Phillip. At ten past eleven, the I Spy team have to discover why 'One of Our Bombs is Missing' and that bomb is rather deadly, because its a highly dangerous atom bomb.



On to Sunday and before those listings come an ad for a very Sunday food, the sweet yellow stuff known as Ambrosia custard and get four old pence off a tin as well, perfect for any Sunday lunchtime.





Plus also Sunday is Easter Day as this is the Easter weekend for 1970, so religious programming is high on the agenda with an Easter Mass from Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire lead by Cardinal Basil Hulme or the Right Reverend Basil Hulme as he was known then starts the day at 11 o'Clock in the morning. Later at 6.15pm, there is the chance to see the final of A Song for Easter as John Anthony and the Rev. Bill Todd introduce the songs especially written for the competition organised by Southern Television, judged by the nine person panel, the winning song or hymn will be performed at the end of the programme, 



At 6.40pm, there are Three Stories for Easter,of which this is third in the series, as The Rev Dr. Erik Routley recalls the story of the Calvary along modern terms, meanwhile John Toye and four members of The New English Singers are in the ATV studios to tell the story.



Afterwards at 7.15pm, there are more Stars on Sunday as Harry Secombe, Vince Hill and Matt Monro all sing separate songs requested by the viewers. Plus Hywel Bennett reads David's lament from the second book of Samuel and Liz Fox introduces The Seven Leddy Sisters from Sheffield, all produced by David Millard, later to work on 3-2-1 and also exec produced by Jess Yates as well.



If that was a bit religion heavy, there was still plenty of entertainment on Sunday as well with Star Soccer at 2pm with Swindon Town from through a goal from John Trollope gaining a 1-0 win over FA Cup semi-finalists of that season, Watford. After the afternoon drama, All Over The Town at 3.15, there were more sporting pursuits of a kind with the crossbows of The Golden Shot, this week appearing with Bob Monkhouse and 'the lovely' Anne Aston was The Batchelors, fresh from their show on Saturday night and also Picketty Witch as well. This week the theme is Myths and Legends, so obviously space for Robin Hood in there.



Programmes for younger viewers include The Forest Ranger at 5.30pm and a short Popeye cartoon at 6pm, followed by the un-child friendly ITN news at five past six. The Sunday Night Feature Film stars John Wayne in The Flying Leathernecks at 7.25pm, produced by Howard Hughes, this epic concentrates on two aces pilots, Kirby, who is a Marine disciplinarian played by Wayne and and Captain Carl Griffin, Kirby's executive officer who falls out with him after an military operation goes wrong and forced together by fate many years later. 



Another tough guy, Danno appears in another episode of Hawaii-Five O at ten past nine with the team investigating the death of a young girl through drugs and then finding the supplier and bringing him to justice. After the ITN News at 10.10pm, David Frost introduces Frost on Sunday with messers Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett plus also Josephine Tewson as well, with the usual blend of sketches, monologues and music. Later on another big money LWT signing, Simon Dee has his own show at 11.25pm or so much the TV Times knew about the show that week, they don't list that week's guests but Simon is supported by Maynard Ferguson and his Orchestra just before the weather and the Closedown.







Monday the 30th, with it being the Bank Holiday, so the line-up is different from what it would normally be on a Monday. With that, ITV starts up in the afternoon at 1.30pm with Bank Holiday Sport with John Rickman introducing Racing from Newcastle and Towcester, plus a wrestling bill from Hemel Hempstead as well as the day's results. 

Though children's programmes include an edition of ITV's answer of Jackanory, Once Upon a Time at 4.30 and with Skippy at 4.45pm, that is sandwiched with an short Sports Report from ITN at ten past five before How at 5.20pm and return to the ITN newsroom for the early evening news at 5.50 and ATV Today at 6pm, reporting on stories throughout the Midlands.

After the News and Sport of the evening, then the entertainment can start with a look into David Nixon's Magic Box at 6.45pm featuring David's guest Anita Harris and Joe Brown, minus his Bruvvers with also illusionist Robert Harbin as well. Harbin in this edition performing an illusion with his Magic Carpet, suggesting that a woman will be suspended in the air in the TV Times entry. Leading to think that Ms Harris will be the lady in question for this to happen to. Coronation Street at 7.30pm has no customers at the salon and no room at the inn for Lucille as well, Lucille being Lucille Hewitt who had taken up with Danny Burrows, a man who was married but separated. Though when Danny's wife turned up for maintenance money at the flat they shared, Lucille moved in the Rovers Return.

