22nd SEPTEMBER 1955!
HERE is TV Times No. 1 — a new paper heralding the opening of a sparkling new era in home entertainment.
Television is at last given the real freedom of the air. The event is comparable with the abolition of the law that kept motor-cars chugging sedately behind a man carrying a red flag.
Now it’s the “go” signal, the green light for TV, too — with no brake on enterprise and imagination.
So far, television in this country has been a monopoly restricted by limited finance, and often, or so it has seemed, restricted by a lofty attitude towards the wishes of viewers by those in control.
That situation now undergoes a great and dramatic change. Viewers will no longer have to accept what has been deemed best for them. They will be able to pick and choose.
And the new Independent TV programme planners aim at giving viewers what viewers want — at the times viewers want it.
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Standards will be raised by this new competitive spirit — with new opportunities for artistes, for writers and producers, and for technicians.
Famous showmen like Jack Hylton and Val Parnell will present on the television screen, as they now do on the stage, the highest paid stars of this and other nations. Such programmes will bring all the star quality of Command Performances into your home.
Also Independent TV really is… independent. It is independent of the advertising techniques used in America. Advertisements fit into the new British TV programmes just as they do into the pages of our newspapers and magazines. They will not detract from your pleasure. Indeed, they will enhance it by combining information with entertainment.
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So this, then, is the exciting prospect which comes with the advent of the new TV. And at a cost to a viewer of no more than the initial expense of converting or renewing the set and aerial already at home.
TV Times, official programme paper of Independent TV, will be your guide to better viewing. Each Friday TV Times will publish exclusively full details of the programmes for the week ahead. It will also be packed with stories and photo graphs of your TV favourites.
In this, our first issue, we extend a warm welcome to readers, and we confidently believe that as the new television grows into a nation-wide service TV Times will become a friend welcomed every week in increasing millions of homes.
GREETINGS TO THE NEW TV
From DR. THE RIGHT HONOURABLE CHARLES HILL, M.P., Postmaster-General.
BY its programmes, Independent Television will be judged. As now we pass from prophecy to performance, your pages — and the screen — will bring us the facts we’ve long awaited. May you bring us good news of good viewing to come.
From SIR KENNETH CLARK, Chairman of the Independent Television Authority.
THIS, the first issue of TV Times, gives me the opportunity to send the good wishes of the Authority to all who are working in Independent Television. May their efforts during the past year be crowned with the success they deserve.
From SIR ROBERT FRASER, Director-General of the Independent Television Authority.
OF course, Independent Television had to have its own programme journal, and I send my congratulations to those who have produced it — what a job it must have been in the time available. My best wishes for bounding circulation figures.
From FELIX AYLMER, President of the British Actors’ Equity Association.
ALL good wishes to the first Press organ of the newly-won Freedom of the ether! The actors stand ready to help.
From SIR SEYMOUR HOWARD, Lord Mayor of London.
AS Lord Mayor of London I extend a cordial welcome to the new television service which will be inaugurated at Guildhall on Thursday night.
It is fitting that Independent TV should have its start in the capital — also the heart of the Commonwealth — where enterprise and free choice are so highly prized.
From SIR COMPTON MACKENZIE.
FOR the writer, the musician, the singer, the actor, indeed for any artiste, the advent of commercial television is a most encouraging prospect — competition is essential to the life of the arts. So may I wish at the outset of this great adventure a splendid future for it?
From SIR ALAN HERBERT — A telegram in verse.
GOOD LUCK TO INDEPENDENT T MUCH AS I LOVE THE BBC ALL INDEPENDENCE PLEASES ME ESPECIALLY IF BETTER FEE FOR ACTORS, MUSIC, CAST — AND ME.
THE mews cottage in Kensington has a colour scheme in white, yellow and black. Decor is by Dainton.
Against this lively background film producer Norman Williams sighed. “I’ve been known as Mr. Dainton for ages,” he said. “Now, I suppose, they’ll call me Mr. Norton.”
For Mr. Williams is married to 24-year-old film and stage actress Patricia Dainton, who is to portray the young housewife, Sally Norton, in Britain’s first daily TV serial, Sixpenny Corner.
Scottish-born Patricia is a young housewife herself and has a 13-month-old daughter, Tetrina.
The fictional Sally is warm, pretty, likeable, with a bubbling personality.
So is Pat Dainton, who is undismayed at the prospect that her own identity may become submerged in the character she is to play in the serial, which will be screened five mornings a week.
“I shan’t mind even if people always think of me as Sally Norton and not Patricia Dainton,” she says.
The life, love and tribulations of newlyweds Bill and Sally, will be a human, true-to-life story set against a dilapidated garage (Sixpenny Corner) which Bill manages in the town of Springwood.
Bill and Sally live in a bungalow near the garage.
HOWARD PAYS is Bill. He does not resemble Mr. Williams.
