Welcome to another look through the TV Times at a week to view, this week we go back to 1978 and the first May Day Bank Holiday. With the first Monday in May holiday was only made a holiday earlier in the year. It was the year of the first test tube baby and also the movie Grease. Who was on the front of the TV Times during this week?
The cover went to Charles Bronson, movie star. His craggy look and attitude had seen him become one of Hollywood's leading actors, during this week he was starring in this week's movie premiere 'Once Upon a Time in the West' on Monday evening. But in such a sparse cover, the only other details other then which region we are looking at, the date it was covering and the price was a headline for Stewpot's Treasure Trail, looking forward to a series of articles published in the magazine about the National Trust's properties with the chance to collect pictures and illustration of the places visited during this series by Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart.
On the inside cover and page, is a look forward to that week's ITV Playhouse, One of the Boys about a rugby team's drunken dinner with their wives and the events which occur because of it. So the TV Times interviews some real rugby players wives about these such experiences and the culture formed by this seeming drinking culture, one such is Moyra Gibson, wife of British Lions and Ireland international Mike Gibson and her views on such occasions.
"The camaraderie of rugby is great. I really enjoy meeting the other wives and girlfriends. We talk about the usual mundane things like our families and husbands' job - and sport just for a change. After the match the girls meet for a meal while the men have their own stag 'do'. It doesn't worry me at all because I've grown up with it and anyway it's lovely eating a nice dinner you haven't had to cook yourself."
But sometimes with being a rugby player's wife, it can also be difficult for them seeing their husbands and partners playing such a physical game as Shirley Davies, wife of former Wales captain Mervyn Davies says when interviewed after her husband was injured during a game receiving a cerebral hemorrhage during a club game and also leading to being in a coma.
"My one feeling when he (Mervyn) was injured was thank God he isn't dead. But I think he feels a bit cheated himself. I think he feels 'Why me?' just when he was at his peak. I don't go to the international these days and I certainly miss the company. It was a recognized thing that your friends for the international season are solely within the circle of players. That's how it is in Wales anyway. It was like going back to school after the long holidays and picking up the threads every time. I miss that, but it was an Act of God, and all that matters is that Mervyn is alive when it might so easily have been otherwise."
One of the star interviews this week is with Lesley Manville, appearing on Wednesday in ATV's Bunch of Fives. Playing a sixteen year old in the series, Lesley who was 22 when this edition of TV Times was published has views about the confusion between working in children's programmes and children's television.
"People who hear when you have landed a part in kiddies' television say: 'Well, I suppose its a start.' This is unfair. I think most television is for everyone. There are just specified hours when it is called children's television. This doesn't mean that parents don't watch it. They do. Children's series have come up and up. They are attracting really good directors and writers. They are no longer programmes which are produced quickly and cheaply."
Manville herself had been picked for the cast of Bunch of Fives from over 100 people auditioned for the parts. But she had been a regular on television since the age of seventeen, known for a role in ATV's General Hospital with former boyfriend Peter Duncan which they had been cast together as his pregnant girlfriend in three episodes, though her big break had come playing Rosemary in Emmerdale Farm over an 18-month period appearing in over 90 episodes. But she had made the decision to leave the series to try new things. Such with playing a character still at school in Bunch of Fives could have its problems as Lesley Manville explains.
"There is a market for people of my age and experience to play 16 and 17-year olds. Because of this I keep my hair straight and wear little or no make-up." "I ought to be grateful, but I'm beginning to get niggled. I can still play someone of 16 physically, but I'm finding it difficult mentally."
Later on in her career Manville would become closely associated with Mike Leigh and his films as well as being an accomplished stage actress winning the Olivier award in 2014.
This week gave impressionist Dave Evans his own television special, A Evening with Dave Evans. He previously had got his own television show in 1977, but this show was the first episode of the Yorkshire Television produced Saturday Showtime series showcasing various entertainers. Evans who had been an established act on the variety circuit up to this point, but yet still most people did not know his name as Evans explained to the TV Times.
"When I got my own show last year, people did say 'Who's Dave Evans?' They're still saying it. But I have done a lot of television. I was in a Tommy Cooper show and The Golden Shot. I was a regular in Who Do You Do? and I have been on Seaside Special, I was in the ITV series Nuts, and on radio in The Impressionists."
"Maybe it's my name. It's ordinary, isn't it? Do you know that some people introduce me on stage as Dave Allen?"
But such is the life of the variety entertainer, in having to make a living Evans would be in Birkenhead and the next at the Batley Variety Club. Though life on the road less from glamorous for the acts travelling the length and breadth of the country. As he states in his interview.
"At one, in Woolwich, I was on a stage built in front of the ladies' toliet. The act was interrupted when people wanted to go. And I remember sharing a dressing room with a man serving hot dogs and chips."
"It is necessary to get out to places such as Birkenhead. Weeks like these sharpen up whatever talent you have. You can't do television properly without this experience."
In Evans' experience, born in Rhyl, he had become a professional entertainer after leaving the Army.
"I was a boy solider for four years. I was discharged on medical grounds. I was sick of it."