From the drama of Weatherfield, comes the horror of The Hounds of the Baskervilles at 8pm. The Hammer film production of the Sherlock Holmes story starred Peter Cushing as Holmes and Andre Morell as Doctor Watson with Christopher Lee playing Sir Hugo Baskerville and former Play School presenter Marla Landi playing Cecile in the story.

Good Bank Holiday fare, if you ask me. Though from horrors, there comes something more conventional at 9.30 with Girls About Town, starring another former Play School presenter Julie Stevens as well as Denise Coffey, this episode of the series features the premise of Brenda played by Coffey and Rosemary by Stevens wondering if they could have done better then the husbands which they have married, so they go to a dating agency and have them enter their details into a dating computer to see what it comes out with. 

After News at Ten, some more beasts of the animal kingdom, as Survival looks at the Skeleton Coast, which is one of the world's most uninhabited places and the life which lives there. Plus with All Our Yesterdays looking back at the final campaign on the Western Front of World War Two with reflections from the people who were there at that time. That's at 11pm before the weather forecast and Closedown.


Tuesday, has Women Today at two minutes past four, produced by the handler of Tinga and Tucka, Jean Morton with a film about a topical issue in the news. Peyton Place turns up at 4.15pm featuring in this episode more conflict but a cast list of Ryan O'Neal and Mia Farrow. From more dramatic pursuits comes Diane's Magic Theatre as Diane Mewse has more magic and fun from The City Varieties, Leeds at 4.40pm, but this will not be the only visit there today. As immediately after that comes Bobby Bennett and Junior Showtime, with one name linking these two Yorkshire Television productions with Jess Yates, the director on Diane's Magic Theatre and Executive Producer on Junior Showtime. 

But its not its not all Yorkshire programmes today as the Tuesday edition of Magpie comes from Thames at 5.20pm featuring Susan Stranks looking at how people lived in 1910. All supported by Tony Bastable and Pete Brady as well.

From things of the past, the news of the day both nationally and internationally plus locally to the ATV area starts at 5.50pm, more events of a dramatic level happen at 6.35 with the first visit of the week to the Crossroads motel as Amy Turtle says "He's moving in for kill.." Who or what they are, we don't know, but its sure to be dramatic down there, that's for sure. From the seeming bloodlust at Meg's Motel, then the Star Western Movie at 7pm stars Van Johnson and Joanne Dru in The Siege at Red River, as the tensions of the Civil War overflow as well as the love of a good woman as well all in 1864 Illinois.

But tensions also overflow in The Dustbinmen at 8.30, with Manchester City playing Manchester United and Winston who owes debts at the depot tries to make some money on payday to able to pay his debts. But a touch of skulduggery is needed to do so and pull the wool over the eyes of Cheese and Egg, Bloody Deliah, Eric and Heavy Breathing. All character names in the series, rather then a stream of random words.

After that at 9pm, The Misfit arranges demos for having an opinion as Basil Allenby-Johnston abhorred the idea of them when he was in Malaya, however he has to put his point of view across on a current affairs programme, but not everything goes to plan for him and the producers of the programme.

Following News at Ten, something more serious as the cover star of this week's TV Times, Jackie Stewart has his documentary about himself premiered, looking at his career so far, his family life and also the development of his new car toward the 1970 Formula One season. To round off the evening in Your Living Body, Professor Otto Lowenstein of the University of Birmingham looks at Animal and Human Behaviour.

Onto mid-week and Wednesday, the afternoon starts with Racing from Sandown at 1.45pm and after the daily editions of Women Today and Peyton Place, then in Little Big Time at 4.45, Freddie and the Dreamers along with guests comedian and magician Frankie Holmes plus McGinty and Patch bring fun to the Southern studios, as well as another thrilling installment of Freddie in the Overground.  At 5.20pm, a change of pace with the fifth episode of Smith adopted from the novel by Leon Garfield, this week's episode sees Smith being tempted by the devil in disguise. How far Thames could go with that idea bearing in mind this was for a children's audience is up for question.

