SV Pablo Series Two launch picture

Zen and the Art of Children’s Television Theme Tunes

What makes a great children’s television theme tune?

What we watch in our formative years shapes the way we think in later life. It is the same with any good book, film, or theatrical production. The programme I have contributed to as a co-writer, Pablo, is making the same impression with children and parents on the autism spectrum. A one-act theatre show is on the horizon, and it should be up and running by the time our theatres start to reopen post-lockdown.

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The Untied Shoelaces Show graphic (SV version)

Less Remembered 1980s Children’s Programmes #3: The Untied Shoelaces Show

BBC Scotland’s early 1980s summertime treat

The fusion of popular music and children’s television programming has been a solid formula for public service and commercial broadcasters around the world. In the United Kingdom, its commercial potential was seen in programmes like Lift Off With Ayshea (Granada Television) and Saturday Scene (London Weekend Television). By the 1980s, Razzmatazz and Hold Tight! assumed that role on ITV.

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The Return of Pablo: Series Two Starts Next Week

How the second series of Pablo will make thinking differently cool again

Was it really two years ago when Pablo hit the screens? On the 01 October, Paper Owl Films‘ and Kavaleer Productions‘ part-animated part-live action series broke new ground when it was aired on CBeebies and RTEjr. It is the first television series to look at life with an autism spectrum condition beyond the lazy clichés – and at a perspective that is appealing for adults as well as young children.

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"Put the needle on the record..."

(Do You Remember) Needle Time?

Past of the M60 looks at the long forgotten practice of needle time

If you have a few records, CDs and cassettes in your collection, you may have come across this notice:

“Unauthorised public performance or broadcasting of this record is strictly prohibited.”

Today, this notice or the like refers to the public performance of any recorded music in a public place. If your employer or local hairdressers has BBC Radio Two on in the background, they need to get a licence from the Performing Rights’ Society (PRS). From PRS licences, some part of the money goes towards musicians’ royalties.

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Winter Hill Masts

TV Licences: Another Tory Promise Down the Tubes

Non-means tested free TV licence plan for over-75s binned

We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Anyone with half a brain would know that a Conservative Party election promise has the longevity of a Primark suit. As we age, our brain power begins to wane unless we exercise our mind with sudokus, quizzes or other creative activities.

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Darranlas from Penrhiwcaradog Farm (G. Evans, 2009).

TV Review: Our Lives: Battle of the Bands

East of the M60‘s review of BBC One’s documentary on brass banding

Our Lives: Battle of the Bands: BBC One, 27 May 2019, 7.30pm

  • Presenter: Ruth Madoc;
  • Musical Director (Tredegar Town Band): Ian Porthouse;
  • Musical Director (Cory Band): Philip Harper;
  • Executive Producer (BBC Wales): Christina Macaulay;
  • Executive Producer (Yeti Media Ltd): Siân Price;
  • Producer and Director: Gruff Rees.

© 2019 Yeti Media Ltd for BBC Wales.

Brass banding seems to be at the back of the queue in relation to television coverage these days. Before the late 1980s, BBC had Champion Brass which gave our brass bands a national arena for viewers who couldn’t afford the trip to the Royal Albert Hall. There was also similar competitions organised by ITV franchises, most notably Granada Television’s Granada Band of the Year.

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Around the Houses: A Look at My Co-Written Pablo Episode

Or: can you get a bus from Station Road to Market Street via Dizzy Heights and Dangerous Corner?

In October 2017, yours truly wrote about the start of a new series entitled Pablo. It is a part-animated and part-live action children’s television series by CBeebies and RTEJr. One that I have had the joy of contributing to alongside several other people with autism spectrum conditions. The first series began in October with 52 episodes spread out over a year.

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Pablo: A Look at CBeebies’ and RTEJr’s Autie-Friendly Animation

Why Pablo draws upon the experience of people with autism spectrum conditions

Before I start this entry, I would like to declare an interest. Over the last year, the creator of this blog has been involved in the production of CBeebies’ and RTEJr’s exciting new children’s television series. Entitled Pablo, it is a groundbreaking new animation and live action programme aimed at children under five years of age and their parents. There will be 52 episodes over two series. The first episode of the first series was aired on CBeebies and RTEJr at 0900 today [02 October].

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Britain’s Greatest Television News Themes: The Not So Perfect Ten

East of the M60’s latest Not So Perfect Ten looks at Britain’s greatest television news signature tunes

…And now, the headlines from the East of the M60 newsdesk:

  • Leading blog’s countdown of the ten best news themes;
  • Countdown includes nostalgic look at best news tunes from the 1950s onwards;
  • Most of which are from BBC and ITN news programmes.

In the age of Twitter, Facebook, and countless news sites (some truthful, and some you wouldn’t trust with your car), television news still plays a part in our media diet. Though more people timeshift their viewing, TV news programmes and channels command a good audience once an important story breaks through. Continue reading “Britain’s Greatest Television News Themes: The Not So Perfect Ten”

When JAM Ruled the British Airwaves: Part One, BBC Radio One

How JAM Creative Productions revolutionised the sound of Britain’s favourite radio stations

In 1976, a recently formed radio jingle production company landed one of radio’s most formidable accounts. It was the jingles package for the BBC’s most popular national stations: Radio 1 and Radio 2. The company, little known in the UK prior to landing their prestigious contract, was JAM Creative Productions. For the next twenty-one years, the Dallas-based production company would produce a most distinctive set of jingles that defined the image of both radio stations. Continue reading “When JAM Ruled the British Airwaves: Part One, BBC Radio One”