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Television in the 1960s. Part 1

The 1960s Group welcomed four new members to this latest monthly meeting. We started with a discussion about the impact of TV in the decade, the growth of commercial channels and the response of the BBC in terms of programming and the launch of BBC2. For the first time, historic events were beamed into the home from the Churchill’s funeral to the first man on the moon. By the end of the decade, the world of TV had become a more colourful place.

Carl introduced us to the animated world of Supermarionation, a technique pioneered by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson at the start of the 60s and last used in 1969, on ground breaking series including Four Feather Falls, Thunderbirds, and Stingray, which was the first in colour.

Life at the BBC in the ‘60s was the next topic, working alongside the likes of Jack de Manio, Cliff MIchelmore and Monty Modlin, and of being in Portland Place when news broke about the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

Graham then lightened the mood recalling his time working in advertising agencies in Swinging London, and of the TV commercials and their catchphrases from then which are still remembered now. Commercial advertising was the training ground for a number of top cinema directors including Ridley and Tony Scott, David Pittman and Alan Parker.

The time flew by and the conversation flowed unabated, as we recalled the stand-out programmes and the impact that television had on our young lives. So much so that we agreed to continue the discussion next month by looking at particular categories of programming from quiz shows to pop music, soaps, current affairs and drama. We are also planning to have a “Tell & Show” display of TV memorabilia!

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