A couple of links : www.british-tv-history.co.uk is an excellent site whose url pretty much says it all.The bits about the introduction of colour are particularly interesting.And if you waited a long time to be able to pick up CH.5,
then you'll either find it comforting or wonder why nothing much has changed in 35 years.
And if you just want a flavour of all things 60's,then try the Sixties City site for size. Click on the logo.
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley Classic BBC kid's animation by Michael Bond
On this page..... The 2 series first hit the screens in 1968 and 70 respectively.And this page takes a brief look at the tv landscape back then.
I'm also sourcing other stuff to give a more general flavour of the years concerned. So more soon hopefully.
A BRIEF 1968 TV OVERVIEW- There were only 3 channels of course.No Channel 4,Channel 5,Satellite or Cable. There were no colour programmes on BBC1 & 2 and ITV was only phasing them in gradually.And even that was presuming you had a colour tv in 1968 and lived in an area that could pick it up-which many people still didn't.
24 hour broadcasting was light years away.BBC1 had no breakfast or morning programming at all,except for schools programmes and closed down around midnight.And BBC2 was basically an evening-only service,with the curious exception of Play School on weekday mid-mornings.
Here's the cover of the February 10-16,1968 issue,which lists the first ever episode of The Herbs on Monday the 12th.
Plus a small introductory article on page 19.Which is hardly a fanfare,but not bad for a little Watch With Mother programme
A BRIEF 1970 TV OVERVIEW- Well,basically it's very much "as you were" from 1968,except that colour had finally come to BBC1 in the autumn of 1969.But colour programming for all 3 channels still wasn't universal and the roll-out of both colour sets and the transmitters to feed them was still very much ongoing.....and slow.
And here are just a few of the faces appearing inside the mag,because they featured on either BBC TV or radio that particular week.I'm not sure what age you have to be to know them all.But,from left to right,there's Tony Booth,Lulu, Dudley Moore,Jack Warner,Eric Porter,Frankie Vaughan,Brian Blessed and the "heart-throbs of Radio 1" mentioned on the bottom of the cover,Jimmy Young and Tony Blackburn. But you probably knew all that anyway.
But they were for the grown-ups to enjoy (or endure)
And the pre-school brigade had their usual full week of Watch With Mother programmes ..........
Monday - The Herbs Tuesday - Camberwick Green Wednesday - Bizzy Lizzy Thursday - Pogles Wood Friday - Joe
For anyone who may have forgotten.........
Pogles Wood was an early effort by the creators of Bagpuss and The Clangers.Also produced using 3d stop motion animation,but only shot in black and white,which obviously hasn't done it any favours with regard to re-runs and re-releases.But several episodes did make it onto VHS and it's widely admired even now as well as being very fondly remembered by those lucky enough to see it at the time.Not that you'd expect anything less from Postgate & Firmin.
Joe was devised and written by Alison Prince who also co-wrote the scripts for Trumpton with Gordon Murray.
Filmed using a succession of shots of static storyboards with a storyteller voiceover,it was obviously much cheaper to produce.And it had a big enough following to merit 2 series.But only 1 or 2 episodes have ever made it onto VHS,as part of kids tv compilations.And it's now widely believed most have been lost forever as part of the Beeb's infamous 1970's policy of wiping old footage rather than storing it on,what was then,very expensive video tape.
Another possible "wipe" victim is Bizzy Lizzy -about a young girl who could make wishes come true by touching the flower on the front of her dress.And accompanied in her ensuing adventures by a rather bizarre eskimo friend called Mo.
It only managed one series,and hopes for its survival aren't great,because no episode has ever found its way onto VHS, nevermind dvd.And it was practically stillborn anyway,as one of the last Watch With Mother series to be shot in black & white.And also one of the last (if not thee last) to be filmed using string puppets.So it must've looked positively prehistoric in comparison to contemporaries like The Herbs and Camberwick Grn.
Why Bizzy didn't "wish" for both stop motion and colour in pre-production is anyone's guess,as it would've guaranteed a strong pulse,and a half decent shelf life.But maybe she was just a shy girl at heart.And if she wanted to remain one of the most forgotten chapters in Watch With Mother history,then her wishes clearly came true.
As far as the sequel was concerned,the first ever episode of The Adventures of Parsley was listed in this April 4-10,1970 issue.And I've included a large (clickable) photo of the whole page for Monday the 6th when it made its debut.
Notice there are no programmes on BBC1 before 12.50am.And,apart from Play School,no programmes on BBC2 before 7.30pm.And this was every day back then of course,and not just Monday.
And whilst The Adventures of Parsley series no longer fell under the Watch With Mother banner,W.W.M tots still had these to look forward to that particular week:-
Monday - Mary,Mungo & Midge Tuesday - Pogles Wood Wednesday - Woodentops Thursday - Trumpton Friday - Along the River "a new series of 5 programmes looking at wild creatures in their natural surroundings,narrated by Tony Soper"
A few faces from this issue too.
A couple of ads too.Because,unlike the 1968 issue,they're in colour and give more of a feel of the period.
I wonder what the Sanderson lady's really thinking ?
Probably "Who the hell's going to buy this !"
But a lot of people did of course.In between looking "Radiant"-although maybe not quite this radiant...
Derek Nimmo in "All Gas and Gaiters"....Dick Emery....The Black & White Minstrels (suffice to say,anyone hoping for a revival should probably accept it's unlikely !)....Frankie Howard's "Up Pompeii" in the guise of Elizabeth Larner who played "Ammonia" the wife of "Ludicrous",who was famously played by Michael Hordern in the movie but by somone called Max Adrian in the tv series.And did you know that the tv series was written by Talbot Rothwell,who did the scripts for most of the Carry On films ? ....Next up,a big toothy grin ? No,not a young Janet Street Porter.A very good guess,but she wouldn't be seen dead in that hat.In fact it's one of the Banana Splits.A fast-paced,slapstick show for kids from the U.S,with a troupe of 5 or 6 grown men dressed up in surreal costumes,answering to names like Fleegle,Drooper,Bingo & Snorky
....And,lastly ? Peter Cook ? Well,no.But another good guess.It's actually Johnny Walker.A Radio One "jock" back then,along with the likes of Tony Blackburn, Jimmy Young,Ed Stewart,Dave Lee Travis and even a young Terry Wogan.