Friday, 27 January 2012

"You Tube, I Tube, we all tube for YouTube.."

"What has social media ever done for us?" That's the question which has been asked time after time... Well, in some cases it has opened up the world for us. Otherwise it has brought us closer to home and to ourselves. Our world was first revolutionised by radio, then television, video recorders etc. right upto the internet's inception. Now from the early dial-up days when any video took ages to down, there was rarely any sites out there for the media and pop-culture enthusiast.

With TV Cream and also the Television Ark being the exceptions to the rule, it was hard for someone like me to find about programmes apart from the knowledge I knew myself. For the others out there who had a love of television too, it was good to see the odd ident on a site. But for a long time this glimpse was enough, it wasn't until YouTube came along that I could see again half the things which had gone into my head.

It is a treasure trove of clips, all recorded by people and uploaded onto the site. Looking through everything, it gains itself a reputation as a resource. For instance, someone has uploaded the whole of End of Part One up there. Now because of varying issues, it has never been released on DVD. Being a fan of Marshall and Renwick's work, it comes as no surprise that the sketches still hold up today. Maybe not the contents but the style, the influence is seen through other's work. Peter Serafinowicz is an example of this, by using the spoof style of an actual broadcast or advert, this blurs the line between comedy and reality but to an extent which makes you question if its real or spoof.

Denise Coffey... and cream..

Where it comes into its own, thanks to 'filmnet' s YouTube channel who uploaded End of Part One on there, that they have uploaded Hardwicke House there too. This was a series dropped by ITV owing to its contents, starring Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall and the likes of Duncan Preston too. It seems tame now, that a comedy series which portrayed a secondary school as it is, would provoke so many people. Where as this is another lost gem found again, YouTube reminds us of the past too. 

In British cinema of the 50's, 60's, 70's and the early 80's, short features would be shown in front of a main feature, much the purpose of the newsreel had fulfilled this role in early times. Harold Baim made a lot of short films to be shown in cinemas highlighting things and places of the British Isles, showing people who had never been to these places a view of what they were like. One example of this is 'Telly Savalas Looks at...' A series made by Baim and voiced by the Kojak actor, clearly Telly has not even been to any of these places, rather then being in a voice-over booth in London. But that's by the by, Savalas' own style makes you want to go there and explore the place he is talking about. I will be coming back to a certain one of these films over the weekend, but let me leave you with a example of one and say 'YouTube, thank you for being there and for the people who upload the good bits of nostalgia, thanks...'

Mid-atlantic? No, its the Midlands!

Next time of Boggenstrovia's Bit...

We look inwards at ourselves and see how Telly Savalas took one city and made it 'One hell of a town...' He comes to Portsmouth, and I'll guide you through as we go... So hold on tight and all fares to the driver please!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

"And I mean that most sincerly folks..."

What is star power? We ask that all the time, but what makes a star a star? In the terms of today, a star can come from anywhere, reality television, a newsworthy event or someone with an incredible talent. Now we look upon Simon Cowell creating entertainers and singers with his shows, but his are only in a line of shows. 

Go back 25 years ago and there was the second incarnation of New Faces presented by Marti Caine, as the Wonderland documentary before Christmas last year showed, that the business that we call show can be cruel as well as good. But what about the actual people who see the acts?

The auditions were usually hidden from view to a viewing audience, with the producers and the hosts looking over the acts. In particular Hughie Green, he himself a child star who had launched Opportunity Knocks on ITV in 1956 when Associated Rediffusion made a series, then  later revived in 1964 by ABC. It was a case that Green cared about the acts who were auditioning, even giving them tips on how to improve their acts. But Green's fearsome reputation had been getting in the way of the production, with his occasional outbursts to those involved with the programme and the slow politicisation of Opportunity Knocks from what was one of ITV's popular programmes with the public made Thames Television uneasy.

Green's very own popularity with the public was undiminished, with himself being mobbed at any public appearance. The power of being one of ITV's biggest stars at that time lead him to think hat he could have total control over the programme. The format of the show was his anyway, so even he could control if he wanted it to stay with ITV. Using this he took an edition to the USSR, one to Ireland and also to Australia as well. 

