Thursday, 5 March 2009


Oh dear. News yesterday of 600 job cuts and a loss of £2.7bn last year doesn't make happy reading. Advertising revenue is in free-fall, competition has quadrupled, audience share declined and now they're going to close the Kirkstall Road TV studios in Leeds, home of Yorkshire Television, Countdown, Emmerdale Farm, Farmhouse Kitchen (hands up if you remember Dorothy Sleightholme) Indoor League ("I'll see thee!" - not if I see thee first, Mr Truman) Rising Damp and Joker's Wild, Follyfoot, The Flockton Flyer, and not forgetting 321. When it was opened, Kirkstall Road was the first purpose-built colour television production centre in Europe. A sad end.

Personally, I think ITV has been in free-fall since 27th October 2002 when all those lovely, local stations with their quaint on-screen idents were abolished, to be replaced with ITV1. And how long now before that's replaced by ITV-none. For those of a nostalgic disposition, you can vote for your favourite ITV regional ident of yesteryear on the side-bar. Get voting while there's still time.


Rog said...

I see Anglia are doing well but only because 79% of bloggers live in Norfolk!
Bring back "THE QUIZ OF THE WEEK!"

Kevin Musgrove said...

There aren't any voting options for those of us living north of The Wash in black and white.

Border Television was always good for presneters in very dodgy hand-knitted jumpers.

Steerforth said...

What about Junior Showtime?

It's a great shame about ITV. I think the writing was on the wall when Rupert Murdoch set up Sky TV. During the last ten years, ITV has really lost its way and abandoning the idents was a huge mistake.

ITV produced some brilliant programmes (The World at War, Brideshead Revisited etc) and kept the BBC on their toes.

What a pity that even an old pro like Michael Grade can't save them.

The Dotterel said...

Is that true, Rog? I do hope so! And I can almost hear the dulcet tones of Nicholas Parsons announcing it.

The trouble is, Kevin, that north of the Wash the idents were rubbish - a bit of music and a static image if you were lucky or - in Grandaland - just the image!

I'd forgotten Junior Showtime Steerforth. Thanks for reminding me. You're right about the quality ITV output of old: I can't think of anything to match it these days, although the South Bank Show can still turn out something good (if you can find it in the schedules).

Kevin Musgrove said...

Junior Showtime was terrifying! Bobby Bennett and a million clones of Violet Elizabeth Bott.

One of the girls at Uni. had been on it but seemed to have pretty much survived the ordeal.

One of the junior leads is now the elder statesman on one of the shopping channels.

Eryl Shields said...

Fifteen years ago when I threw out our knackered old set and never got round to buying a new one people looked at me askance when I said I didn't have one. Now no one bats an eyelid, more and more people seem to have given up TV, it's old technology. That said, it's still sad to see ITV in its death throes. I remember Junior Showtime well!

lunarossa said...

So sad about ITV. I used to love Heartbeat. It was the first programma I got hooked into when I moved to England. I loved watching the Yoekshire Moors and all the location around here. Now who knows if they still produce it and is so who knows where...Have a nice weekend. Ciao. A.

Annette said...

Bob Monkhouse, The Golden Shot.
I loved that programme.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Have heard you name mentioned in the blogging world so thought I would visit. What a wonderfully professional, interesting blog it is. Please say you are a technical type, you put me to shame. I struggle, wish there were set ups to teach me SIMPLE things.
Will visit again and would love to put you on my list if that is alright.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

A tragedy indeed. While we may no longer be a manufacturing nation, you'd have thought we could still churn out some pretty darn good telly. Good enough that the digital channels wouldn't have got a look in anyway! (not hard)

Maddy said...

Ooo down memory lane.