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End of the road for UTV?

Split from UTV - From City Quays 2 onwards (November 2020)

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Yes, network BBC has some live announcers based in Salford. But then BBC Four, CBBC & CBeebies originate from Salford, so there are channel playout facilities there that mean announcers can work from Salford.

ITV doesn't have channel playout facilities in Belfast... so having Julian, Gillian, or anyone else live announcing from Belfast would require quite an investment.

ITV doesn't need that, though a Northern Irish accent on the channel would be nice. It just needs announcers and / or Pres Editors who pay more attention, and put more care, into their opt out announcements.
Bar This is Granada, there hasn't bee a huge outcry from actual UTV viewers that the programmes are being introduced from a CA in Chiswick and using the ITV brand.

Like viewers in the STV region, they're more bothered if they can see their favourite ITV network shows than if there's a local voice introducing the shows. The regional elements are being kept as a obligation as part of the Channel 3 NI licence, such as regional news, political shows and the likes of UTV Life.

If anyone is really bothered that a show isn't being introduced by a CA from NI, BBC One and BBC Two Northern Ireland still has Belfast based continuity.

I don't think the local viewers are too bothered about where the shows are introduced from, It's the shows themselves that matter to them. This also includes the local programmes which are possibly a lot more important that local programmes in other regions.

UTV's Rare Breed is an example here, when it was up against Eastenders a few years ago it regularly beat the soap. As long as the local News and some local shows continue, no one will care about announcers.
Over a year ...... if not two
Andrew Founding member

UTV and their somewhat unique way of doing continuity in and out of vision in the past may not have been 'gold standard' (in your opinion), however the garbage quality of announcements with appalling due care and attention from the network before View from Stormont/Rare Breed has hardly been 'gold standard' either. Julian and Gillians pre-recorded announcements for the past 3 and a half years were never this bad as what the network announcers are thrusting upon us before regional UTV programmes at the moment.
Major improvements (on pre-recorded announcements) are urgently needed...can you at least agree with me on that?

If cuts were so urgenty needed why not cut the London announcing team in half...and make Julian & Gillian more productive by having them announce on the entire ITV network. The announcing work load duties split between the now smaller London team & the already small Belfast team. Less cost/duplication and savings could still have been made with scrapping the Belfast pre-recording sessions, scrapping the UTV Idents and versions of promos. Just have London & Belfast share the workload. This new way of doing continuity could have worked, if ITV wanted it to....but no instead they took the easy option (and arguably what they always intended on doing since 2016) and ditch the UTV Idents/Annnouncements/Team all together. Never waste a good opportunity to do what they always intended.

It's not's more a case of not letting ITV get away with sloppy pre-recorded regional announcements, after axing 2 highly capable UTV announcers (and arguably more capable than certain weaker members of the London team....yes I'm saying members as its not just the 1 who needs improvement).

Baffles me how someone so UTV obsessed takes the username of the company that effectively bought them out.

UTV were far from "gold standard" when it came to continuity - even in the early days of TV Forum their in-vision efforts especially seemed dated, and you seem to be very much the lone voice in appreciating the old fashioned style of traditional UTV continuity.

As for your insistence they should be kept on by ITV shifting half of network continuity to Belfast and axing a couple of people from London - do you even read what you post? That is as likely and practical as deciding all scenes in the Rovers on Coronation Street should be filmed in a Belfast pub.

It also baffles me why so many who are not from the UTV region took so much delight in the removal of 'dated' Julian and Gillian. I genuinely believe there is so much love for them from the N.I. viewer.

I’m not sure people are taking delight

I think most people think Julian had a good innings. He lasted the best part of 20 years longer than his counterparts in England, and he’s also in his 60s, so the idea of ITV changing their back end infrastructure to accommodate someone who would be retiring in a few years anyway is pretty unrealistic
Last edited by Andrew on 21 January 2021 8:58pm
This Is Granada
ITV's due care and attention when it comes to UTV is just shocking (for such a massive company)....yes I know they're probably running on less staff at the moment and all that but still this is the biggest commercial broadcaster in the country we're talking about and not one of those cheapo local freeview channels which can get away with poor standards.

Not only all these constant continuity mistakes, after tonights UTV Life they played a promo for next week's episode of the "Tonight Programme: Going Green, Save Money" telling us it's next Thursday at 7:30pm. Well as we all know the Tonight programme is shifted to 23:10 on UTV next week due to UTV Life being on a Thursday at 7:30.