But power can corrupt as well, Green know for his Right-leaning politics started to use the show to criticise the government of that time, think the power of television could have an effect on the people, the zenith of which would have to be 'Stand Up and Be Counted...' Using the opportunity, he would use his show to set out what his feelings of what Britain was becoming at that time, even putting subtitles on the screen for people to sing along at home almost like a television rally. In terms of this, it does seem a bit like the Howard Beale speech in Network, pleading for viewers to grab 1977 as their year. 

Enough was enough for Thames, even after this rant, the continuation of political comments by Green into the programme made Thames very nervous, so it was little surprise when Thames axed the show in March 1978, replacing it with The Kenny Everett Video Show to change the demographic and appealing to younger viewers. 

Green tried to bid for the London Weekday franchise in 1980, hoping that the IBA would turn it into a seven day franchise. The bid would not get off the ground, for giving a man who's opinions had become more solid in his beliefs would have been a massive shock for the IBA to do that. That the power of television had made a star and a star had used it for his own purposes... No person had done it before and not since, no matter how big they are they can have a huge fall... Fame creates, if used wisely, it can repay you... Otherwise, it can chew you up and spit you out...

Monday, 16 January 2012

No I'm Spartacus...

Normally, I don't do political blogs, as far as I'm concerned politics and me don't mix. But following the government's plans on Disability Living Allowance, I felt I had to. As a benefit DLA is a vital part of my life, without it I would not be able to travel anywhere at all as the motability component is a crucial part of it.

For many disabled people having a car on the motability scheme, is a lifeline to them, rather then being a prisoner in their own homes or wherever they live. Really, the changes to DLA are wrong. Yes, there's a need for reform but by cutting and altering a system which works, doesn't seem like the right solution. With DLA being a means of income for disabled people to purchase equipment which would help their life be better, its not only about wheelchairs and other items such as equipment to allow a better way of living for disabled people.

Items like dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines and even communications devices are vital. They make life easier for people who have trouble washing-up, cleaning clothes and even communicating with people who may live miles from them. A community can come together from nothing, with so many groups backing the Spartacus Report, the flow of social media can be seen as good. I use social media a lot to communicate with people, without them I would not have many friends through crippling shyness. I can communicate without having to talk and my point across, through DLA I have been able to do this.

We must not let the government, try to force through the changes meaning people will get less in the long run and into more financial poverty. It will mean that people will not be able to purchase products, will won't be able to help the economy and eventually people will be the losers as more services vital to disabled people are cut. 

My experience of DLA is one where it is used to survive and supply, that is the one thing that people want to do in this life. Meaning that people should have the right to have that, otherwise people in power who have got the means to support themselves can treat disabled people as fodder for their own mistakes and in a modern society we should not allow that to happen and that's why I support #spartacusreport

Normal service will be resumed later in the week, but thank you for taking the time to read this blog...

Friday, 13 January 2012

Double Topping out at the Lakeside...

So it's that time of year again, the post Christmas buy up of food and also something else which happens in January which I like as well. Its darts time! For man of seemingly good taste, that I love  
men and ladies chucking arrows at a board.  But it all stems from my childhood, from an earlier age seeing these people throwing darts both in tournaments and on Bullseye as well. 

From that love came something brilliant, my era has to be Bristow, Lowe, Wilson and Deller era plus 'Big Cliff' Lazerenko as well, they captured the spirit of sportsmen. Not the booze and cigarettes, which everyone focusses on especially in the Not The Nine O'Clock News sketch. To some which may have been taking the rise, but if Sid Waddell thought it was good for darts, then its good enough for me. 

"Triple Vodka... Double Pint..."

With Rowan Atkinson's Geordie tones, impersonating Sid Waddell. It captures the spirit of the age, but anything to capture the imagination was good. Need a darts player? Then get Bobby George to appear with Emu or Eric Bristow to advertise his darts game for Woolworths at Christmas, but the one to capture my mind was John Thomas Wilson. Better known as Jocky, his throwing style was like no other, he made the snatch one of his own but even with a throw like that could do some good things. World Champion in 1982 and 1990, he looked liked what I look like now. That maybe a good or bad thing, his roguish charm made for good television as well compared to Eric Bristow winning all the time. 

Sound? Might be not good, but captures the age of the arrows...

I can't claim to be a good player even now, but having various boards over the years it gives anyone the chance to play and a man in 1983 came along to shock the world having not been known to the public. Two words... Keith Deller... Keith came into the 1983 World Championship as a qualifier and on the way to the final he'd beaten John Lowe and then came Bristow, champion in 1980 and 1981 his opponent. Such was Bristow's performances, everyone thought it would be Eric's title again.. But...