After the early evening news at 5.50, then during ATV Today, the late Shaw Taylor asks viewers to 'Keep 'em peeled' with another edition of Police 5, but one crime that maybe that Shaw could have investigated was at the Crossroads motel at 6.35pm, seemingly as the drink in Meg's decanter keeps on going missing and who's to blame? 

Another mystery which is revealed at 7pm is who is the star guest on this week's edition of This Is Your Life, as Ronnie Corbett is surprised in this edition of the programme, fresh off the back of the success of appearing in shows such as Frost on Sunday as well as The Corbett Follies. The surprise of Ronnie Corbett himself during this edition involved him believing he was performing a sketch for The David Frost Programme, as man who gets surprised by This is Your Life, but the tables are turned when his real life friends appear in the sketch itself.

After Wednesday's Coronation Street, at 8pm there is another case for Man in a Suitcase, with McGill involved when the fight for a family portrait and inheritance becomes more complicated when an actor is hired to play the dead man and Richard Bradford as McGill has to investigate what is going on. From ITC drama with Man in a Suitcase, after that at 9pm comes drama from Yorkshire with Kate, as Donald Killearn fells the pressure as a wrong decision about an imminent takeover of his business could have ramifications for both his business and his marriage.


Comedy follows News at Ten with a new sitcom starring Timothy Bateson and Tony Selby in 'Shine a Light' from the pens of David Nobbs, David McKellear and Peter Vincent about the lighthouse keepers in the Batchelor Rock Lighthouse, in the first episode of the series, the keepers have to look out for the Royal Yacht and the standard of the service relies on them. 

The Wednesday night bill of Professional Wrestling follows at 11pm, this week from the Civic Hall, Brierley Hill featuring heavyweight tag team action. With Pulse discussing the links between astrology and religion bringing Wednesday to an end.


Thursday brings the usual Thursday programmes including the second edition of Magpie of the week and another edition of Crossroads with Sandy sending a cable message to all and sundry. But the big Star Action Movie features Stanley Baker and Peggy Cummings in Hell Drivers looking at the world of long haulage truck and the people who inhabit them including a minor role for Sean Connery. After this rough tough world, comes Norman Wisdom in 'Wisdom' at nine o'clock in a six programme series tries something new every week and this week is attempting a musical career. 

This Week looks at a topical issue at 9.30pm, after News at Ten at 10.30, the latest edition of Cinema with a pre-chat show Michael Parkinson, reviewing the latest cinema releases in his own style and chatting to the people who matter both in front and behind the camera. 11pm is the time for a repeat showing of The Prisoner with this week's episode 'Dance of the Dead'. As Number Six played by Patrick McGoohan is put on trial for trying to escape from the village during festivities. 

Friday afternoon's children's programmes has Thames' Zingalong at 4.40pm and at 4.55pm, there is more action with International Rescue in Thunderbirds as they fight to stop a plan to blow up a nuclear store in '30 Minutes After Noon'. From the fictional events of Thunderbirds come the real life events in the News from ITN at 5.50pm and ATV Today at 6pm.

The evening is started with the final visit to Crossroads at 6.35 followed by Michael Miles and his Wheel of Fortune at 7pm, at half past seven Ms Emma Peel is cut down to size and John Steed falls into enemy hands in The Avengers at 7.30. The comedy has Stan and Jack making homebrew in On The Buses at 8.30pm.

From Jack and Stan making their own beer, comes the latest edition Manhunt at 9pm as Jimmy is sheltered by a French Resistance girl after he narrowly escapes a S.S. round-up starring Alfred Lynch, Nerys Hughes and George Sewell in this week's episode. After News at Ten, That Girl appears at 10.30pm and 11pm brings The Scientists look at the urban blight of rodents and other pests plus whether the world can afford to have them on the planet and to round off the week Reg Harcourt interviews the MP for Leek, Staffordshire, Harold Davies in Midland Member at 11.45pm.

Hardly the most entertaining end to the week from ATV in the end, but at the back of the magazine, Barry Bucknell offers advice on how to make a kneeler bench. Pointing out as the title suggests 'Who Needs a Man About the Garden?'



So not the most interesting of weeks, well except if you like marriage and lighthouses. Though join us next time for another delve into the TV Times when 'I Didn't Know There Was So Much in it'.







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