Previously he had been a drummer in a skiffle band, and paid 50p at 1978 prices for singing in a German night club. In singing Evans couldn't read music, though musical impressions was a key part of his act impersonating Cleo Laine, Gracie Fields, Tom Jones and also Acker Bilk who appears in his TV special. Not only this, he would take off the politicians of the time such as Ian Paisley Snr, though giving them a gentle ribbing rather then anything too deep. But being in the background, allowed him make singular records and one LP plus appearing as an extra in films such as A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.
It was a chance meeting with Freddie Starr whilst they were performing together, led to Starr telling his manager Mike Hughes to sign him up because he thought he would go far with his act. But Evans is still performing on the entertainment circuit doing his act away from the cameras to this day, though he is still performing is testament to his longevity in the entertainment industry.
From Dave Evans to Dave Allen, who had the last of a 13 week documentary series looking at the bizarre side of America for ATV. He had made several serious documentaries for ITV, starting with Dave in the Melting Pot in 1969 looking at life in New York such as racism and drugs, later on he would look at colourful British characters with passions in Dave Allen in Search of the Great British Eccentrics and Eccentrics at Play in 1974.
During this final edition of his he visits the swamps of Georgia to look the wildlife of the area, the 700 square miles of swamp land covers a staggering number of animals and plantlife, in such a large area then a swamp guide otherwise known locally as a 'swampie', many of which have spent their whole life living around the swamp and know them like the back of their hand. Allen's guide for this journey is one such, Johnny Hickox, a fourth generation swampie. Hickox's great-grandfather was one of the first swampies to arrive as backwood huntsmen, hunting deer, beavers, black bears and seeking alligators as well.
But such with protection of alligators in the swamp lead to a population explosion amongst them, with at that time over 27,000, causing Dave Allen plenty of worries with them all around him whilst outside the boat he was travelling in.
Much like the eccentrics Allen had met in Britain, the swampies he met in the United States had developed their own sayings and language. As such their hard drinking lives and also the brewing of Moonshine in and around the swamps, with names which describe their taste and flavour perfectly such as Cryin' Kind, Fightin' Kind and Autumn Leaf. Named thus, because one taste of that and it is said that anyone will drop like an leaf falling from the trees. Though for all the joking about the area itself, that the swamp because of its variety of flora and fauna held special scientific interest with the range of species which lived, which also be said of the people themselves who live basically around the swamplands.
From the Flora and Fauna of the swamps of the state of Georgia, to an advert for Zoflora Concentrated Floral Disinfectant offering the smells of a meadow when you use it to clean up your bathroom or kitchens, though considering what is usually to be found in meadows at the best of time. You have to wonder how strong would the floral scent have to be to mask that smell.
Something else coming up roses is Celebrity Squares, which on Saturday night celebrates its 100th edition. But in those 100 editions, the show recording's had not ground to a halt once, except one occasion when a female contestant completely froze in front of the camera and such noticing this the producer Paul Stewart Laing had to come down from the production gallery in association with Bob Monkhouse on the set to relax her and break the tension for her. But Bob Monkhouse had first seen the idea in America in 1966, but it took until 1974 for the idea to come to the UK and for Monkhouse and his production team to adapt it for screens over here.
Though in the 99 episodes up to that point before the broadcast of the 100th on Saturday, the celebrity who had appeared the most times was Willie Rushton with 96 appearances followed by comedian Arthur Mullard with eighty. On average Barbara Windsor had appeared on the programme every four weeks during its run, but her experience can be a nerve racking one even for the celebrities as Barbara Windsor recalled in 1978.
"I find that whatsit, the secret square seat, really frightening. I'm sure it's worse for there than it is for the contestant. You really want for them to get it right. You feel desperate if they don't and you think it's your fault."
But Bob Monkhouse understood what Windsor could bring to the programme.
"Barbara is wonderful: she such a peppy, popular, bouncy person. When they win, she bounces up and down with glee. When they lose, she looks suicidal."
Though its Monkhouse and his behind the scenes which make the show, but the first ever edition which was recorded was scrapped because the celebrities did not click with each other. As Bob Monkhouse recalls what happened with that first show.
"We had one contestant who had a funny way of signalling emotion. He looked downright sulky. If you had give him a million pounds, he looked like he would say 'Where do you expect me to put that?' And three of the stars didn't know how to play the game properly."
"The moment you get someone who couldn't care less, the whole of the gallop of the show is wrong."
Monkhouse who had great experience of appearing on panel shows had learned about what made a good game or quiz show from working with professionals from his earliest days appearing on What's My Line on the BBC with Gilbert Harding and Barbara Kelly through to working the Golden Shot production team and subsequently the team on Celebrity Squares. Though the sum parts of Kenny Everett's voice-overs, the writing of Denis Berson, a graduate of Liverpool University and also Ken Dodd's scriptwriting team. Plus also Jeremy Beadle, who having sent odd facts and questions to Monkhouse had gained a place on the question writing team with Colin Bostock-Smith, a comedy scriptwriter both on television and radio as well as Ian Messiter, the inventor of Just a Minute for BBC Radio and also brought the format Twenty Questions to there as well.