Throwing the game away...

Deller beat Bristow, thus forging his place in the darts hall of fame... To my mind it was something brilliant, the underdog winning. Even to this day, Deller gets asked about his 138 finish to win the tournament. The boyish charm made him the housewives favourite, to every young boy at that time seeing someone young winning the championship, made everyone get dart boards. Wherever they could hang the board, they would..

But to conclude, it can be dangerous as well... To my cost as well, for reasons I cannot remember... I got a dart in the leg whilst playing, I think whilst throwing it must have bounced out and into my leg, so with some TCP and being patched up, it was alright in the end... It didn't put me off at all and to this day, it makes me wince, but never take a man away from his darts...

Finally, the best theme for sport anywhere and for darts fans the one theme...

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Bring in the new... The 1980 South West England franchise battle

So here we are again, over the past couple of blogs I have looked at the 1980 franchise battles for the Midlands and the South/South East. This time we go down to the South West to find out how a red Ferrari and plans beyond their station were to cost a franchise and how a company came before their time to help them out.

1961 and the sixties have started, the ITV system had extend pretty much to how we knew it in 1980 with nearly all the franchises having been launched by then. Peter Cadbury, he had left the board of Tyne Tees to bid for the South West franchise with him taking the name from a golf course. But the company had been profitable throughout the 60's and the 70's, though the Chairman worked in London, the companies secretary's office plus the accountant's department and the sales department were based there too. They have maybe been ruled from London, but Westward was a happy company. With his weekly flying visits in the companies' aircraft, also by a blood red Ferrari, yacht or helicopter. So extravagance could be a hallmark of the company, apart from that, their record in local programming was a good one. Taking an interest in varying interests both close to the region such as farmng and also other arts as well.

Their expanded interests had included Air Westward, giving businesspeople a direct route to Europe to attend their meetings from Exeter airport. But this seems like the straw that broke the camel's back. Over £1.3 million was used from the company's own profits on the permission of the authority. Though Peter Cadbury thought their should be bigger then their area, courting Bristol and the Mendips as part of the territoriality joint HTV in the West and Wales area. 

By 1979, he had managed to get into feuds with the local authorities and constabulary when buying Lyneham House, an estate in Devon. By being in the area, he thought that this may placate the authority when came around to the 1980 Franchise battle. 

So it was obivious that the IBA were looking to chance the franchise to another company with two leading candidates looking to win the franchise. 

"In a dark, dark room..."

One was WCT, known as West Country Television who had Simon Day, a property developer, farmer and Conservative politician, whose own father had been defeated by Peter Cadbury for the original franchise tender battle in 1961. He formed the group with two men who had been in ITV, both in the management side and the production side. From the business came Anthony Gorard, who had been the managing director of HTV between 1967 and 1978 with highly reguarded success. From the programming side came Bill Ward, the former ATV director of programmes whose career had spanned over forty years in producing sports programming and light entertainment programmes. They were named Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively, with usual local dignitaries and also Julian Mounter, who Cornish roots made him a great candidate for Programme Controller as well as having launched Westward Report in 1973 and at that time, he was the editor of Thames Reports as well.

This mix of personalities under the slogan of 'The Best For the West!' made it a mixture which could be good for the South West in theory. But their rivals were to find something different in itself...

WCT had promised to take over Westward's studios but TSW were to build a new one and TSW claimed they would make over ten hours of local programming per week compared to Westward's eight and a half and WCT's seven. 

TSW's board included two Deputy Lieutenants of both Dorset and Devon, but Sir John Colfox, the deputy lieutenant of Dorset named as Chairman had to withdraw through health grounds and replaced by Brian Bailey, a man well served in serving on different boards of organisations such as the TUC and also serving a Somerset County Councillor since 1966, plus his experience had been in broadcasting as well, having served on the BBC's advisory board for the South West. So his experience was valuable to any new group intending to bid.

Though the force behind the bid was Kevin Goldstein-Jackson. A flamboyant man in both style and dress, in his early thirties with degrees in philosophy, sociology and law plus with experience in business and journalism as well. His experience in television production had come from spells in Hong Kong, Oman and also at Southern as well. Though in his style, his middle name moniker 'Goldstein', he had chosen to show solidarity with Israel. His approach was to name himself Joint Managing Director and Programme Controller, the right hand man on the Managing Director side was to be Peter Battle, whose experience had come both at Anglia and Southern.

