Archive: Television presentation

Here is the final Eurovision Song Contest clip of the week. This one relates to a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about a disastrous One O’clock News, because this also features the talkback from the director.

Stewart Morris seems to be having a bit of a bad day at the office during the live broadcast of the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest.

There is more about the 1977 broadcast, along with a few other Eurovision Song Contests, in this clip below.

I was reminded of this amazing video of a disastrous edition of the One O’clock News from Christmas 1986. The video contains talkback, so you can hear the director and other activity in the gallery. It’s fascinating and stressful to watch!

It seems to begin well enough, but the first alarm bell is raised during the title sequence when we learn that “the lead story won’t make it”. Then things go from bad to worse.

The director comes close to losing his cool at around minutes 4 and 5, but he soon recovers. Everyone seems to do a good job given the circumstances, apart from Mike seemingly!

It was a baptism of fire for Philip Hayton too. Apparently it was his first time reading the BBC One O’clock News.

Most of this advert is rather slick, but I love the fact that in the final shot the cassette tape is squint.

Via @lookingspiffy.

The Tomorrow People cover

Recently, I finally managed to get my hands on The Tomorrow People, a CD of music from the 1970s ITV programme. I’ve been meaning to buy it for years.

The majority of the music on this CD is from a library album, ESL 104. This contained music by David Vorhaus, Nikki St George and Li De La Russe.

Nikki St George was a pseudonym for Brian Hodgson. Li De La Russe was a psudonym for Delia Derbyshire. Both are electronic music legends, chiefly known for their work for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. All three musicians had worked together as White Noise to create An Electric Storm, one of the greatest electronic music albums of all time.

Brian Hodgson and Delia Derbyshire had to use pseudonyms as they were working for the BBC at the time. One of their most important jobs was to create music and sound effects for Doctor Who. Indeed, Delia Derbyshire was responsible for the Doctor Who theme tune itself.

How funny that their music would also end up on ITV’s attempt at their own Doctor Who. But that probably sums up just how much they were giants of electronic music.

The CD also contains the theme tune by Dudley Simpson. What a belter. It must be one of the best theme tunes ever.

(Bonus: This video contains a Thames Television ident!)

The Tomorrow People CD is available from the utterly vital Trunk Records.

I think most people that are interested in television idents can think of a few that used to make them quite scared as a child. I can certainly name a few that freaked me out.

But I reckon if I grew up in Boston it would have been a lot worse.

I like early electronic and experimental music, so I can handle all manner of noise. But everything about this jingle is jarring. The visuals, too, aren’t particularly calming, looking a bit like an electric heater going out of control.

Put simply, what was going through their minds?

It can’t have annoyed the good people of Boston too much because the same ident has basically survived until this day, tweaked just a bit. Here are all the iterations, if you can handle it.

A friend once showed me a video that uses the WGBH jingle for maximum creepy effect. The video is called The Wyoming Incident. Be warned: this is genuinely quite creepy, so don’t watch this at night. It is a mock broadcast signal intrusion (which I have written about on my previous blog).

The idea of this video is that a news broadcast is interrupted by a pirate, who replaces it with something more disturbing. This has happened in real life. In Chicago, a broadcast was replaced by a man dressed as Max Headroom being spanked with a fly swatter. Here in the UK, a Southern Television news broadcast was interrupted by someone pretending to be an alien calling for nuclear disarmament.

The Wyoming Incident is not real, but it uses the WGBH slowed down and reversed for maximum creepy effect. Apparently the music was chosen because the original ident was known to be scary to some people.