But it was when they all got together, they planned the way to get the best out of the celebrities as Monkhouse recalls.
"If we have a celebrity from whom we don't expect humour - a straight actress, for example. We'll try to get some humour into the questions. We ask her something like: 'If you had Theakston's Old Peculiar in your hand, what would you do with it?' Either she'll know it's a beer, or she'll say what she thinks she'd do with it."
Though what about the dumb-struck Irish women we mentioned earlier? Well, one she got her courage back, she won the main game and even though she had said if she won the main game she would not go for the jackpot game, she did. Rattling off nine answers in five seconds and won a thousand pounds for her troubles.
From games of a cerebral kind to games of a slightly most physical kind, as this week's World of Sport features The News of the World Darts Championship from Wembley Arena featuring some of the world's best darts players including Tony Brown, Bobby George and Stefan Lord from Sweden which the TV Times took a look at him and his career so far having been a previous News of the World champion in 1976, a Swedish Open winner, a World Masters finalist in 1975 and a British Open Pairs champion with Tony Brown in 1977. In doing his Swedish national service, Lord was sent to an army base just inside the Arctic Circle, which meant because of the freezing temperatures that he had to defrost the dartboard just to be able to play on it there.
So finally we come onto this week's listings from the Anglia region, starting with Saturday 29th of April. The morning's programmes start with an edition of The Undersea World of Captain Nemo at ten past nine followed by three hours of fun and chaos with Tiswas introduced by Chris Tarrant, Sally James and Trevor East featuring editions The Funky Phantom in The Liberty Bell Caper and at 11.25am the James Gatward directed Star Maidens makes an appearance with an episode entitled 'Escape to Paradise'.
Following this at 12.30pm is this week's World of Sport with Dickie Davies, as we know that the News of the World Darts Championship is on the programme today, that's at 3.10pm. This was the first year the tournament was held at Wembley Arena and it was held there up until 1989 when it moved to the Dockland Arena for the next two years. So who won the tournament this year? It was Stefan Lord, himself. Also like the TV Times had seen what the result of the tournament was going to be, he beat John Coward, two legs to nil in the final. This was the first of Stefan Lord's two wins, as he won it again in 1980 beating future BDO World Professional Darts Championship Finalist Dave Whitcombe, just like his 1978 victory, two legs to nil.
But World of Sport was about more then The News of World Championships on this Saturday afternoon, as it also featured On The Ball with Brian Moore at 12.35, High Diving from Fort Lauderdale, Florida at 1pm. After the ITN News at 1.15, today's ITV Six saw Flat Racing from Beverley and National Hunt Racing from Newcastle presented by Ken Butler at Beverley and John Oaksey at Newcastle.
The round up of the half-time football scores was funnily at half-time in the day's football matches which was at 3.50pm, after that it Grapple Time happened with a wrestling bill from Croydon, commentated on by Kent Walton featuring Bobby Barnes vs the ever colourful Catweazle in a catchweight contest. Catweazle otherwise known by his real name Gary Cooper. But if you looked like the magicial wizard from the LWT programme of the same name, its not surprising you would use a ring name like that at all! In another catchweight contest, Brian 'Goldbelt' Maxine took on Johnny Czeslaw and the main attraction was involving the mysterious masked man, Kendo Nagasaki accompanied by his manager Gorgeous George faced off again Portsmouth's own 'Bronco' Roger Wells.
That brought us upto 4.50pm with the Results Service for all the day's results.
That including the full classified pools check as well as the day's football scores, on which this was the final day of the season. Nottingham Forest were champions of the First Division with West Ham United, Newcastle United and Leicester City all relegated. Coming up from Division Two were Bolton Wanderers, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur after their brief one season stay in the second league, going down to the Third Division were Blackpool, Mansfield Town and Hull City. Coming the opposite direction into the second tier were Wrexham, Cambridge United and Preston North End with Portsmouth, Port Vale, Bradford City and Hereford United dropping into the basement division with Watford, Southend United, Swansea City and Brentford. Southport were replaced by Wigan Athletic who were voted into the Football League for the first time, as Southport were the last club to be unelected out of the league before automatic relegation was introduced in 1987.
After all that sporting action, the second news of the day from ITN is at five past five followed by a check on the weather. Saturday night programmes on Anglia kick off with another installment of Happy Days with The Fonz and the rest of the gang, in tonight's episode entitled Fonzie's Hero, Potsie saves Fonzie's life and according to the Fonzarelli Code, then Potsie can have whatever he likes. Though all Potsie wants to be, is be best pals with Arthur Fonzarelli.
Following that at 5.45pm, we stay on that side of the Atlantic for the first in a new series of 'The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams'. In this first episode, Grizzly risks life and limb to save animals lives from an errupting volcano. Though its his life which is at risk as Special Agent Pinkerton is trying to catch him and arrest him.
