It may be TV in miniature but it has a character of its
Peter Knight. Daily Telegraph 17 June 1963.
The local flavour
No thoughts of grandeur at Channel right from the beginning. Well you
can't have if one of your most popular programmes is called
Island Farmer. For many years Channel Television was the
only local broadcast media, and the various local programmes gained
an audience share that could have only been dreamed about for similar
programmes elsewhere (conversely some network fare such as
Coronation Street struggled to find its usual audience).
News and weather in French don't feature anywhere else on ITV either.
Channel has on occasion contributed to the network, for children
(The Dodo Club), religion (Highway editions) and
contributions to series such as About Britain. In the 1980s
they also supplied series to Channel 4, such as Valued
Opinion and Great British Isles. There was the time,
explained below, when Channel was ITV.
All alone in 1979
One by one the ITV companies went dark in August 1979, affected by
the spread of industrial disputes. Channel Television had separate
agreements, recognising their basic financial insecurity. Deprived of
network programmes the choice was between closing or putting out a
locally originated service to maintain some kind of revenue stream,
and the latter was the preferred option.
This `temporary' arrangement lasted over 70 days, and by the end
there were signs that they were struggling for suitable available
material. A typical day's programmes, taken from 1 October
are outlined below:
Some interesting pointers come from this schedule. Firstly the main
local news has been extended to an hour; generally it was limited to
a maximum of thirty minutes before. Secondly a film of some kind was
shown at 20:30 every night. Earlier in the strike The New Avengers
was also stripped every evening. Other standbys were The Beverley
Hillbillies, Mannix, Project UFO and, Little House on the
Prairie. However was this any worse than the showing of 3-2-1
twice in the first three days of the restarted network schedules.
- 13:20 Channel News and Weather
- 13:30 Closedown
- 17:00 Puffin's Birthday Greatings
- 17:05 Clue Club
- 17:30 Lost Islands
- 18:00 Report at Six Extra
- 19:00 Fishing with Bernard (part 1)
- 19:30 Living Land (documentary)
- 20:30 TV Movie
- 21:50 Channel News and Weather
- 21:55 Jericho
- 22:55 Actualités et Bulletin Météorologique
- 23:00 Closedown
Don't forget ...
Oscar Puffin, the station mascot, who now has his own