In-spiring viewing...

The IBA had been impressed what Goldstein-Jackson could bring to the party both in programming and also by Brian Bailey as well. Though it was said they were less so in the management below them. But something had impressed the IBA to give them give them the franchise. Such was their aim, they were allowed to buy Westward in 1981 both the company and the studios, so such a need of building a new studio complex. They were ordered to keep the Westward name, to save viewers getting confused by the early change.

So at 11.58pm, Westward came out of Scottish's Hogmany show to make the changeover with a comedy starring Peter Cook to become TSW's first show at midnight. Though the actual launch would not be until the next day when TSW came out of ITV's schedule of the Disney movie 'The Black Hole' for their launch show presented by Lennie Bennett, so what may seems like a lavish attempt to launch the franchise seemed like Southern's effort of the previous night. Maybe self referential, but with ITV in the 80's, this was a new ITV ready for the new decade...

Monday, 2 January 2012

Bring in the new... The 1980 South and South-East franchise round

Welcome back, last time I looked at the 1980 Midlands region franchise round as ATV won and eventually turned into Central. This time we head southwards to the dual South and South-East franchise.

Most of the talk in this franchise round was about the new dual Midlands franchise, by the prestige  it would bring any company coming into the ITV system but getting a place at the top table within the Big Five. The Big Five, so called contained both London franchises, the North West one, the Midlands and the Yorkshire one. These were the powerhouses of ITV, but when the Financial Times wrote about the upcoming franchise round in May 1980, they noted the Midlands franchise may be the most prestigious franchise for any company to go for. But it was the South and South-East franchise where outside the Big Five that the most financial rewards were there for any company with disposable income awash in these areas because of the nature of them containing rural, urban and coastal areas as well.

Since 1958, Southern had made their impact on ITV with specialist programming to the fore including Out of Town, varying children's programmes plus also Houseparty. It would been seen to be said that this would be taken into account when IBA made their decision in awarding their franchise. But with Southern's shareholding which was divided between three groups, which had been unchanged since the start of its existence. The Rank Organisation, Associated Newspapers and D.C. Thomson who took 100% of the shares between them. Though the Authority had made note of this in both 1963 and 1967 as well, where as other companies took swift action to resolve any major issues, Southern had not taken notice of this and decided to plow on relentlessly into this franchise round without any changes.

Other issues of not serving parts of the region i.e. Kent and the South East were to be Southern's achilles heel in the main part which left six competitors going for the franchise, outside the breakfast contract, this was the biggest number of challengers for any region.

With true friends like this, who needs enemies...

The first challenger to show their hand, seems like a very strange one. Tellecom (Broadcast) Television had been formed by a Brighton television technician, he registered the name Home Counties Television and set about selling shareholdings for £1 without recruiting any well known names at all. Though he withdrew his bid in September of that year, almost realising that the bid wouldn't have got off the ground or it seems like a bit of speculation that some might use that name for any new franchise.

Of the other major contenders, one of the strongest would appear to be Television South and South East. This consortium was lead by Bruce Fireman who had links to bankers Charterhouse Japhet, they had been assembled over three years thought they had grown out of a group who had tried for the franchise in 1967. In their intial group of people, they had Paul Bonner as their Programme Controller, but he had elected to join Channel Four. So they replaced him with Ian Martin who had previously been Controller of Features, Education and Religion at Thames. He was backed up by William Hodgson, who at the time was ITN's General Manager who was to become Managing Director of the group if they had won. Plus they also had Sir Freddie Laker as a director who could bring business sense to the group. But  in retrospect it did seem the make up of the shareholders would have been like the Southern situation with Charterhouse taking 20% of the shares and also Haymarket Press and the British Rail Pension Fund taking another 23% as well. So the IBA didn't want to face upto the same situation as they had with Southern, plus they needed guarantees that the group didn't wasn't more interested in making money then making programmes and serving their new region.

