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Steve in Pudsey10,256 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
It's a fair answer though to be fair. The implication that political journalists shouldn't have any views of their own (as opposed to broadcasting their own views) is ridiculous; I'd go so far as to say that anybody who is sufficiently interested enough in politics to pursue a career in reporting it is almost guaranteed to have some quite strong political views.
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Steve in Pudsey10,256 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
By the way - anybody know how they got the computer generated graphics to look so good? The full screen graphics for each constituency result look very similar to the Letraset on cardboard graphics of the day (but are animated and clearly computer generated) - a world away from the early caption generators.
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JKDerry1,887 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
London and the South East were always treated poorly by the BBC in terms of regional news in the 70s and 80s. The 1979 election, like others shows that London and the South East remained with Dimbleby in Television Centre whilst the rest of the UK got their own regional opt out.

Happened similar in 1983, with Laurie Meyer presenting the London/SE output from a side set adjacent to the main Television Centre set.

I think it was from 1987 onward that London/SE got a proper opt out.
London Lite10,671 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
London and the South East were always treated poorly by the BBC in terms of regional news in the 70s and 80s. The 1979 election, like others shows that London and the South East remained with Dimbleby in Television Centre whilst the rest of the UK got their own regional opt out.

Happened similar in 1983, with Laurie Meyer presenting the London/SE output from a side set adjacent to the main Television Centre set.

I think it was from 1987 onward that London/SE got a proper opt out.


London Plus launched in 1984, which was the first proper attempt at local news for the former South East region. I believe they moved to Elstree in 1989 with the launch of Newsroom South East.
JKDerry1,887 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
London and the South East were always treated poorly by the BBC in terms of regional news in the 70s and 80s. The 1979 election, like others shows that London and the South East remained with Dimbleby in Television Centre whilst the rest of the UK got their own regional opt out.

Happened similar in 1983, with Laurie Meyer presenting the London/SE output from a side set adjacent to the main Television Centre set.

I think it was from 1987 onward that London/SE got a proper opt out.


London Plus launched in 1984, which was the first proper attempt at local news for the former South East region. I believe they moved to Elstree in 1989 with the launch of Newsroom South East.

That is right. So in 1979 it was left to David Dimbleby and others in Television Centre to cover whilst the rest of the UK went for their opt out.

The silence when they are waiting for the rest of the regions to return is awkward.
JKDerry1,887 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
The SE did get some dedicated coverage during the Breakfast spot (which was largely fronted by Nationwide personnel), fronted by John Stapleton.

Not sure that the silence is any more awkward than the one at the start of network news as seen on the News Channel these days.

Nationwide presenters delivered the regional news for London and SE at this time in 1979 so it would be no surprise to see them provide the London news output too.

Strange that London and SE was the only region of the BBC to not have a dedicated regional news, even in 1979.
Steve Williams2,804 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Last time BBC Parliament aired the 1979 election did they air the news bulletin that went out at 9:30pm that night? It's on air now.


They've always shown the news bulletin before it, presumably because they cut to the election studio during it and link directly to it, it was on the mastertape - whereas in other elections they've not had the news bulletins, presumably as they came through continuity. When they first showed this election in 2002 I was absolutely fascinated by the whole thing and so I know the news bulletin more or less off by heart ("the terrorists, fifteen in number, including three girls").

I'm assuming they've edited out for where they opt out to the region's?

They threw to the region's about 20 minutes ago but stayed in the Election studio before returning via a hard cut which I can only assuming was the throwback to the studio...


They haven't edited out any of the opts given that, as mentioned, they carried on during the opts for London (and Nothern Ireland overnight). Any wonky cuts are likely to be thanks to original clunky 1979 technology.

That is right. So in 1979 it was left to David Dimbleby and others in Television Centre to cover whilst the rest of the UK went for their opt out.

The silence when they are waiting for the rest of the regions to return is awkward.


This was the case for every election in the seventies, in October 1974 Sue Lawley is promoted as the new face for the election and appears in the titles, and then more or less only does the London opts so most viewers will have wondered where the hell she was. It was very much the network programme just carried on and the regions opted out, rather than the programme actually stopping.

Of course, this election was considered a bit of a disaster for the Beeb at the time, missing the first two results and then buggering off for Play School before Thatcher arrived at number ten, and ITN were considered to be superior by every measure - as Stilgoe seems to refer to in his song. But obviously it's great fun.
Markymark7,063 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today


Of course, this election was considered a bit of a disaster for the Beeb at the time, missing the first two results and then buggering off for Play School before Thatcher arrived at number ten, and ITN were considered to be superior by every measure - as Stilgoe seems to refer to in his song. But obviously it's great fun.


ITN/ITV were vastly superior, ITN were at the top of their game late 70s/early 80s.

I remember coming home from school just in time to see Mrs T arrive at No 10. You’re right I think, BBC 1 was showing Play School, BBC 2 had the test card, only ITV was covering it live.

Just now I spotted Jon Snow rehearsing ( or live reporting) at Downing St behind the BBC’s Micheal Cockerel

It’s a shame we can’t see re runs of ITN election programmes
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Steve in Pudsey10,256 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
They've always shown the news bulletin before it, presumably because they cut to the election studio during it and link directly to it, it was on the mastertape - whereas in other elections they've not had the news bulletins, presumably as they came through continuity. When they first showed this election in 2002 I was absolutely fascinated by the whole thing and so I know the news bulletin more or less off by heart ("the terrorists, fifteen in number, including three girls").


This one included the clock and continuity announcement before the news, so it would have to be a recording of pres output rather than studio output?
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