The 100th edition of Celebrity Squares from ATV is at quarter to seven, but who was on Bob and the Big Box Game this week? Well, the squares were filled by Don Maclean from Crackerjack, Michele Dotrice, John Inman along with Pat Coombs. Plus ever presents Arthur Mullard and Willie Rushton appeared with the very glamorous Katie Boyle and Barbara Windsor as well. As this was the hundredth edition, another £100 was added to usual total in Bob's Full House. You did read that right, Bob's Full House. That was the section of the game where the roles were reversed and the celebrities asked Bob Monkhouse the questions written in to the programme by viewers at home.
Saturday Showcase produced by Yorkshire Television has 'An Evening with Dave Evans' at 7.30, with Dave's guests including Lyn Paul and Acker Bilk. As Dave takes off Tom Jones. has a dig at the Punk scene and plays together on stage with the great Jazz Clarinetist Acker as well. Bringing plenty of music and laughs to this particular Saturday night on Anglia.
At eight-thirty, there's a new series called Scorpion Tales. Much like the Thriller series, also produced by ATV. This was the first of weekly hour long one-off drama plays, but which each of them had a twist ending. The first of them featured Trevor Howard, Patrick Allen and Don Henderson in a play called 'Easterman' written by the creator of The Sweeney for Thames Television, Ian Kennedy Martin. As 'Easterman' featured the case of soon to retire Detective Inspector Mavor played by Trevor Howard, when he receives a not signed by someone know as 'Easterman' and Mavor becomes embroiled in a case involving a series of murders, carried out by the unknown 'Easterman' played by Don Henderson.
But all Detective Inspector Mavor has to do is issue a gun, stop drinking, fix a time a date and wait for it to happen. But who is 'Easterman' really? On investigating, he discovers that Easterman was the homosexual lover of a man he had killed some time before and he is looking for revenge for just that.
Dramatic stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. Where as people would like to think of ITV having lots of Light Entertainment and Drama on a Saturday, from Southern Television at 9.30pm comes some high art. This is brought to the screens by the televising of the Verdi opera, Falstaff. Based on 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' and character Sir John Falstaff in which the lecherous Falstaff gets his comeuppance.
The performance was filmed at Glynbourne Opera House, Sussex with Donald Gramm playing the titular Falstaff. Such was the length of the performance, it was split into to parts with the ITN News at five past ten, separating the two parts with the second half of the opera starting at 10.20pm and running until midnight with a final night thought in 'At the End of the Day' before the closedown at just past 12am.
Though if you want over 20,000 guaranteed items, then you no further to look then at this advert for the John Myers home shopping catalogue, offering free home approval, free credit up to 38 weeks and no deposit to find. Plus with the tempting 12% in goods for introducing a friend or 10% in cash, though if you apply for the free gift for just doing so. Though the John Myers catalogue was eventually merged into the Great Universal Stores, who later brought Argos themselves.
Sunday 30th April starts with two programmes for those with a practical nature, at 9.05am Old House - New House from Yorkshire Television has advice and tips for those people who want to turn their large bedroom into two smaller rooms with one being a new bathroom. Two people who want to do this are Keith and Jill, whose house has no bathroom and over the next three programmes in this series, it will be following their progress as they do this.
Following this, Ulster Television encourages you to 'Build Your Own Boat'. As Stephen Atkinson makes the plate case, bulkheads and transoms. Meanwhile Norman Dahl explains the terms used in sailing and the various parts of the sails and rigging. Also Stephen tells you how join the plywood planks together. All these practical, its little wonder why someone wouldn't want some meditation time after all that. Though luckily at 10am, Granada's series of the same name does just that.
Today, the programme looks at American poet, Thomas Merson who turned his back on worldly possessions at the age of 23 to become a Trappist monk, as he took a vow of silence until his death in 1968. There are reading of his works accompanied by pictures and music as well in today's edition.
Sunday morning also means social awareness programmes, with another edition of Link at 10.30am from ATV, introduced by Rosalie Wilkins and Tony Bilbow. Followed by an edition of 'How To Stay Alive' from LWT with Colin Welland and Maggie Makepeace at 11am. This week the pair look at mood altering drugs and the effects both good and bad they have on people and if they are the right answer. As at that time according to the programme, one in ten men and one in five women took such drugs to help them through their daily lives.
After The Beachcombers at 11.30am, this is followed by this week's Weekend World at 12pm introduced by Brian Walden. But what was happen in the news during this week? Well significantly, the first ever bulk commercial email, more commonly known as spam nowadays was sent on the 3rd of May by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketing representative to every available computer terminal on the west coast of the United States. So if you wanted to know who started spam emails, blame him!
But on a more serious note, the Russian leader Leonard Brezhnev visited West Germany on the 4th of May to meet with German chancellor Helmut Schmidt about the growing tensions between the Soviet Union and the western powers over nuclear weapons and their ambitions.
For the next hour, it is about countryside matters with Landscape from Tyne Tees at 1pm looking at some of the machinery used in the past and the present, though as the weather is important to farmers and the farming community, there is a look at the week ahead's weather at 1.30pm. Following that is this week's Farming Diary looking at the latest rural issues from all over the country to also what is happening as far as the EEC's agricultural policy is concerned. This week's edition is presented by John Jenkins, John Slater and Arnold Hitchcock.
