Before you go .... 

If this page has whetted your appetite for a bit more 60's style browsing then try the site below

It delves deep into UK pop-culture back then.
And,if you can get your head around the slightly chaotic layout,it's packed with genuinely interesting stuff
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley

On this page ..... A snapshot of UK tv in 1968 & 1970 - with the Radio Times issues that covered each series debut.
UK TV Overview  ...  1968

There were only 3 channels in total -  Just BBC 1,BBC 2 and ITV. 

And that was it ! So you can obviously forget satellite,cable and freeview of course 

There was no home recording .... and .... there were no shop sold recordings.

Why  ?  Because there was no medium available to do it. As these were the days even before something as basic as VHS.

Net Result  ?  You were totally reliant on repeats to see something again.

There were no colour programmes on BBC 1 & 2. 

And whilst ITV was phasing them in gradually,it did still require you to .... buy a new colour tv ..... pay extra for a colour tv license .... and hope the roll-out of new colour transmitters had reached your area.

Forget 24 hour broadcasting too. 

BBC1 had no breakfast or morning programming at all,except for schools programmes.
So it was solely an afternoon and evening service only,which closed down around midnight.

And BBC 2 was even more limited - basically just an evening-only service.

In short,a totally different world. 

And quite hard to actually get your head around now of course.
Quite apart from the fact that the internet and mobile phones were still decades away too !

Below is the cover of the February 10-16,1968 issue

It lists the 1st ever episode of The Herbs on Monday the 12th. With a small article that appeared on page 19.
Oh,and the cover really did have that rather strange hue.It's just how a lot of colour printing often looked back then.

And below are just a few of the faces that featured on either BBC TV or radio that particular week.

I'm not sure what age you have to be to know who they all are.
But,for the record,and anyone curious enough to Google ....

From left to right ....

Tony Booth  ......  Lulu  ......  Dudley Moore  ......  Jack Warner  ......  Eric Porter  ...... Frankie Vaughan  ......  Brian Blessed 

and,finally  ......  Jimmy Young and Tony Blackburn,the "heart-throbs of Radio 1" mentioned on the bottom of the cover.
T​hat was all the adults taken care of.

But the pre-school brigade also had their usual full week of Watch With Mother programmes ....

Monday- The Herbs   TuesdayCamberwick Green   Wednesday- Bizzy Lizzy   Thursday- Pogles Wood   Friday- Joe

Camberwick is very well-documented. But the other 3 Herbs contemporaries not nearly so much .... 

Pogles Wood

An early effort by the creators of Bagpuss and The Clangers,Messrs Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin.
Also produced using 3d stop motion animation,but only shot in black & white.

Something that obviously hasn't done it any favours whatsoever with regard to re-runs and re-releases.
But several episodes did make it onto VHS and it's widely admired and very fondly remembered by those lucky enough to have seen it.


Devised and written by Alison Prince who also co-wrote the scripts for Trumpton with Gordon Murray.
But filmed using a succession of shots of static storyboards with a storyteller voiceover - a much cheaper alternative to the stop motion animation used for both The Herbs and the 3 Trumpton series.

It had a big enough following to merit 2 series.But only 1 or 2 episodes ever made it onto VHS,nevermind dvd.
And it's now widely believed that the vast majority of it has 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.

Bizzy Lizzy

Another possible BBC tape wipe victim,about a young girl who could make wishes come true by touching the flower on the front of her dress.Accompanied,rather bizarrely,by a small eskimo friend called Mo.

It only managed one series and,to my knowledge,no episode even found its way onto VHS,nevermind dvd.
And it was severely hamstrung before it even hit the screens,because ....

1. It was the last Watch With Mother series to be shot solely in black & white.

And,if that wasn't bad enough ....

2. It was also the last BBC children's series to be filmed using string puppets.

So,even at the time,it must've looked positively prehistoric in comparison to stop motion contemporaries like The Herbs, Clangers,Bagpuss,and the 3 Trumptonshire series.

Of course,what Bizzy should have done in pre-production was to touch the flower on her dress and make 3 wishes for stop motion, colour and a "wipe-free" future.
But the fact she didn't means it will always remain as the most forgotten chapter in Watch With Mother history.

Now we move on to 1970 ..... when the Adventures of Parsley first hit the screens.

TV Overview  ...  1970

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.

Below is the cover of the April 4-10,1970 issue.

It lists the first ever episode of The Adventures of Parsley.
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,these were the ones that did in that particular week:-

Monday - Mary,Mungo & Midge                                Tuesday - Pogles Wood                                 Wednesday - Woodentops

Thursday - Trumpton                                                    Friday - Along the River
A few of the faces in this issue too ....
Ms Sanderson ..."Who on earth is going to buy that !"

A miracle nuclear-age washing powder that made clothes glow even in daylight. And kids hair too !
Above - From left to right ....

"Ammonia" from Frankie Howard's "Up Pompeii" series  ......  "Bingo" from "The Banana Splits" - A fast-paced,slapstick kids show from the U.S. ......  And,lastly,Radio One DJ Johnny Walker.
Above - From left to right ....

Derek Nimmo in "All Gas and Gaiters" .... Dick Emery .... and the toe-curlingly inappropriate "Black & White Minstrels" !
And finally  ....

I didn't show any of the adverts from the 1968 issue because they weren't very interesting and none were in colour.
But here are  2 colour examples from 1970 and both very much "of their time" I think.