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SW
Steve Williams
Yes that will presumably be the month long strike later in the year when management took over operations and there was no networking - Thames only broadcast what it had in its vaults, and the rest of the country had to fill the gaps left by a lack of Thames programmes


Here's a brilliant article by the great Gary Rodger about that Thames strike, which is fascinating - http://thames.today/carry-on-euston

As mentioned, Thames could only show Thames programmes, although that did include some scheduled programmes, which all the other regions had to show several weeks or months later. As you say, the only Thames programme that was networked during this period was TV Eye about Ethiopia, as it was considered of particular importance than it went out, after a request by several charities that they were relying on it to generate donations. The article points out, though, this involved making two copies of the programme, one for Thames to play out and another one for the rest of the network, so nobody had to break the strike to do it.

As for that industrial dispute up there, funnily enough I have seen elsewhere an clip of the Nine O'Clock News on BBC1 not being able to go out and replaced by a similar caption - which said that the next programme would be the drama Diana. That went out on Thursdays in January 1984, so I wonder if it's the same night as this dispute and it was some kind of action with the NUJ affecting both BBC News and TV Eye, though seemingly not ITN.
DE88, nwtv2003 and Inspector Sands gave kudos
SC
Si-Co
According to comments on the YouTube upload, the ACTT pulled the plug on TV Eye when Thames refused to renew a member’s contract after a dispute over expenses. I expect the other regions filled the slot with something they had on their shelves such as an American comedy or a locally-produced documentary. What would be the reason Thames couldn’t do something similar, and had to revert to an apology caption? Would the union have stopped a standby programme from being played out?
SP
Steve in Pudsey
That's a strange one. From what Tony Currie has said, the IBA would usually take over and originate captions in a strike situation rather than the contractor doing so. Perhaps because the pres dept at Thames seemed to still be in control of output and were sending something up to the line to Croydon that was more informative than what the IBA would have provided they let it go?
IS
Inspector Sands
Si-Co posted:
According to comments on the YouTube upload, the ACTT pulled the plug on TV Eye when Thames refused to renew a member’s contract after a dispute over expenses. I expect the other regions filled the slot with something they had on their shelves such as an American comedy or a locally-produced documentary. What would be the reason Thames couldn’t do something similar, and had to revert to an apology caption? Would the union have stopped a standby programme from being played out?

Thames wouldn't have been able to play a replacement as the technicians who were in dispute would have had to have played that programme too. As for the other regions, yes, the dispute was just at Thames so they'd be free to fill the gap as they liked, although AIUI they all had to do their own thing, they couldn't all take the same replacement programme..... as described in Steve's link above about the strike later in the year

That's a strange one. From what Tony Currie has said, the IBA would usually take over and originate captions in a strike situation rather than the contractor doing so. Perhaps because the pres dept at Thames seemed to still be in control of output and were sending something up to the line to Croydon that was more informative than what the IBA would have provided they let it go?

Yes, it looks like it was just a programme being taken off air rather than the actual output of the station so I don't see why the IBA would take over. Again, as shown in the link about the August and October strikes, that is what happened then, but in that case the station was off air, there was no-one there to put anything out
IS
Inspector Sands
From 35 years ago this week, an example of one of those things the BBC used to do all the time that I'd totally forgotten about - the announcer introducing a drama with a recap of the story so far.

BU
buster
From 35 years ago this week, an example of one of those things the BBC used to do all the time that I'd totally forgotten about - the announcer introducing a drama with a recap of the story so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrOa3b_zgHA


When did this practice end? I've got the start of an episode of the short-lived soap "Castles" from 1995 on VHS where the announcer runs through a few plot points over the globe, though I think this was because it wasn't doing very well and they wanted to get anyone tuning in for the first time up to speed.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member
I don't recall such a thing happening in the Balloons era, but if the recaps were done over the globe previously, then that suggests the VT for the balloons would have to be quite long. Where the "clean" copies have surfaced they're all your standard 30 ish seconds long, so it may be safe to assume the practice had stopped by 1997.
RD
RDJ
Something you’d never see nowadays, and that’s not just because HTV isn’t a region anymore....
T4 rating the fashion styles of female ITV Weather Presenters.