Highlights of the weekend's football with Match of the Week, is at five past two as Gerry Harrison presents the action from the Abbey Stadium, Cambridge as Cambridge United faced Exeter City in the Third Division. Which was somewhat of a celebration for Cambridge as with a two-one victory which saw them promoted to the Second Division with goals from Finney and Fallon with a reply for Exeter from Bowker. Following their former manager Ron Atkinson's departure from Cambridge United in December, replacement John Docherty had took over the reins guiding them to second place in the league.
The programme also showed highlghts of West Ham United vs Liverpool, Liverpool winning two-nil at Upton Park through goals from Terry McDermott and David Fairclough to finish above near neighbours Everton into second place in the First Division.
An edition of Little House on the Prairie follows at 3.15 with The Allan Stewart Show from Scottish Television at 4.15pm. Allan's guests in this hour of light entertainment include singer Lynsey De Paul, vocal trio Cool Breeze and Roger De Courcey with Nookie Bear. Choreography is provided by Irving Davies and the Musical Director is Harry Rabinowitz for this feast of a show. On a more serious note after that is Reports Action introduced by Bob Greaves and Joan Bakewell, looking at social action and volunteering projects from all over the country with a factsheet available from Granada Television, the makers of the programme for those who would like a copy sent to them.
The second part of the Children's drama Come Back Lucy from ATV is at 5.45pm. The series is about Lucy, a girl who goes to live with her cousin in a house which holds a secret. Left alone by the family, Lucy finds herself being interviewed by a mysterious girl called Alice. But who is Alice and can she be so certain that they will not be interupted or be found by anyone. This leads into a local Anglia weather forecast and the ITN News at 6.15.
When The Saints Go Marching In is at 6.25pm with Michael Horden from Yorkshire, this series looks at the Saints of the Old Testament, in particular this second episode looks at St. Sebastian who was mildly inconvenienced and why St. Peter was crucified upside-down. More religious programming follows this with a new series of Come Sunday from Southern with Andrew Cruickshank introduces words and music from the cathedral city of Winchester featuring singer Marian Montgomery; the Choir of Winchester Catherdral, Master of Music Martin Neary and the Right Reverend of Winchester Cathedral John Taylor, Bishop of Winchester.
From religion, comes greed at 7.15pm with the film Mackenna's Gold starring Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas, Eli Wallach and Edward G. Robinson in this 1969 Western, directed by J. Lee Thompson. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Heck Allenunder the penname Will Henry, telling the story of how the lure of gold corrupts a group of people. When an old legend tells of gold hidden in the "Cannon del Oro" guarded by Apache ghosts. Though a group of people go looking for the gold, a man called Adams when he is a young man, he finds it but Indians capture him and blind him, leaving for dead in the desert after killing his companions. Mackenna eventually finds the gold and steals it for himself from under the noses away from the Cavalry and away to safety.
Following the big film at 9.30pm is The Island starring John Hurt and Charles Grey from HTV, this is a drama with suspense about a young British officer during World War One who arrives at his lover's mansion on a remote island. After this at ten o'clock is the latest ITN News with a local Anglia Weather Forecast, The South Bank Show is at 10.15pm looking this week at the work of Indian film director Satyajit Ray, as Melvyn Bragg interviews him about the techniques which he uses and also filming in his native Bengal as well. The programme also take as general look at the week's films, television, theatre, drama, exhibitions and books as well.
At 11.15 is an edition of the prison drama 'Within These Walls' from LWT, which is also the last episode in the final series see a lot of unrest in South Wing seemingly down to Tottie Dowd, a prisoner who seems to have a habit of rubbing people up the wrong way. Leading upto 12.15am and The Bible for Today with the Reverend Volin Evans, Minister of Crowstone United Reform Church, Essex giving the thought for the day.
This week's Star Portrait is of Barry Sheene, the 500cc Motorbike World Champion and one of Britain's most popular sportsmen with both sexes at this time. Sheene's roughness around the edges made him very likeable and any appearance on television, either on the racetrack or on the chatshow during in the viewers as his charm disarmed them in a way that they took him on board as one of their own which only a few sportspeople can said to have done over the years.
Onto Bank Holday Monday, starting with cartoon fun as The Woody Woodpecker Show is the first programme of the day on Anglia at 9.30am. The zany brand of humour appealing to children and adults making it an easy start to the day, though much like any weekday programmes for younger viewers follow with Jamie and the Magic Torch from Thames and Cosgrove Hall at ten o'clock, as Jamie and Wordsworth the Dog come to the rescue of Officer Gotcha in the episode 'A Policeman's Lot', with the police man being held prisoner in his own helmet. Maybe, he might have felt more at home in Within These Walls, it seems. This is followed by an edition of Yorkshire Television's Stepping Stones at 10.10am, where Diane Grayson and Keith Drinkel explore everything 'Tall and Small' this time. Clapperboard at 10.25am from Granada is an extended edition of the programme features this year's Oscar winners and also clips of some from the previous 50 years upto this point, as regular host Chris Kelly is your host for this look at some of the Academy Awards most famous winners.
