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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Lucky Ladders screen grab (19 April 1991).

Crosswits, Coffee and Biscuits: Daytime on ITV, Late 1980s Style

Who remembers when morning daytime TV on ITV meant Crosswits instead of people at their wits end?

The 07 September 1987 was a seminal date in Independent Television’s history. Before then, all ITV franchisees from 9.25 am carried schools programming. Instead of The Jeremy Kyle Show or This Morning, viewers tuning into Granada or Central (other franchise holders were available) were treated to How We Used to Live, Middle English, or Stop, Look, Listen.

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On Reflection: Fifty Icons of London Weekend Television

50 reasons to celebrate LWT’s fiftieth birthday

If you are a child of the 1970s or 1980s (the latter like yours truly), an ITV weekend schedule without an LWT programme would have been unusual. For many, Play Your Cards Right on a Friday night, Blind Date on a Saturday, and Surprise Surprise! on a Sunday night, was appointment to view television.

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On Reflection: The Joy of 3-2-1

A look at the bafflingly popular Yorkshire Television quiz show which ran for ten years

Before the 29 July 1978, Saturdays in front of the television meant World of Sport or Grandstand. Then a peek at the latest imported programme at teatime (something like The Man From Atlantis). Encroaching into the prime time slot, there was one inalienable truth for many viewers: the BBC had the best variety and light entertainment programmes. Continue reading “On Reflection: The Joy of 3-2-1”

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”

Less Remembered 1980s Children’s Programmes #2: Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It

A look at the 1980s children’s comedy series

We received a call from 1985 at East of the M60 HQ. All we did was enter a few numbers into our Prestel account. Instead, it gave us details about the Manchester Victoria trains to Leeds. I knew in 1985 this meant Class 45s and Mark II carriages.

“Goody” I thought “Stalybridge to Leeds on a proper train.” Then I looked on the teletext style graphics. Three words of doom:

Rail Replacement Buses.

Rail replacement buses between Manchester Victoria to Stalybridge. That meant trains via Calder Valley. “Oh well” I thought “There’s always the 220 or 221.” Then my father saw the screen. The first words he uttered was:

“Your Mother wouldn’t like it…”

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Stalybridge’s Real Deal As Popular Antiques Show Comes to West Hill

Dickinson’s Real Deal set to reach Stalybridge next month

On Saturday 10 October, RDF Television West’s cameras are set to turn their attention to West Hill School, Stalybridge. Heading to the said school would be a certain Mancunian antiques expert. Continue reading “Stalybridge’s Real Deal As Popular Antiques Show Comes to West Hill”

Lights, Camera… Atlantean – Take Two! Weatherfield Wayfarer’s New Arrival

East of the M60 on the Weatherfield Wayfarer’s new arrival

As a follow-up to our previous article from the 29 October 2013, we at East of the M60 noticed a change to the Weatherfield Wayfarer fleet.

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ITV Startup Music Through The Ages: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten great pieces of television startup music used by ITV franchises

Once upon, quite so long ago, there was a time before 24 hour television. Television channels used to start at around 9am or a little later, and finish at about the same time when most adults went to bed.

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1980s Television Nightmares: #3 That’s My Dog

Yet they say, never work with children or animals…

Television South West, one of Britain’s shortest lived ITV franchisees, didn’t quite have the same commercial clout nor profile as the Big Five ITV contractors [Granada, Yorkshire, Thames, Central and London Weekend]. Locally, TSW was best known for Gus Honeybun, a glove puppet rabbit who accompanied continuity announcers whilst announcing younger viewers’ birthdays.

Nationwide, Television South West was synonymous with this production…

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