You can see the “ITV Clocks” VT
clock in action at the start of this video (take no notice of the content that follows - I just placed a recording of the clock at the start of that video compilation). It was recorded from Channel 4 in 1987, and appeared at the start of an ad break that was obviously mis-cued/mis-timed and the ads followed it, causing a late opt back to the C4 feed. I’m surprised it says ITV rather than Channel 4, as I saw the “Channel 4 Clocks” one on the monitors in the C4 area at City Road.
The Channel 4 area was quite distant from the main gallery and the carts/VTs of the various ad-breaks lined the wall beside the kit and monitors. Over in the gallery, a bank of four monitors showed Channel 4’s feed - from memory three showed a clean feed (with break captions) and one showed the “finished product” complete with ads (or it may have been the other way round with one clean feed and three containing ads). I’ve no idea why four were used - if three monitors showed the version with ads perhaps two were off-air from the transmitters? I remember an off-air monitor showing ITV/Tyne Tees, but I don’t think there was a Bilsdale version, just Pontop, despite there being news opts and some alternative programmes on Bilsdale.
On that note, how would Bilsdale’s alternative programming get to air? Would live news programmes from the Middlesbrough studio pass through City Road or be fed straight to Bilsdale? And where was the opt out controlled from?
Cut out the coupon in your TV Times!