Had UTV still been branded as UTV, this mistake wouldn't have happened as they wouldn't have made a promo with the UTV Logo on for the Tonight programme being advertised as 7:30pm.

Yes this is ITV's playout error for showing us a promo not relevant to us...but when you add up all these mistakes that keep creeping up on UTV, it doesn't look good and just shows how little ITV care about N.I. viewers. Maybe I should stop caring too?
All sounding rather reminiscent of YTV in the '90s.
This Is Granada
And yet again after The Martin Lewis Money Show they show the promo for Going Green, Save Money which is not being shown next Thursday at 7:30 in my region! Rolling Eyes

How can they get away with such s**t due care and attention for us N.I. viewers?
I think you should make the most of your opportunity for daily exercise
ITV's due care and attention when it comes to UTV is just shocking (for such a massive company)....


Actually, speaking as someone from UTV land, I find the overall presentation of the channel has been significantly enhanced since the takeover by ITV plc.

The playout arrangement for the main channel is probably the most complex of any UK channel. The odd error here and there is to be expected.

I'd say the period of UTV branding of idents and all trails in the ITV plc era took quite a bit of effort from ITV playout. And I have nothing but admiration for them for how polished the continuity elements looked on air. Errors were rare.

As others have said, there are very sound business reasons for the consolidation of playout services. ITV is a business. If I were looking at the hard facts - most notably, there was no negative impact on UTV ratings as a result of the introduction of network continuity - I'd have to question the logic of continuing with special playout arrangements for UTV. Particularly at a time when revenues are down. Whether you like it or not - ITV is about ratings and revenues.

As for the Julian/Gillian discussion - Julian had a very good innings. His 'Coronation Street' announcements were not universally enjoyed by everyone in NI. Away from those announcements, his scripts were rather "safe"/somewhat bland, and had been for many years. I'd also say he lost what "presence" he had when IVC ceased.

There are people on here who feel such comments are nasty/personal. Unfortunately, life sometimes isn't all nice, pretty and simple. There are sometimes hard facts that need to be faced. If you were running a company and the money was coming out of your pocket, I'm sure you would want to make sure that the people working for you were always putting in their best effort.

And if people are averse to criticism - here's a quick pointer: don't choose a career in broadcasting, where your performance at work is viewed by - and invariably open to the judgement of - the masses. It goes with the territory. That said, I do not condone the hateful, disgraceful and completely unconstructive comments that often appear on social media.

I'm sure Julian is a perfectly nice chap and I wish him well in his retirement. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from him.

As for Gillian - her style was more modern and not unlike what we'd hear on some national channels - but she still had a local touch. Sad that she's been a casualty of the streamlining - but, as I say, this happens in business, and many of us have been through this type of thing.

Times and technology change. We all have to move on. There was an inevitability about the move to network continuity in NI. However, even if you are of the school of thought that this was always on the cards, ITV allowed for a decent and well executed transition period of UTV branding.

And yes, there are a number of questionable voiceover talents that are popping up as national voices on various channels. Marketing people largely make these decisions now. Trends and styles change yes - but there are some underlying standards that need to be adhered to and enforced...else, we're on a very slippery slope.
Araminta Kane
Agree with most of that, but not the inference that people outside cities somehow need to be "protected" from MLE/MYE (or influenced) voices.

Few things in life enrage me more than the claims, often by people *in* cities, to speak for me on that front. I've lived in Dorset for over a quarter of a century, and such rhetoric is not in my name, any more than pro-hunting rhetoric is.

Beyond that, you have given a good fisking to "This is Granada"'s endless references back to a cause which is as lost as these things can be (the impact Corbyn had on Sky's increase in original production and launch of more PSB-focused channels is as good as we'll get).
Cold Open
Agree with most of that, but not the inference that people outside cities somehow need to be "protected" from MLE/MYE (or influenced) voices.

What the blithering flip does "MLE/MYE" mean?
Agree with most of that, but not the inference that people outside cities somehow need to be "protected" from MLE/MYE (or influenced) voices.

You are picking up an "inference" that is not there.

Accents, race or anything along those lines have absolutely nothing to do with the point I was making.

As with many jobs, there are pre-requisites. Voiceovers should be no different.

My point is more about the fundamentals of voiceovers - think: pace; clarity; pitch; tone; accentuation; understand what you're reading; reading fluency; being conversational; have a good general knowledge; if you're providing regional continuity, know the basics about the regional programmes etc.

I'm hearing more and more examples where these basics are missing.
Last edited by MMcG198 on 21 January 2021 10:52pm
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