The film at 11am is Marco starring Arno Mostel and Desi Arnaz Jr. with Desi playing the young Marco Polo, but there's plenty of singing and dancing as well as this a musical. Though as the TV Times points out that it was filmed entirely in the Orient and features some of the elaborate film sets ever, how this is major selling point for a Bank Holiday, its hard to tell. But at least for those with colour television sets were getting good value for money with these sets it seems. This bring us onto 1pm with a variety show from the United States, where circus had ruled the airwaves on Bank Holidays, the Americans brought us Stars on Ice. Presented by Alex Trebek, a Canadian who had made his name presenting game shows. This special saw the likes of Andy Kim, singing Harlem, Jojo Starbuck who was a former Olympic Ice Skater who skated to Shimmy Like My Sister Kate and Stan Behonek, also a former Olympic Skater who skated to an excerpt from the Poet and Peasant overture. This followed by the first news of the day from ITN, who would also have the News at 5.45 and also a bulletin at 9pm as well
The afternoon's viewing was taken up by an edition of Bank Holiday Sport presented by Dickie Davies at 1.35pm featuring Wrestling and an ITV Seven from Windsor and Doncaster with Brough Scott at WIndsor and John Oaksey at Doncaster featuring the Irish Sweeps Handicap at 3.30pm with the 3.45 from Windsor, the Lanson Champagne May Day Stakes over five furlongs. Plus Brough Scott looks ahead to the 1000 and 2000 guineas taking place at Newmarket on Thursday and Friday respectively. The wrestling bill featured two bouts from Reading, involving The Dynamite Kid vs Sid Cooper in Welterweight action with also a tag team match between The Royal Brothers, Bert Royal and Vic Faulkner against Mark 'Rollerball' Rocco and Thunder Glenn.
Then follows two programmes for children, at 4.15pm is the latest episode of The Feathered Serpent from Thames Television. This drama was based in ancient Mexico and starred former Dr. Who Patrick Troughton with Diane Keen, in this episode the forces of evil are gathering momentum as the lives of Tozo, played by Richard Willis and Prince Heumac, played by Brian Deacon are in danger. Meanwhile the scheming priest Naca, plaued by Patrick Troughton tricks Empress Chimalma, played by Keen into believing she caused the madness which has gripped the ancient city and to atone for this, she must take her own life.
From high drama to Cartoon Time at 4.45pm, onto an a film version of The Lone Ranger at ten to five, where The Lone Ranger and Tonto investigate a plot to destroy an Indian Reservation, all planned by the leader of the local ranchers, Reece Kilgore. As its upto the Lone Ranger and Tonto with help from the local Cavalry to fend off this fiendish plot. Taking a break for the News at 5.45 from ITN and an Anglia Weather Forecast, the second part of the film continues at 6pm until its conclusion when another former Dr. Who appears on ITV today, as Jon Pertwee introduces another edition of the Do-It-Yourself detective quiz 'Whodunnit' from Thames at 6.45pm.
This week the amateur sleuths have to work out the case when a fortune teller is murdered, but they foretold their murder, so who is responsible for their death? Its up to panelists Liza Goddard, Reginald Bosenquet, Nerys Hughes and regular panelist Patrick Mower to cross examine the suspects and try to come up with the right conclusion to who actually did the deed.
7.30pm sees the first visit of the week to Coronation Street when Rita Fairclough refuses to go to Len's last Council dinner, meanwhile Suzie Birchall and Gail Potter throw a wild party at No.11. As Suzie plans to seduce Steve Fisher and tells Gail she can have her ex-boyfriend Chris Wheelan come to the party. Though Steve brings Angie to the shindig and Suzie feels disappointed about this outcome, meanwhile while Annie Walker is away, Fred Gee holds a Lancaster evening in the Rovers. Eight o'Clock sees the last edition of Dave Allen's series of documentaries with an hour special looking at the swamps of Georgia.
Following the ITN News and local weather forecast at 9pm, then its time for the big Bank Holiday film with 'Once Upon a Time in the West', directed by Sergio Leone starring Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards and Claudia Cardinale. Its is about Harmonica, a mysterious man, who plays soft, sad music on the musical instrument which bares his name. He is ambushed by three gunfighters at a lonely railway station and kills all of them.
As the railroad extends into the west, it becomes more lawless with the gunfighters battling for control of the land over which it runs on. With Frank, one of these outlaws who leaves murder where ever he goes. Of which, his latest victim is Ed McBain and his three children. Though when Ed's wife Jill arrives in Frank's home town, Flagstone, there is no-one to meet her. But when she arrives at her husband's farm, she befriends Cheyenne, a personable outlaw with a price on his head and Harmonica, who has a score to settle with Frank. After all that shooting and action at 12.15, the last programme before closedown is 'Reflection' as tonight Cannon Frank Wright reflects with a thought for the day.