SW
Steve Williams
From 35 years ago this week, an example of one of those things the BBC used to do all the time that I'd totally forgotten about - the announcer introducing a drama with a recap of the story so far.


The other interesting thing about that clip is the announcement regarding Les and Dustin's Laughter Show, as after they'd shown one episode of this series, Dustin Gee died (one of the first famous people I remember dying) and they postponed the rest of the series for two weeks as a mark of respect, although as they say there, they did then show the rest of the series posthumously, presumably with his family's permission.

As you can see, they replaced it with Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, which funnily enough had also replaced the first series because, as you can see in Genome, while it was supposed to start in March 1984, it was actually delayed and didn't begin until April, with Some Mothers filling the gap - https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/search/0/20?order=asc&q=%22the+laughter+show%22#search The reason for this, I believe, is because it coincided with the scene shifters' strike at the Beeb (the one that exiled Pops to that Broom Cupboard-style studio for a few weeks) so presumably they couldn't finish it in time.

I know that there was also an episode of The Laughter Show that had to be completely remade, because they decided to have one camera recording a wide shot of the stage throughout to make it easier to edit, and then when it finished it turned out they'd accidentally recorded that camera's output straight to the mastertape and nothing else, so they had to do the whole thing again. The whole show sounds absolutely cursed.
SC
Si-Co
Si-Co posted:
According to comments on the YouTube upload, the ACTT pulled the plug on TV Eye when Thames refused to renew a member’s contract after a dispute over expenses. I expect the other regions filled the slot with something they had on their shelves such as an American comedy or a locally-produced documentary. What would be the reason Thames couldn’t do something similar, and had to revert to an apology caption? Would the union have stopped a standby programme from being played out?

Thames wouldn't have been able to play a replacement as the technicians who were in dispute would have had to have played that programme too. As for the other regions, yes, the dispute was just at Thames so they'd be free to fill the gap as they liked, although AIUI they all had to do their own thing, they couldn't all take the same replacement programme..... as described in Steve's link above about the strike later in the year


I wonder if Channel Television was included in this ruling, or if they were given special dispensation to take TSW’s replacement programming? Certainly during the longer Thames disputes, there were a lot of gaps in the schedule to fill, and I’m not sure what formats CTV could play out? That said, they managed very well during the 1979 blackout. [EDITED TO ADD: It appears from the excellent article shared above, that Channel did screen the replacement programming from TSW.]

Also, as we’ve mentioned before, Thames continued to screen imported soaps like Sons and Daughters as part of its management-run emergency schedule. Anglia and Tyne Tees, who normally screened these via the Thames feed, evidently sourced copies to play out themselves so they didn’t fall too far behind. In this instance, would Anglia have been allowed to feed the shows to Tyne Tees, or vice versa?
Last edited by Si-Co on 14 January 2021 6:13pm
IS
Inspector Sands
I don't recall such a thing happening in the Balloons era, but if the recaps were done over the globe previously, then that suggests the VT for the balloons would have to be quite long. Where the "clean" copies have surfaced they're all your standard 30 ish seconds long, so it may be safe to assume the practice had stopped by 1997.

Yes once the idents became clips rather than loops or stills it couldn't be done over the ident, so 1991 in the case of BBC2.

In the case of the above example I suspect that ended when the channels moved out of the old manual presentation area. Until then the announcer had a slide store to do that sort of sequence but not when they moved into the automated suites in 1995.

It doesn't mean it wasn't possible at all, but the pictures would have had to have been edited together and played from tape which isn't really as good or as flexible as just reading to stills. It's also something that would have become not pres's responsibility, when I was there they were just playing out items not making them, a programme or other item had to be complete and ready to TX, programmes couldn't just give them bits or expect them to do any tweaking or assembling
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 15 January 2021 7:52am
CH
channel4squares1
A rare occurrence when Central swaps an entire advert break for something else. Not sure how often this has happened but much better than a follows shortly slide with music. (from 4:00 if it doesn't autostart from that point.

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