Though Network South who's major figure was Tom Margerison, a former chief executive of LWT. Their plans was to sub-divide the franchise into five mini-regions, a plan which would come into fruition nearly ten years later with most ITV franchises dividing their regions into sub-regions each with their own local news. Network South used the talents of Peter Batty as Programme Controller with also Christopher Morahan, Tony Palmer and Christopher Railling as consultants to the group. The actual plan of community television gave the authority questions on how it would work, but one key thing stood out to them. Of the original members of the group, none lived in the south and three of chairmen for each of the sub-regions didn't even come from the UK at all.

Then we come to South and South East Communications, the group who had been put together by James Gatward, Bob Southgate and Martin Jackson. Gatward had been a drama producer who had masterminded the series Star Maidens, so he had the programme making experience which was ironically with Southern. Southgate had experience with both ITN and Thames, bringing journalistic nous as Head of News and Current Affairs. Michael Blakstad, who had been a producer for the BBC, Yorkshire and also as a freelancer as well, he was to be the Programme Controller assisted by Anna Home, who's success in producing Grange Hill at the start and also on other BBC children's programmes as well lead her to be named as Head of Children's Programmes. But in addition to this, she was to help out Blakstad in his role as a deputy controller. Added with Herbert Chappell, to be in charge of music programmes, an area where Southern had triumphed in, these people brought a mixture of experiences to the group.

TVS' thoughts were that they thought they were going to be forced into a shotgun marriage as Redifusion and ABC had been to form Thames in the 1967 franchise round and were almost counting on this to happen, but to their surprise, their interview went so well that the IBA decided to award them the franchise. Though in winning the franchise, apart from studios being built at Maidstone which Southern had already planned, they needed a base, so decided on buying Southern's studios at Northam. They negotiated a deal to buy the studios, but in setting up what programmes to make and plan what they were going to do, they need somewhere to work, so with Southern's agreement as part of the deal of purchasing the studios, that they were allowed to set portacabins in the car park.

This proved amusing to Southern and lead to Richard Stilgoe performing a song in Southern's last show called 'Portacabin Television' about how TVS were seemingly almost second class citizens on the sight they were going to take over. Southern's final show, 'And It's Goodbye From Us..' almost seems to cock a snook at the IBA for what they had done and reminding them what they done for ITV over the previous 23 years. Though TVS had the last laugh or did they? 

Stil-going after all these years...

In from starting in 1982 and serving the new dual region, they did not get off to the most auspicious of starts and it was not until 1984 when Greg Dyke had arrived from TV-AM that they started to move forward and they made significant progress until the late 1980's, exporting shows around the world. But with this success came almost a need to get bigger, they wanted to become one of ITV's leading players joining the Big Five with James Gatward even lobbying the government at that time to do so. They purchased Mary Tyler Moore's production company MTM Entertainment hoping to increase in size and getting a stranglehold in the American market, but by doing this they took their eye off the ball with the 1991 franchise round coming up and this was cost them as they got usurped by Meridian Broadcasting, who wanted to be a publisher broadcaster themselves just like TVS thought they were going to join forces with Southern and just Southern, TVS gave a reminder to not only their viewers but the ITC at that time what they had done for ITV at that time in 'Goodbye to all That'.

Kelly's eye... for a cameraman..

So you could you say, what goes around comes around really. But next time, we find a bunny re-hired and we don't go down a Black Hole instead going to Plymouth for a party with Lennie Bennett. In other words from South and South East to the South West as we see a galleon sunk 
by its own ambitions...

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Bring in the new... A look at the Midlands 1980 Franchise round

And welcome back after Christmas to the New Year, which in televisual terms means the start of new ITV franchises, well in 1982 and 1993 anyway. These are always seen as a way for ITV to regenerate and reinvigorate itself.

Such with these affairs, which saw Central bid £2000 for their franchise in 1991,  Carlton bid £43 million to win the London Weekday franchise and Thames bidding £32 million, passing the quality threshold and losing. Though TVS' bid £57.96 million and lost to Meridian's £36.5 million one. As proved this at that time could be a crap shoot, crap as in the game craps and no reference to Carlton's programming at all. 

Though this could be said to significant in the history of ITV, especially combined with political machinations as well. But the 1980 franchise round, I think is the more significant. We know the winners, but how much do we actually know about the other competitors? Their place in history may be recorded to the ages, though what exactly more could they have offered in place of the winners. Some like TVS we know through their history and record as well, but who else could have offered programming and what exactly would their structure be?