At 12 Pat Dainton sold newspapers to earn 5s. a week pocket money. At 17 she was a film starlet.
Her big chance came when Ivor Novello recommended her for the feminine lead opposite Dennis Price in the film of “The Dancing Years.”
LUCILE BALL is unquestionably the first mother to have made a million out of TV. And the first actress to have had a baby on the date laid down in a TV script.
The million will be multiplied, because “I Love Lucy” has been the top TV favourite in America for four years with more than 40,000,000 people enjoying its weekly romps.
And the contract, due to end this year, guarantees Lucille and her husband, Desi Arnaz, over £3,000,000 for their TV shows alone.
In American shops you can buy a wide range of gifts sponsored by “Lucy Rickardo” — the character Lucille Ball has made famous.
The nursery furniture followed the birth of Lucille’s son, exactly as provided in the script. As soon as Lucy and Desi knew that they were going to have a second child, the story line of “I Love Lucy” was changed to fit the circumstances.
And America loved it.
On 13,000,000 TV screens “Lucy Rickardo” went into hospital one January evening and had a baby boy. Next morning all America read in the newspapers that Lucille Ball had had a baby boy, weight 8 lbs. 9 ozs. And TV only claimed it as a coincidence that both were boys!
Now Lucy Rickardo and her husband Ricky come to Britain to cheer our Sunday evenings.
Fell in love
THE orange-haired actress spent years in Hollywood struggling for fame. Then she met Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III, a Cuban band leader.
They fell in love. Lucille flew to New York and they were married at five a.m.
Desi and Lucille worked out a variety act and went on tour with it. They tried radio. Then came TV and “I Love Lucy.”
In four months “I Love Lucy” was at the top of the “View Parade.” There it has been pretty well ever since. Lucy’s income now tops £10,000 a week.
Just Some of the Stars of New TV
AND NOW IT’S TELEVISION IN THE MORNING!
For the first time in this country television now brings regular morning programmes. They are here introduced by MARY HILL, Editor of “Morning Magazine.”
IF you were offered the task of compiling an hour’s week-day television programme for women, I wonder which hour you would choose? One thing I can tell you is that it is extremely unlikely that you and your neighbours would arrive at the same answer.
The afternoon may seem the obvious time, but is it?
Radio and Television afternoon programmes command an audience dominated by women over forty, with children off their hands, and time on them.
THE mother of the young baby cannot see them because of the two o’clock feed and the afternoon walk; for the toddler, too, the afternoon is the time to expect Mummy’s attention and the fun of an outing; over-fives have to be fetched from school at half-past three, no matter what the attraction offered by TV, and four and after brings tea-time and the arrival of the older children.
Most women that I know, having got a husband and schoolchildren away between 8.0 and 9.0 in the morning, whisk round the home dusting and tidying — and usually pause to draw breath and have a cup of tea or coffee around eleven.
By this time a baby is fed and, we hope, settled down to sleep and the toddler deposited in pram or play-pen.
Surely the woman at home, like any other worker, is entitled to, and needs, a mid-morning break? And — like any other worker she will get through quicker and better afterwards if she takes it.
So, we decided to offer “Morning Magazine.” It is in two sections. The first half-hour will begin at 10.45, followed by about another half an hour, beginning at 11.45, with a news bulletin at noon. In between there will be music.
If you are one of those who just can’t sit still there are lots of odd jobs that can be done while viewing — from ironing or polishing brass or silver to peeling the apples for lunch.
Some weeks ago I was asked to define the aims of our programmes. I then used the phrase “to bring the world into your home.” I don’t think I can find a better way of expressing them now.
MOST women today have held down jobs before they married. Most of them admit they get attacks of depression when they are alone in the house all day.
So above all we plan to bring real people to “Morning Magazine” — the famous and the not so famous. People with charm and gaiety to make us smile; people from other countries to widen our horizons; people who are doing worth while things to inspire us.
But because women are, above all else, concerned with their homes and their families, there will be practical programmes too.
A professor of international repute will be with us every other Monday to explain that “Diet” means a lot more than slimming; how proper food can not only make us look and feel better and younger, but, literally, help us live longer and more actively.
ON the intervening Mondays, Harriet Nyeman will offer help in curing faults of figure and posture by a revolutionary system of exercises which is widely recognized in Scandinavia.
There will be a weekly series about children; and cooking, varying from basic principles of making puff pastry to cordon bleu dishes, which will be featured every Wednesday. Friday will bring, alternately, Celia Irving with her week-end shopping basket and Elsa Court to show that it is not difficult to be a “handy woman.”
Women of all ages who are interested in their clothes will have a special feature every Tuesday. Interior decorating and furnishing will be discussed and illustrated by experts, and leading architects of the day will show houses they have built, and explain the reason for their design.
These are our plans. We’ve built these programmes largely on what we feel we would like to see were we at home. Now — we hope you are joining us, and if you will write to tell us of your likes and dislikes, we can build the programmes together from now on.