The Guardian’s London Staff report that commercial television’s first night will begin at Guildhall and “will be graced by the presence of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Lord Mayor of London, the Postmaster-General and Sir John Barbirolli with his orchestra. The Hallé will play Elgar’s ‘Cockaigne’ and ‘God Save the Queen’, the Lord Mayor will make a speech and then the programme proper will begin.”
The remainder of the evening will continue as follows: “From Guildhall the viewers will be taken to Wood Green Empire for a variety show; next will be a programme in which some of our greatest actors and actresses will give excerpts from their favourite plays. The list is: John Gielgud, Edith Evans, Pamela Brown, Alec Guinness, John Clements and Kay Hammond. Next comes a championship boxing match between Terence Murphy and Lou Lazer (which will last for fifty-minutes if there is not a quick knock-out), a news bulletin, a cabaret, trailers of the next day’s programmes and a religious epilogue. All the normal advertisements will be carried (none from Guildhall) and the proceeds will go to charities chosen by the Lord Mayor.
The Guardian also reports on what it considers to be a positive influence of television: more “serious” books are being borrowed from libraries. A result of Animal – Vegetable – Mineral is that archaeology is now “extremely popular” with borrowers at Manchester Central Library. Nottingham Library has also witnessed a steady rise in the numbers of “books other than novels” borrowed during the last five years. The same report also records that: “those who are encouraged to become television ‘stars’ also seek the help of the libraries. So many young people recently went to Manchester Central Library in preparation for a BBC audition they they hoped to take part in that the library staff had to gather them together in an alcove and make them share the limited number of books available.”
Associated-Rediffusion has weighed in on the debate about the 14-day rule. While not suggesting that they will break it, one of The Guardian’s London correspondents was told “that every time [A-R’s] contributors – on the news side, naturally, rather than among the entertainers – are compelled to skirt round an important issue because of the Postmaster-General’s ukase a clear announcement will be made. The public will be told repeatedly when matters of public interest may not be discussed on television.”
The Times carries the news that the BBC television has announced plans for television broadcasts from Ireland, before the end of the year. The BBC engineers “plan to transmit the programmes in Ireland by microwave links to the Divis transmitter and thence to a point on he mainland. From there they would be carried by microwave to Kirk o’Shotts for onward transmission.” Testing will commence in early September.
Today’s Times comes with a 24-page Radio and Television supplement to tie in with the National Radio Show at Earls Court which will run from 24 August to 3 September. There’s much to digest in here so I’ll go through its contents over the next few days, but with around half of the pages consisting of advertisements, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at some of the television sets which are presently available. All of these are advertised in the supplement, though some of the information has had to be gleaned from elsewhere. I haven’t yet worked out what proportion of sets currently available to buy are listed here. A few further notes follow the table.
|Ferguson||New Standard 998||12||49||Table|
|Ferguson||New Standard 204||14||63||Table|
|Ferguson||Nine Star 203T||14||67||Table|
|Ferguson||New Standard 206||17||73||Table|
|Ferguson||Nine Star 205T||17||77||Table|
|Ferguson||New Standard 244 (HL)||14||88||Console/Doors|
|Ferguson||Nine Star 235T (HL)||17||94||Console|
|Ferguson||New Standard (HL)||17||100||Console|
|Ferguson||Nine Star 245T (HL)||17||105||Console/Doors|
|Ferguson||Nine Star 247 (HL)||21||135||Console|
Ferguson produce a bewildering number of variations with 14″ and 17″ tubes in table-top, console and doored-console versions. Cross these six combinations with two ranges – New Standard for those living where reception is good, and Nine Star for those in more troublesome areas – and add to that the fact that most (and possibly all) console/doored-console sets can be bought with or without Ferguson’s HaloLight surround which is supposed to improve clarity of the picture and you get somewhere in the region of 20 models before any 21″ sets are brought into consideration. Only combinations which are explicitly mentioned in their advertisement(s) are listed here.