Tuesday on Anglia starts with programmes for schools between 9.30am and 12pm, that's followed by edition of Paperplay from Thames, as when a stranger arrives in the Paperplay garden, puppet spiders Itsy and Bitsy are surprised to find its presenter Susan Stranks and Stepping Stones at 12.10pm has Diane Grayson and Keith Drinkel drawing different shapes. This is followed by another edition of Parents Day from Granada, today looking at methods taught to primary school children of both English and Maths and addressing parents worries about them.
News at One, presented by Peter Sissons follows that at One o'Clock with a weather forecast following that with the Anglia News Headline at 1.25pm. The first visit to Fulchester Crown Court in 'Crown Court' is at 1.30pm, this week's case being Prostitute Sylvia Turner who has been arrested Constable Wilkins, stands trial for soliciting at a magistrates court where she is found not guilty. But when she is arrested again by the same police officer, she appears on a charge of Perjury.
From Southern at 2pm comes Tuesday's visit to the ladies of Houseparty, after that at 2.25 is an edition of Granada Television's 'Sam' with Mark McManus starring as Sam with an episode entitled 'The Next in Line' with it set in 1972 and its a beautiful Summer's evening and Carrie Crossman has decided to throw a party. Sam Wilson and his family have been invited but they are still concious of the loss of Sarah. She died after their holiday in Norway, so Sam has been a widower for nearly a year.
At 3.20pm, there an edition of Disappearing World with a title of 'Dervishes of Kurdistan' as Andre Singer, a Granada Television researcher and Ali Bulookbashi, an Iranian anthropologist enter the forbidden territory of Kurdistan, where foreigners are rarely allowed. Their mission to ave the way for ITV cameras to film the Dervishes' rituals and shows one village's Dervishes on the painful path from cradle to grave to follow Allah's true way.
Children's programmes start with Runaround, presented by Stan Boardman with special guest Elkie Brooks, a gospel choir and a steam car plus the chance for ten lucky youngsters to win prizes as well. The first edition of Magpie from Teddington of the week is at 4.45pm with Jenny Hanley, Mick Robertson and Tommy Boyd with a mixture of features and filmed reports for children.
This is followed by the first edition of Emmerdale Farm of the week at 5.15pm where Sam tells Annie that Will told him that Pip wants to marry Steve Hawker. Annie decides to tell Hinton and Sam suggests that Pip and Steve might have eloped. Annie asks Pam Coulter how Pip is and she shuts the door on her face. Steve Hawker and Pip Coulter discuss how to get away from Beckindale for good. He says he has a great idea after he casually asks Joe where he keeps his gun. Steve breaks into Joe's cottage at Demdyke Row.
The early evening news from ITN is at 5.45pm, followed by the first edition of About Anglia presented by Graham Bell and Jane Probyn, rounding up the day's news and events in the Anglia area including the weather with Michael Hunt. Another ITV soap is at 6.35pm with a visit to the Crossroads Motel in which Jim Baines waits on tenderhooks for a top price and Benny Hawkins turns up with a crisis on his hands.
Sporting action at 7pm with 'Challenge of the Sexes' where sportsmen and women challenge themselves at the events they excel in, as Owen Morgan takes on Barbara Morgan in crossbow shooting, Caroline Grant Sale takes on David Buttigieg at Karting and Sue Pirtle Hays takes on Larry Mahan at Rodeo Riding. Fred Dinenage introduces coverage of the events, with commentary from the likes of Jackie Stewart and Phyllis George. Comedy follows this at 7.30 with an episode of 'Get Some In' starring Tony Selby and Karl Howman as Aircraftman Rankin, a psychiatric patient at R.A.F. Druidswater, has a fixation about becoming a bandsman. Group-Captain Ruark details Corporal Marsh and the lads to escort for a special medical test. But there is a considerable crisis to hinder their plans.
More comedy follows at 8pm an edition of 'Rising Damp' from Yorkshire Television in the episode 'Under the Influence' with a new resident to Rigbsy's claims to be a mystic with a sideline in patent medicines and hypnosis, where the residents are captivated by this new edition to the household. Armchair Thriller from Thames is at 8.30pm with the last story of the of the series in six parts called 'The Limbo Connection' as film writer Mark Omney's life is falling apart as he drinks too much, has endless rows with his wife Clare and cannot make a living anymore. But everything changes in the aftermath of a lunch party for him.
The ITV Playhouse is at 9pm with 'One of the Boys' featuring a rugby club's boozy dinner after a match and how the events effect both the players and their wives, this is followed by News at Ten and the local Anglia weather forecast. At 10.30 is the English National Opera Gala as Thames Television covers this event from the London Coliseum presented by Lord Harewood in the presence of the Duke and Dutchess of Kent. As the gala take popular performances from various operas and puts them together in this one show. After this follows more drama at 11.30pm with the made for television play 'What We Have Here is a People Problem' by Michael Mercer tells the story of an old farmer who refuses to leave his land when it is purchased through a compulsory purchase order and before Closedown at 12.25am is Christians in Action as About Anglia anchor Graham Bell talks to Reverend Kenneth Slack M.B.E., the Director of the charity Christian Aid about his work with the church and with the charity.
