Lights, Camera… Atlantean – Take Three! Is This Really The Weatherfield Wayfarer Route?

In a fit of lockdown-era boredom, East of the M60 plots what could be The Weatherfield Wayfarer’s route

With the nature of this post, you can tell that we are missing our buses. Well, missing them for travel requirements of a non-recreational nature, thanks to that dreaded pandemic which is still a threat to us all in the North West. Thanks to COVID-19, any recreational journeys have had to be plotted in our heads before we are given the all clear. It has meant yours truly looking at old timetables and bus maps – and developing high quality content for East of the M60.

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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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Whatever Happened to The World Disco Dancin’ Championships?

“From the Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, London…”

In the last week, ITV have announced the arrival of Dance Dance Dance, a new big budget dancing themed programme. Due to be aired next year, it is a Dutch format from Talpa Media, producers of the newly defected reality TV show, The Voice.

Continue reading “Whatever Happened to The World Disco Dancin’ Championships?”

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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Forgotten Quiz Shows of the 20th Century: The Not So Perfect Ten

Appropriately, OUR starter for ten…

How on earth did I get into this quizzing lark? Over the last year, the creator of East of the M60 has been a key member of The Wheatsheaf’s quiz team. We finished runners-up in the Handicap Final to the Old Pack Horse “A” team and won the Second Section Title. Continue reading “Forgotten Quiz Shows of the 20th Century: The Not So Perfect Ten”

Television Puppet Stars Through the Ages: The Not So Perfect Ten

From Sooty to Hacker

John Logie Baird demonstrated his early televisual experiments with a ventriloquist dummy’s head. On the 02 October 1925, his dummy’s head known as Stookie Bill, was used to demonstrate early television pictures.

90 years on, we still use puppetry to entertain viewers young and old. Whether it’s a mule and Annette Mills or the goings-on at Furchester Hotel, they bring joy to many of us. Sometimes they can get away with things that human actors couldn’t do. Or upstage them. Continue reading “Television Puppet Stars Through the Ages: The Not So Perfect Ten”

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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A 1969 Space Oddity: David Frost’s Moon Party

Ground control to Major Frost?

  • Broadcasted: 1700 hours, 20 July 1969 – 0300 hours, 21 July 1969 (ITV);
  • Presenter: David Frost;
  • Showbiz guests: Sammy Davis Junior, Cliff Richard, Lulu, Englebert Humperdinck, Peter Cook, Mary Hopkin, Hattie Jacques, Eric Sykes;
  • Interviewed guests: Ray Bradbury (walked out before interview), A.J.P. Taylor, Dame Sybil Thorndike, Desmond Morris;
  • Produced by: London Weekend Television;
  • Further information: original VT long deleted.

Just over 45 years ago, rolling news meant correctly folding today’s copy of The Daily Telegraph. The thought of broadcasting for 10 continuous hours was unheard of in 1969. Television used to finish an hour or so after the public houses did. Sky News wouldn’t surface till twenty years later, and Rupert Murdoch was only months away from taking over The Sun from the Daily Mirror‘s owners. Continue reading “A 1969 Space Oddity: David Frost’s Moon Party”

On Reflection: The Definitive Collection of Visual Works by John Tribe

A profile and reappraisal of the illustrator’s works.

Previously published on East of the M60 as On Reflection: The Collected Visual Works of John Tribe on the 10 June 2014.

Though not one of East of the M60’s most read pieces, the original piece attracted the attention John Tribe himself! He was ‘flattered and speechless’ to say the least, and needless to say, I was amazed too. Amazed in the same sense how Joe Royle described 1989-90 as his ‘pinch-me’ season with the Latics going to Wembley.

Since then, I have had continued contact with Mr. Tribe who has kindly furnished me with further details, corrections and clarifications. Hence the slight change to the title.

Many thanks to John, not only for the research notes,  but also for the two lovely architectural books I received. One of which had been on my Christmas or birthday present list for the last five years.

Stuart Vallantine,
John Tribe,
Saturday 20 September 2014.

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Continue reading “On Reflection: The Definitive Collection of Visual Works by John Tribe”