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Neil Jones3,412 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
We all know what was the BBC Television Service and later BBC tv eventually became BBC One when BBC Two launched in 1964.

After the second World War when TV came back in 1946 (which legend (falsely) says started with "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted") the decision was taken to extend the medium to Birmingham by building the Sutton Coldfield transmitter in 1949/1950 and so on and so forth.

Was it planned from the start that BBC Television/tv/BBC One would have regional opts at Sutton Coldfield and future transmitters or was the regional opt thing added later, possibly in response to the (then) potential launch of what became ITV or even BBC Two?
Markymark4,364 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
We all know what was the BBC Television Service and later BBC tv eventually became BBC One when BBC Two launched in 1964.

After the second World War when TV came back in 1946 (which legend (falsely) says started with "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted") the decision was taken to extend the medium to Birmingham by building the Sutton Coldfield transmitter in 1949/1950 and so on and so forth.

Was it planned from the start that BBC Television/tv/BBC One would have regional opts at Sutton Coldfield and future transmitters or was the regional opt thing added later, possibly in response to the (then) potential launch of what became ITV or even BBC Two?


There doesn't appear to have been any particular ordered roll out of BBC regional opts,

From memory:

BBC Midlands started in 1964 ?
BBC South in 1961 (Three years after Southern TV opened, but I think around the time Day By Day launched?)
BBC South West 1961 (A week before Westward launched)
BBC Wales 1964 ? (About the time TWW took over TC's franchise ?)

Loads of gaps, but I'm sure others will fill in, and correct
Markymark4,364 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
1957 according to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_West_Midlands

Although at that point, was TV still carrying Home Service news in sound only? It might simply have been the relevant regional radio bulletin that was carried.


Interesting. Back in the 50s and 60s, there wouldn't have been much 'televisual' material that
could have been used, so perhaps the opts were basically using the same scripts as the then regional Home Service radio bullitens ?

Even in the 70s, regional BBC TV news (away from the 18:00 ish prog) wasn't much more than a talking head, with a couple of slides
Inspector Sands10,525 posts since 25 Aug 2004
1957 according to Wikipedia

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_West_Midlands

Although at that point, was TV still carrying Home Service news in sound only? It might simply have been the relevant regional radio bulletin that was carried.

The Television Newsreel started in 1948: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_Newsreel that was replaced in 1954 with a TV news service so no it wasn't just radio bulletins by then.

The article you linked to suggests that there was regional TV news in the west and north by 1957 and the east region was split off in 1969
TonyCurrie304 posts since 19 Sep 2003
STV Central Reporting Scotland
The Wiki really only refers to the start of Regional News shown after the 6pm bulletin. Many years ago I cobbled together a list of the first opt-outs which I don't have to hand at the moment, but if we start with the case of regions opting out of network programming, that started in 1952 when Kirk o'Shotts went live. Because the two-way SHF link to Shotts hadn't been completed by the time the transmitter went on air in March, it was common practice for Shotts to opt out of any pre-lunchtime programming (including the Demonstration Film at 11am) and show Test Card C instead. This went on for about nine months until the link was completed. After that, there were two different types of regional programming. Some were opt-outs from the network (starting around 1954 with Scotland and the Midlands having irregular local programmes) but more commonly regional programmes were shown during the 'closed period' between 6 and 8pm and only carried on certain transmitters. These included a West of England magazine programme hosted by Cliff Michelmore (Shown by Wenvoe, North Hessary Tor, and Les Platons) and Northern Ireland's 'Ulster Mirror' (shown initially by Kirk o'Shotts, Redmoss and Glencairn). Slowly the number of opts during peaktime increased but it was indeed the start of ITV that predicated the beginning of regular regional programmes. The 6pm local news was introduced in Scotland a few weeks before the whole of the UK as a spoiler for the newly-launched Scottish Television. Opts outs were pretty much determined by the way the distribution network was configured, which meant for example that Northern Ireland had to show whatever Scotland was showing and thet Scotland had tho originate any local programming to be shown in Northern Ireland (among many other examples).
The views expressed on this forum are entirely my own.
4
Markymark4,364 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Opts outs were pretty much determined by the way the distribution network was configured, which meant for example that Northern Ireland had to show whatever Scotland was showing and thet Scotland had tho originate any local programming to be shown in Northern Ireland (among many other examples).


Off topic, but sort of related. The regional opt outs on The Home Service for North East England and Northern Ireland had to be shared, because the frequency (1151 kHz/ 261m) was used by the two transmitters that served those regions. Quite a juxtaposition of cultures !
TonyCurrie304 posts since 19 Sep 2003
STV Central Reporting Scotland
It was a nightmare of enormous proportions. When regional broadcasting resumed after the war, External Services claimed two medium wave frequencies and the new Third Programme also needed two leaving not enough to go round. So there were two different versions of the North of England Home Service - one on 434m which was the 'full' version (also carried on VHF when that started) and the 261m mishmash with a short N.I. News at 6.15 and a short Cumberland, Westmoreland, Northumberland and Durham News at 6.20 amongst many, many other abominations like the Saturday evening 'Sport in Ulster and Newcastle' programme. When Divis opened on VHF it at least allowed a full version of the Northern Ireland Home service to be broadcast but it was 1962 (or was it 1963) before External Services released 224m and the nonsense ended. By the way, Markymark, 261 came from four transmitters - Stagshaw, Whitehaven, Scarborough, Lisnagarvey and Londonderry.
The views expressed on this forum are entirely my own.
2
noggin12,067 posts since 26 Jun 2001

Even in the 70s, regional BBC TV news (away from the 18:00 ish prog) wasn't much more than a talking head, with a couple of slides


70s?! Even in to the mid-90s quite a few (most?) regions were using in-vision + stills presentation for the 1'00" / 1'15" regional opts after the daytime news summaries! (Hourly in the morning on BBC One, and twice in the afternoon on BBC Two from memory)

The original regional opts into Breakfast Time were also mainly stills and presenter reads.

(The presenters often self-opped their vision and sound mixers - and in some cases slide scanners - in many cases)