A question regarding Bullseye

(February 2016)

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Larry the Loafer
As many of us probably know, Jim Bowen would commonly introduce contestants on Bullseye by telling us what ITV region they were from, rather than where they actually lived. I read somewhere that this was done to "promote" the ITV network.

Recently, a post somewhere on this forum (I can't find it) reiterated to somebody that the ITV companies were very much competitors rather than a collective. So this undermines what I initially read, particularly when I've just seen an episode on Challenge where Jim had a brief chat with a contestant from "the Yorkshire Television area" and how he was also able to receive Central.

Was Central too "young" to be hostile towards the other companies or was there another reason they insistently referred to a contestant's hometown by their ITV region?

21 days later

I always find it amusing that a programme that was shown on a Sunday night introduced London based contestants as being from Thames and not LWT.

As to your query, I wouldn't read too much into it. ITV companies were competitors in the same way railway companies are. They serve/d different parts of the network but ultimately there was just one ITV, as there is just one railway. If you're travelling London to Newcastle you can't use GWR, just as if you live in Leeds you can't really watch HTV. Crossborder areas aren't really hotbeds of competition as you either go with your strongest signal or the more relevant local news to you - i.e. I used to get a stronger signal from Mendip in my last home even though I live west of the dyke. Railway companies can sell tickets for journeys on other networks, and have an obligation to sell the best ticket available for the journey regardless of operator. ITV companies may have been competitors in the commissioning and advertising stakes, but their real competitors were the BBC. Just like railway's real competitors are National Express, Megabus, airlines and ferries.
Neil Jones Founding member
More likely just to do something different, as opposed to the traditional way of "please welcome Fred and Daphne from Norwich", it's more interesting to say "all the way from Anglia, please welcome Fred and Daphne".

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