First of all, the Midlands. So ATV won the the new dual region albeit changed into Central to make sure their was a look to the new company to have seen to have changed both physically on-screen and at boardroom level to make the IBA give them the franchise, they knew that the East Midlands had to be served after being almost put aside in years previous with programmes coming from Broad Street and Elstree for the vast majority of it entertainment output. 

Plans were in place for studios to be built in Nottingham to satisfy the need for a studio complex in the East Midlands and take off the pressure on Elstree, such with this there was a long campaign to keep programming being produced at Elstree. Though with the ammount of programming reduced to a minimum of being produced there and the phasing in of the Lenton Lane Studios after being made to broadcast from Giltbrook.

"Welcome to Central..."

The two main oppositions to Central were two newly formed companies, one was Mercia Television and the other Midlands Television Limited. Mercia itself had John Fairley as its Head of News, Current Affairs and Documentries plus John Wilford as Head of Local Programmes. Both had come from Yorkshire Television to fill these positions, with Fairley later on becoming the Chief Executive of Yorkshire Television. Their aim was to take a separate East Midlands franchise, but when this did not happen they went for the dual region. With the talents of Brian Walden, Beryl Reid and Jasper Carrott on board, it seems like their angle was trying make top quality entertainment and also topline Current Affairs programming as well. Walden, the presenter of Weekend World had the experience in both broadcasting and politics   to be able to make this a possibility, at that time his star was rising in such a way that his position was vital to be able to break the ground politically. This would have been vital for any franchise to get kudos for its Current Affairs output, plus with any potential politicians as well coming upto the 1983 General Election as well meaning that any coverage could be favourable but also seen to impartial as well.

With Reid and Carrott, bringing entertainment would be the brief but serving it from both angles. Reid's more traditional line of entertainment would be good to allow variety to at least flourish within its boundaries, with more and more alternative comedy becoming the norm on screens, the variety angle with a hint of Midlands flavour would have been ideal for the company at that time, allowing for them to spread out as ATV had done into lavish productions. Rivalling what the BBC had to offer and making sure ITV would have had the edge into supporting what Thames, LWT, Yorkshire etc were making at this time. This was vital to ITV who had made sure in the early 80's that their big name signings, new talents and new programming that they worked. 

Squished in good with Paul Squires and Friends...

As far as the IBA concerned it seems the costings were not right and Mercia had not seemed to have understandable, the need for studio facilities plus also union relations making the point that two of their leading light had come from Yorkshire, where union issues had been a problem throughout the 1970's

Midlands Television seemingly had try to woo the IBA with clich├ęs about ATV's record as a broadcasting stating they would be daring in the pursuit of excellence whilst displaying Reithian values as a broadcaster, which may have been good for some but for other this seemed a bit stiff in it style. Everyone wanted quality from a franchise holder, but this was seemingly beyond the call of duty almost like a white knight in the ITV system. Though in launching a partnership with several leading independent producers, they had an eye on the 1980's ahead and almost foreseeing Channel Four's ambitions in that way. 

The main force behind the franchise was Stuart Wilson, who had been a leading light in putting together the consortium for Yorkshire Television. Himself having become the Joint Managing Director of Yorkshire and also Assistant Managing Director of holding company Trident Television before leaving in 1977. His experience was vital to be able to have the know-how of how to run an ITV franchise, in backing him up he had Sir Robert Booth who's experience had been as Director of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and also Chairman of the National Exhibition Centre between 1965 and 1978 as well. The board boast the like of the writer Lord Willis, the Duke of Rutland and also Joe Gormley, at that time the President of the National Union of Mineworkers. 

But this was not to do for Midlands Television, at press conference Lord Willis who had worked    for ATV over a period of 15 years said "I would be ashamed to associate myself with a company who produced Crossroads.." But then he put ahead is plans for a new series called Auto, which would reflect the Midlands car industry and the people who worked within it.

Although the IBA would have it reservations about Crossroads and its quality, it realised that it was a winner with the viewers and having immediate change did really seem really not alienate the viewers really. Though it seems the fact that Midlands was almost preaching to the IBA that their way of doing it was wrong proved to be their biggest downfall in not getting the franchise. As we will learn in the the round for the South and South-East next, its never no good to annoy the IBA at all...

Next time, we head South with a man used to Star Maidens and a scarecrow being handed the keys to the Dream Factory...