The world of British television off and on the screen, as it was sixty years ago.

Zoo Times

The Times reports on “a joint announcement in London last night” about the plans the of Zoological Society of London and Granada Television to set up a permanent television unit at London Zoo. This introduction seems curious as The Times reported just such an announcement six days ago. Nevertheless, today’s paper does carry some additional information. In particular, with regard to access the material, Dr L Harrison Matthews said that it would obviously be wrong for them to grant exclusive rights to just one company, and equally impossible to have numerous companies working at the Zoo at the same time. Mr Sidney Bernstein, chairman and managing director of Granada Television was reported as saying that films would be shot in colour, against the day when colour television became practicable.

The Guardian also carries this story and notes that news items recorded by the film unit “would be generally released to all television groups” while “the BBC will still be able to make a number of television programmes of its own. Granada will have first option on television material but will go on to the market in the ordinary way.”

The Daily Mirror Disc Festival “one of the highlights of the show business year” (it says here) “is coming to your fireside.” That’s right, the Festival, which takes place at the London Palladium on Sunday 13 November is to be televised and the Mirror is awarding more than 1,000 tickets to people who vote using the coupon in today’s paper before 20 October. The programme is being shown by ITV, meaning that people outside London and the south-east won’t have the opportunity of watching it at home, so plenty of demand for tickets is expected.

The Guardian‘s Radio Critic (RC) is still watching the BBC’s afternoon programmes and considers the BBC’s view of women’s interests to be too narrow. RC writes, “The women’s programmes in BBC television deal best with home, management, cooking, furnishing, clothes, health and children,” RC goes on, “But there seems to be a lack of programmes with a wider interest; are women not supposed to be interested in politics, travel, books, or just people – apart from other women? Now that there are regular programmes for five days of the week, it is taking rather a narrow view to confine them so much to home, family and fashion.”

For the programmes themselves, RC finds that Family Affairs “had a sensible inquiry into the habit of thumb-sucking in children.  One was glad to see that both the dentist and the psychologist were reassuring.” Referring to a two items – one “showing new clothes for the under-eights” and another “demonstrating new fashions in shoes, on Tuesday” – RC reckons that “nobody in television seems to have realised that words like ‘gay’, ‘exciting’ and ‘dressy’, which seem perfectly all right in the glossy magazines, sound absolutely all wrong when spoken on the screen.”

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