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Riaz268 posts since 6 Jan 2016
Is the following true?

1. The ITV video link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland was monodirectional until some time in the 1970s. Programmes could be networked from ITV companies in Great Britain to UTV but not back the other way.

2. The video link became bidirectional to enable UTV to instantly transmit video footage of the aftermath of IRA bombings into Great Britain and was used by ITN.

3. More than half (in terms of time) of what has been transmitted on the video link between UTV and Great Britain has been about IRA bombings because UTV has networked very few programmes.
Markymark4,197 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Is the following true?

1. The ITV video link between Great Britain and Northern Ireland was monodirectional until some time in the 1970s. Programmes could be networked from ITV companies in Great Britain to UTV but not back the other way.

2. The video link became bidirectional to enable UTV to instantly transmit video footage of the aftermath of IRA bombings into Great Britain and was used by ITN.



National video links between cities in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s were operated by the GPO, and rented by the BBC, and IBA (on the behalf, and for, the ITV companies)

I don't know how many GPO vision circuits there were between Belfast and GB, but it's possible the BBC and UTV didn't have exclusive use of contribution circuits. The provision would have been stepped up with demand from both broadcasters, and NI became a very 'newsworthy' place from the early 70s.
denton874 posts since 4 Jan 2003
I also remember being on holiday in England in the 1980s and being shocked to see the "telly on a stick" ident. An Ulster Television programme, which I thought was local, wasn't. I think it was called "Sing Out" ... a religious music show from the Ulster Hall in Belfast IIRC. Fairly sure it was presented by Candy Devine (who I ended up working with about 15 years later).
Col3,401 posts since 6 Jan 2003
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
"Sing Out", which indeed was a UTV OB from the Ulster Hall, was presented by Roger Whittaker; the intro forms part of this junction recorded in the Anglia region, alongside the end of an ITN bulletin with Fiona Armstrong, a local weather bulletin with Jim Bacon, some adverts and even a PIF!



The gospel music show with Candy Devine was called "Rejoice" - here's the end credits from the 1985 Christmas show getting a nationwide repeat on Channel 4 the previous year:



Back to 1987, and that was probably UTV's most prolific year in terms of networked programmes: they got the Gordon Burns version of "Password" on during daytime, as well as a low-budget drama about an Irish painter called "Shadow of a Landscape", contributions to "About Britain", and they were co-credited with ITN for broadcasting the memorial service following the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bomb.

And to return to the original topic, UTV showed a music series called "Scotch and Irish", which I think was a Grampian production/presentation, and for a while in the 1990s, had a habit of showing one of the Hogmanay broadcasts following their own Kelly New Year's Eve shows from the Scottish companies - I recall they even showed a Border-produced programme, complete with "A Border Production for ITV" end caption, one year.
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Riaz268 posts since 6 Jan 2016
Was there a friendly relationship between STV and UTV at any time in the past? Central Scotland and Northern Ireland have many historical and cultural ties with each other. In some instances the ties are stronger between Central Scotland and Northern Ireland than they are between Central Scotland and the north of Scotland or the Scottish Borders. Local programmes broadcast to residents of Belfast might also appeal to residents of Bellshill and vice versa.
TonyCurrie303 posts since 19 Sep 2003
STV Central Reporting Scotland
In a word - no. Very few UTV programmes made it to STV although perhaps a few more made it the other way. But remember that when UTV began, it was only ever projected as a station producing a few hours a week of purely local programming, whereas STV always had ambitions for its material to be seen furth of Scotland - as it indeed was from almost the start with John Grierson's weekly "This Wonderful World".

However as the years wore on, UTV occasionally made something that STV picked up on, but usually in the 13-minute filler* category like Roger Whittaker's series "Thirsty Boots". Much later (when I was there), STV's Planning & Presentation chief was an ex-UTV announcer, Brian Durkin, but he didn't seem too inclined to buy/schedule much from his former employers.

* there were a number of problems involved in fitting the late night ITN Headlines into the schedule. ITN obligingly repeated the bulletin (live) a couple of times to accomodate different regional patterns, but there was clearly a physical limit to that, so companies would pad up to the news with short fillers. "Golf with Dow Finsterwald" was one such delight....
The views expressed on this forum are entirely my own.
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62305817,995 posts since 19 Aug 2005
STV Central Reporting Scotland
One day you'll get around to writing a book about your time with TV Wink ( fingers crossed)

I also thought the news was pre-recorded sometimes, throughout the week due to fact there was 5 night service even up till June 1995. Ie one day Yorkshire would have live news etc but on random Tuesday it would get recorded from the Granada feed and played 30mins later.

Grampian had alot of Documentaries ( on top of the Theater show for the network) you would think UTV would had made few of those.
Is the next post dreaded?
Riaz268 posts since 6 Jan 2016
In a word - no. Very few UTV programmes made it to STV although perhaps a few more made it the other way. But remember that when UTV began, it was only ever projected as a station producing a few hours a week of purely local programming, whereas STV always had ambitions for its material to be seen furth of Scotland - as it indeed was from almost the start with John Grierson's weekly "This Wonderful World".

However as the years wore on, UTV occasionally made something that STV picked up on, but usually in the 13-minute filler* category like Roger Whittaker's series "Thirsty Boots". Much later (when I was there), STV's Planning & Presentation chief was an ex-UTV announcer, Brian Durkin, but he didn't seem too inclined to buy/schedule much from his former employers.


This is interesting. I was expecting that with the historic and cultural ties between Central Scotland and Northern Ireland there would have been more programmes networked both ways between STV and UTV. It makes UTV appear to be even further out on a limb than I previously thought.

Has UTV ever had competitors for its franchise at auctions before 1991 or was it always unopposed?
Richard561 posts since 22 Apr 2012
Granada North West Today
With regards to
Was there a friendly relationship between STV and UTV at any time in the past? Central Scotland and Northern Ireland have many historical and cultural ties with each other. In some instances the ties are stronger between Central Scotland and Northern Ireland than they are between Central Scotland and the north of Scotland or the Scottish Borders. Local programmes broadcast to residents of Belfast might also appeal to residents of Bellshill and vice versa.


As Tony says No, but I remember UTV showed the first half of an extended "Scotland Today" on the day of the Dunblane massacre.
TonyCurrie303 posts since 19 Sep 2003
STV Central Reporting Scotland
One day you'll get around to writing a book about your time with TV Wink ( fingers crossed)

.

I daresay I'll get round to it - My first book "A Concise History of British Television 1930-2000" is in its second edition. After I'd completed the Radio Times history and the Radio Clyde book, I had intended to write a history of STV but somebody else did that.
The views expressed on this forum are entirely my own.