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Steve Williams2,711 posts since 1 Aug 2008
When was the last major television strike to genuinely have an effect on the schedule? I don't think there's any terrestrial channels that have gone off entirely since the 80s, but there was a noticeable one on the BBC as recently as 1994 when a few news programmes had to be replaced with random films and repeats.


That strike on 5th April 1984 was the last time any channel has had to go off air completely, and since then they've always managed to keep broadcasting, even in the very early days of the TV-am dispute, even if that's entirely with films and repeats.

There were a couple of strikes in 1994 which was probably the last time there was a really noticeable effect on the schedules in that most live shows got dropped completely, like Breakfast News and Newsround, and programme production was affected, so you would have noticed it. Whereas now things look a bit weird but if you weren't really paying attention you might not notice. You'd certainly not have got a three hour Breakfast (I know it's not like the usual Breakfast, but it's on air) or The One Show or anything like that before the mid-nineties, I'd have thought.
Si-Co2,122 posts since 2 Oct 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
When was the last major television strike to genuinely have an effect on the schedule? I don't think there's any terrestrial channels that have gone off entirely since the 80s, but there was a noticeable one on the BBC as recently as 1994 when a few news programmes had to be replaced with random films and repeats.


That strike on 5th April 1984 was the last time any channel has had to go off air completely, and since then they've always managed to keep broadcasting, even in the very early days of the TV-am dispute, even if that's entirely with films and repeats.


Actually, industrial action took Tyne Tees Television off the air for a full day on Friday 24th August 1985. Further interruptions were planned for September but did not go ahead.
Cut out the coupon in your TV Times!
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Ne1L C911 posts since 11 Sep 2011
When was the last major television strike to genuinely have an effect on the schedule? I don't think there's any terrestrial channels that have gone off entirely since the 80s, but there was a noticeable one on the BBC as recently as 1994 when a few news programmes had to be replaced with random films and repeats.


That strike on 5th April 1984 was the last time any channel has had to go off air completely, and since then they've always managed to keep broadcasting, even in the very early days of the TV-am dispute, even if that's entirely with films and repeats.

There were a couple of strikes in 1994 which was probably the last time there was a really noticeable effect on the schedules in that most live shows got dropped completely, like Breakfast News and Newsround, and programme production was affected, so you would have noticed it. Whereas now things look a bit weird but if you weren't really paying attention you might not notice. You'd certainly not have got a three hour Breakfast (I know it's not like the usual Breakfast, but it's on air) or The One Show or anything like that before the mid-nineties, I'd have thought.



A quick question. On the documentary "A Storm In A Teacup" there was a clip of TV-AM (featuring a very young Anna Walker)where Richard Keys introduced the news from Sam Hall in Washington and Gordon Honeycombe in London. Was that due to the strike?
Steve Williams2,711 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Actually, industrial action took Tyne Tees Television off the air for a full day on Friday 24th August 1985. Further interruptions were planned for September but did not go ahead.


Doh, and of course Thames were off air completely for a day or two before the management service began in 1984. So ignore that.

A quick question. On the documentary "A Storm In A Teacup" there was a clip of TV-AM (featuring a very young Anna Walker)where Richard Keys introduced the news from Sam Hall in Washington and Gordon Honeycombe in London. Was that due to the strike?


For ages I had most of TV-am from 1st February 1988 on an old tape - I was able to date it precisely as they mention throughout its their fifth anniversary, and the person I acquired it from had taped most of the morning to catch an interview with Michael York - and they do that dual-hosted news at 9am on that morning as well. The UK bit is a straight read by Gordon but the US bit has some reports in it. I don't know if it was anything to do with the strike, presumably it was convenient to get more stuff on screen without having to go through Camden Lock. Of course, around the same time they also did a week of shows from Australia, to mark the bicentenary, which also presumably had the happy side-effect of getting them away from the strike.
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JKDerry1,588 posts since 15 Oct 2016
UTV Newsline
To be a bit picky the 1987/1988 TV-am industrial dispute was not a strike as such. There was a one day strike done by the union ACTT on Monday 23rd November 1987, and they were are expecting to return to work the following day, however TV-am MD Bruce Gyngell decided that anyone who went out on strike on that day would never return, and on the following morning he locked them all out.

The ensuing debacle was not a strike, as the workers were all willing to come back in, however they were locked out, as Gyngell had enough of the power of the ACTT union and wanted to teach them a lesson, which he did.

The first week or so without the main staff saw TV-am really reduced to showing non stop cartoons, Flipper, Batman, Happy Days, literally anything they could get to fill the three and half hours, alongside studio links and the odd news headlines with no video reports.

Gradually by December 1988 they managed to coax a number of main staff back who broke the picket line, and they produced a reduced version of Good Morning Britain from 8.00am, with the remainder of the morning the usual bag of cartoons and US imports, mashed together with repeats of interviews and segments they had in their archive.

Gradually too the TV-am newsroom could provide more news coverage, with access to certain news agency reports and videos from other sources.

All this led to Gyngell sacking the 200 or so ACTT members by the Spring of 1988 and hiring non-union staff from UK and Australia. Gyngell won, and the unions knew that their stranglehold on ITV was over. No more 1979 style strikes.
Ne1L C911 posts since 11 Sep 2011
To be a bit picky the 1987/1988 TV-am industrial dispute was not a strike as such. There was a one day strike done by the union ACTT on Monday 23rd November 1987, and they were are expecting to return to work the following day, however TV-am MD Bruce Gyngell decided that anyone who went out on strike on that day would never return, and on the following morning he locked them all out.

The ensuing debacle was not a strike, as the workers were all willing to come back in, however they were locked out, as Gyngell had enough of the power of the ACTT union and wanted to teach them a lesson, which he did.

The first week or so without the main staff saw TV-am really reduced to showing non stop cartoons, Flipper, Batman, Happy Days, literally anything they could get to fill the three and half hours, alongside studio links and the odd news headlines with no video reports.

Gradually by December 1988 they managed to coax a number of main staff back who broke the picket line, and they produced a reduced version of Good Morning Britain from 8.00am, with the remainder of the morning the usual bag of cartoons and US imports, mashed together with repeats of interviews and segments they had in their archive.

Gradually too the TV-am newsroom could provide more news coverage, with access to certain news agency reports and videos from other sources.

All this led to Gyngell sacking the 200 or so ACTT members by the Spring of 1988 and hiring non-union staff from UK and Australia. Gyngell won, and the unions knew that their stranglehold on ITV was over. No more 1979 style strikes.



In the book "Morning Glory" part of the strike service was an interview at 8.30 by Anne Diamond. She slept in the house TVAM had on the premises. (Does anyone know anything about that house?)
Neil Jones5,245 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
In the book "Morning Glory" part of the strike service was an interview at 8.30 by Anne Diamond. She slept in the house TVAM had on the premises. (Does anyone know anything about that house?)


Surely a "house" or sleeping quarters or somewhere like that is an emergency measure such as if we have heavy snowfall forecast or something that there is somebody available to get the programme on air? It's probably no more than a bedsit.

In fact I dare say the 1987 storms could have qualified as well for that purpose, although the fact it knocked out Camden Lock at the time and they had to run off down the road to Thames to get on air at all before 7am sort of negated any benefit that would have had.