Light Entertainment


To light entertainment, as to many aspects of programmes, Independent Television has introduced many features which are new to British broadcasting. Some of the wide range of variety, light music and comedy shows presented by the programme companies are illustrated in the following pages. Many of these shows have wide popularity throughout this country and some are seen by television viewers overseas. Many programmes, however, are essentially local in their emphasis and presentation, and are seen only in the transmission areas of the producing companies.


The traditional flavour of the variety theatre is retained in Val Parnell’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV). Leading artistes from all parts of the world come to take part in this popular weekly show which has been running since 1955.

From the television studios comes a wide range of variety and spectacular series. Regular lunch-time variety is presented by Scottish Television, Tyne Tees, and ATV in the Midlands. Granada regularly presents variety programmes, the current series under the title West End. Associated-Rediffusion presents a regular series Hippodrome, and special shows. ABC presents the Comedy Bandbox series and regular summer shows from holiday resorts. A rather different approach is provided in Bruce’s Show (ATV). In addition, there are a few local variety shows during evening transmissions.


All the programme companies produce series of light music programmes. Most of these are only seen locally and many are of particular local interest. Among the networked series are the weekly review of hit records Thank Your Lucky Stars (ABC), Swinging Along (Granada) and All That Jazz (ATV). The local programmes include folk music, record programmes and musical performances of all kinds.

Film Reviews

Several companies produce weekly half-hour film magazine or review programmes. These include Associated-Rediffusion, TWW, Westward and Tyne Tees. Preview, a weekly programme by Ulster Television, includes theatre and book reviews.


Contests of various kinds are a popular feature of television services. Two longstanding general knowledge series are Take Your Pick presented by Michael Miles and Double Your Money presented by Hughie Green (Associated-Rediffusion). Pencil and Paper (ATV) provides tests of intelligence presented by Shaw Taylor. University Challenge (Granada) brings together teams of university students in a contest of general knowledge and quick wits under the chairmanship of Bamber Gascoigne. In Take a Letter (Granada), contestants race to fill the gaps in well-known phrases. Several programme companies present local quiz contests.


Comedy drama series, generally half-hour programmes, are a popular element of Independent Television. Currently to be seen are Hancock (ATV), Bootsie and Snudge (Granada) and The Dickie Henderson Show (Associated-Rediffusion). A favourite feature of weekend viewing is The Arthur Haynes Show (ATV) in which comedy sketches are interspersed with music.

THE PEGGY LEE SHOW. Jimmy van Heusen, Peggy Lee, David Kossoff, Bing Crosby and Sammy Kahn. ABC
THE PEGGY LEE SHOW. Jimmy van Heusen, Peggy Lee, David Kossoff, Bing Crosby and Sammy Kahn. ABC
THE ARTHUR HAYNES SHOW. Nicholas Parsons, Arthur Haynes and Leslie Noyes. ATV
THE ARTHUR HAYNES SHOW. Nicholas Parsons, Arthur Haynes and Leslie Noyes. ATV
LUNCH BOX. Noele Gordon at the Circus, one of the outside broadcasts in the popular Midland series. ATV
LUNCH BOX. Noele Gordon at the Circus, one of the outside broadcasts in the popular Midland series. ATV


Programme Description Company Mins. Time & Day Distribution
One O’Clock Gang Lunchtime variety Scottish 30 1.00 Mon.-Fri. Part Network
Tea Time with Tommy Light music Ulster 18 6.07 Mon.-Fri. Local
Sounds New Light music Grampian 30 6.15 Monday Local
Who Knows? Inter-schools contest Tyne Tees 30 6.30 Monday Local
Discs a Gogo “Pop” record programme TWW 30 7.00 Monday Part Network
A’ the Airts Quiz Grampian 30 7.00 Monday Local
Preview Film, theatre and book review Ulster 30 7.00 Monday Local
Spin Along “Pop” record programme Westward 30 7.00 Monday Local
Aye Yours Light music Grampian 60 8.00 Monday Local
Pick o’ the North Talent competition Grampian 30 8.30 Monday Local
University Challenge University contest Granada 20 10.10 Monday Network
Their Kind of Music Light music Southern 30 11.04 Monday Part Network
Lunch Box Lunchtime variety ATV 35 12.47 Tues.-Fri. Local
One O’Clock Show Lunchtime variety Tyne Tees 40 1.02 Tues.-Fri. Part Network
Movie Magazine Film review TWW 30 6.13 Tuesday Part Network
Stars in the West Review Westward 30 6.15 Tuesday Local
Star Parade Film review Tyne Tees 30 6.30 Tuesday Local
Song Album Light music Southern 15 6.45 Tuesday Local
Treasure Hunt Quiz Westward 30 7.00 Tuesday Part Network
Beat Your Neighbour Inter-town competition Southern 30 7.00 Tuesday Local
Try for Ten Quiz TWW 30 7.00 Tuesday Part Network
Beat in the Border Dance music and instruction Border 45 6.15 Wednesday Local
The Ingle Neuk Local entertainment Grampian 25 6.35 Wednesday Local
Take a Letter Word game Granada 30 7.00 Wednesday Part Network
The Dickie Henderson Show Comedy series A-R 30 9.15 Wednesday Part Network
Music Match Musical quiz Anglia 30 9.45 Wednesday Local
Let’s Dance Ballroom dancing Granada 25 11.12 Wed. Local
Double Your Money Quiz A-R 30 7.00 Thursday Network
Bootsie and Snudge Comedy series Granada 30 7.30 Thursday Network
Come Aboard Nautical music Grampian 30 8.00 Thursday Local
Hancock Comedy series ATV 30 8.30 Thursday Network
Close Up Film review A-R 30 6.15 Friday Part Network
Take Your Pick Quiz A-R 30 7.00 Friday Part Network
Thank Your Lucky Stars “Pop” singers and records ABC 40 5.50 Saturday Part Network
Comedy Bandbox Variety ABC 55 6.30 Saturday Part Network
The Arthur Haynes Show Comedy series ATV 35 8.25 Saturday Network
Candid Camera Real-life comedy series ABC 30 4.20 Sunday Part Network
Best of Friends Comedy series ABC 30 4.25 Sunday Part Network
Land of Song Music in Welsh TWW 45 6.15 Sunday (monthly) Part Network
Sunday Palladium Variety ATV 60 8.25 Sunday Network