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Steve Williams2,781 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I've got a book about "Last of the summer wine", and it mentions the 1979 ITV strike. It does state that during the strike, the BBC did move some programmes to a more "prime" slot. In the case of LOTSW, it was moved from a 21:30 slot, to a 19:30 slot or 20:00 slot when a series was shown, during the ITV strike.


Well, it is a fact that Summer Wine really took off during the strike, it had run for a few series to middling ratings in a post-watershed slot, but the 1979 series was the most popular by far thanks to the strike. It also happened to be the first one shown before the watershed, although in the 40 Years of British Television book it does reprint a Radio Times letter from someone bemoaning "a once-favourite half hour of gentle humour has been turned into a situation comedy with canned laughter". Of course, it always had audience laughter.

The Guinness Book of Classic British TV says it got off to a slow start but the Beeb nurtured it by giving it slots vacated the previous week by other popular sitcoms like Reggie Perrin.

Although Summer Wine these days seems the ultimate Sunday teatime show, for the first few years it was a post-watershed show and it was pretty radical for the time, it probably felt a bit like The Royle Family did when it started because it was a bit of a departure from the standard sitcom. And its most popular series ever was in 1982 when it was on at 9.30 again.

I do know that Dez Skinn, the first editor of Doctor Who magazine, claims he got the magazine off the ground during the ITV strike because the Beeb did a documentary about comics during it which he was in and, because of the strike, everybody watched it. He says in one scene he was seen shouting at someone and came across as a big tough boss, so the next day when he had the meeting to discuss it, everyone was absolutely terrified of him and agreed to everything he said.
Ne1L C1,055 posts since 11 Sep 2011
I've got a book about "Last of the summer wine", and it mentions the 1979 ITV strike. It does state that during the strike, the BBC did move some programmes to a more "prime" slot. In the case of LOTSW, it was moved from a 21:30 slot, to a 19:30 slot or 20:00 slot when a series was shown, during the ITV strike.


Well, it is a fact that Summer Wine really took off during the strike, it had run for a few series to middling ratings in a post-watershed slot, but the 1979 series was the most popular by far thanks to the strike. It also happened to be the first one shown before the watershed, although in the 40 Years of British Television book it does reprint a Radio Times letter from someone bemoaning "a once-favourite half hour of gentle humour has been turned into a situation comedy with canned laughter". Of course, it always had audience laughter.

The Guinness Book of Classic British TV says it got off to a slow start but the Beeb nurtured it by giving it slots vacated the previous week by other popular sitcoms like Reggie Perrin.

Although Summer Wine these days seems the ultimate Sunday teatime show, for the first few years it was a post-watershed show and it was pretty radical for the time, it probably felt a bit like The Royle Family did when it started because it was a bit of a departure from the standard sitcom. And its most popular series ever was in 1982 when it was on at 9.30 again.

I do know that Dez Skinn, the first editor of Doctor Who magazine, claims he got the magazine off the ground during the ITV strike because the Beeb did a documentary about comics during it which he was in and, because of the strike, everybody watched it. He says in one scene he was seen shouting at someone and came across as a big tough boss, so the next day when he had the meeting to discuss it, everyone was absolutely terrified of him and agreed to everything he said.


(Warning, adult themes)
Its hard to believe but early episodes had some material that would certainly give viewers of later episodes a turn eg in the very first episode Clegg speaks of a Canon who was "more than democratic in his ways
with the choirboys"!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPmwzQ8maM

(10 minutes 21)
Last edited by Ne1L C on 29 August 2019 10:02pm
JKDerry1,805 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
The thrilling emergency schedule line up for this day 29th August 1979 was just pure snooze land for many in the Channel Islands, but at least they had some choice:

5.00pm Puffin
5.05pm Kum Kum
5.30pm Woody Woodpecker
6.00pm Report Extra
7.00pm Target - The Impossible
7.25pm Cash and Co. Golden Girl
8.25pm Gilm: Battle Beneath the Earth (1968)
10.00pm Channel News
10.05pm Big Valley: Fallen Hawk.
11.00pm Epilogue, with Close Down at 11.05pm.
1
Ne1L C gave kudos
JKDerry1,805 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
In Ireland, their second national channel RTE 2 launched in November 1978, and their typical programming on a Wednesday in the autumn of 1979 actually look more tempting than BBC1, BBC2 or Channel TV, below is a typical example of what they would have aired:

NB: RTE 2 did not start their weekday broadcasting schedules in 1979 until 6.50pm.

6.50pm Switch On: Community Announcement
7.00pm This Is Your Life (Imported from Thames Television)
7.30pm Coronation Street (imported from Granada Television, and many episodes behind Britain)
8.00pm Star Trek
9.00pm Botanic Man
9.30pm World Week - RTE current affairs show
10.00pm Porridge (BBC sitcom first airing on Irish television)
10.35pm The Dick Emery Show
11.10pm - Newsnight - RTE Late Night News
11.25pm - Night Light, the epilogue
11.30pm - Transmission Ends
1
Ne1L C gave kudos
JKDerry1,805 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
For perspective - BBC One on Wednesday 29th August 1979 was truly dreadful:

7.10pm - Where Are They Now?
7.40pm - Sykes
8.10pm - Its A Celebrity Knockout
9.00pm - News
9.25pm - Come Dancing
10.05pm - Football League Special
10.50pm - Medical Express: Your weekly health report with Mavis Nicholson
11.20pm - The Music Makers
12.00am - Weatherman
12.05am - Closedown

BBC Two

6.55pm - Advenure: The Junk Adventure of Tai Ki
7.45pm - News
7.55pm - Tribute to jean Renoir
9.00pm - My Music
9.25pm - News 39: Modern television news bulletin which looks at events 40 years ago on this day
9.35pm - Hinge and Bracket
10.20pm - Circuit Eleven Miami
11.10pm - Late News
11.25pm - Closedown, Georgine Anderson reads "The Cat About Town"
11.35pm - Transmission Ends

SWEET GOD!
james-20015,066 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Although Summer Wine these days seems the ultimate Sunday teatime show, for the first few years it was a post-watershed show and it was pretty radical for the time, it probably felt a bit like The Royle Family did when it started because it was a bit of a departure from the standard sitcom. And its most popular series ever was in 1982 when it was on at 9.30 again.


Seems a bit strange to think that when these days it's seen as the very epitome of a safe, cosy sitcom. Even those early series.
VMPhil9,777 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
News 39 on BBC2 looks interesting, and, as I'm sure many others here would, I’d certainly stay up to watch a classic episode of Closedown. But I’m not sure much else would appeal to me. This is all coming from a 2019 perspective, of course.
JKDerry1,805 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
News 39 on BBC2 looks interesting, and, as I'm sure many others here would, I’d certainly stay up to watch a classic episode of Closedown. But I’m not sure much else would appeal to me. This is all coming from a 2019 perspective, of course.

What was "Closedown"? Was it just someone sitting there, reading from a book?