Wednesday programmes after schools broadcasting start with Here Comes Mumfie at midday, as Mumfie has a strange adventure when he becomes a prisoner in the Witch of Up-in-the-Sky's castle, this followed by another edition of Stepping Stone looking today at farm animals at 12.10pm. Sounds of Britain from Ulster Television is at 12.30pm presented by Brian McSharry looking at the jazz scene in Northern Ireland as two different bands play in the studio, that's before News at One presented by Peter Sissons and Anglia News at 1.25pm.
The second day of Crown Court's trial of the week follows that at 1.30pm and more advice and tips from the ladies of Houseparty at 2pm. The first in a repeat run of General Hospital is at 2.25pm, the ATV medical drama has Schoolteacher Peter Downes admitted with a minor complaint in this episode, but within hours of this, his forthcoming marriage and his way of life undergo dramatic changes. Half an hour of entertainment follows this in 'The Andy Williams Show' at 3.20pm with his guest, the soprano Florence Henderson joining him in song, with also Wayland Flowers and his puppets also featuring on the show bringing comedy to the proceedings. At ten to four, its time to 'Paint Along with Nancy'. As Nancy Kominsky in the last programme in the series encourages viewers to look at clouds for this week's picture.
Today's Children's programmes begin with an edition of 'How' as Jack Hargreaves, Marian Davies, Fred Dinenage and Jon Miller find out how to charm a snake, how to twirl a baton and how do you glue glue? This week's episode of 'Bunch of Fives' from ATV is entitled 'The Mock' as Schoolboy Chris Taylor's moment of fame is short lived, as the mock 'O-levels' give him time to think about his future. Meanwhile fellow pupil Dave Jenner is being pushed by his father to do well and takes enormous risks to do so.
Mr and Mrs is at 5.15 and this edition is from HTV as Alan Taylor fires questions at another lot of married couples, meanwhile singing hostess Janice Hoyte sings 'Love Will Keep Us Together' accompanied by the Nic Rowley Quartet. After News at 5.45, its time to go About Anglia once again at 6pm. Followed by Wednesday's edition of Crossroads as Sandy tells David Hunter how Meg will raise a ransom and the Pools Man shatters Jim Baines' dreams.
Wednesday night at 7pm, this means This is Your Life from Thames Television as this week, Eamonn Andrews surprises Richard 'Stinker' Murdoch, best know for his radio work with Kenneth Horne and also Arthur Askey as well, with magician David Nixon and actor Jack Warner playing tribute to him. In Wednesday's edition of Coronation Street as Fred Gee's Lancashire turns to trouble as a theft and the regular drinking beyond closing time causes two problems for Fred and at Suzie's party, her amorous ambitions get her into to trouble as well.
At 8pm, Patrick McGoohan stars in Rafferty with an episode entitled 'Will to Live' when Vera Walsh falls ill, Dr Sid Rafferty prescribes an alternative cure for her which is will power. After a Party Political Broadcast from the Liberal Party at nine o'clock comes the second part of four in Robert Kee's series on Marxism at 9.10pm, as he examines the People's Republic of Congo and the effect that Marxism is having on the country and if would have the same effect in the rest of Africa. Which means News at Ten is at 10.10pm this evening, following that is an edition of The Sweeney called 'Stay Lucky, Eh?' as Detective Inspector Jack Regan has a moral dilemma as he is offered money to catch criminals, but will his head be turned by this bribery?
The Celebrity Concert has Sergio Mendes and the Brasil 77 playing a concert of bossa nova crossed with jazz and funk from South America at 11.40pm, as those sounds round off the evening's viewing before The Big Question features Christopher Bryan talking to the Very Reverend Alan Webster, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, the Reverend Eric Doyle, OFM and the Reverend Edmund Banyard.
Schools programme on Thursday morning features Stop Look Listen, The Messengers, My World, Picture Box in a repeat of Tuesday morning's edition, What Should We Do?, Seeing and Doing plus London - The Making of a City. Programmes for younger viewers start at 12pm with a new series of Gammon and Spinach as Valerie Pitts returns for another selection of her favourite picture books. Today she reads the tale of Garth Pig and the Ice Cream Lady by Mary Rayner. Stepping Stone follows that at 12.10pm as they go into the countryside today to take a walk to see what goes on there.
From Anglia at 12.30pm is the fourth part of a six part series in which 'The Child Wants a Home' looks at the issue of adoption. As today's programme looks at the two aspects every adoptee wants to know when finding about their origin - telling and tracing. As social work consultant Dr. Alexa Whinnie discusses these two aspects and also what effect it might have on any adopted person when they decide to do so. The programme looks at the case of one person, Jean Brown who was adopted and her journey to find her real parents and how she went about doing so.
After this is today's News at One and the third part of Crown Court's trial, Women Only is at 2pm and this is followed by mid-week racing from Newmarket at 2.25. The first of five classic flat races on ITV during the 1978 flat racing season. Brough Scott introduces day one coverage of the 1000 and 2000 Guineas meeting with commentary from John Penney and Raleigh Gilbert, with John 'Lord' Oaksey in the paddock and Peter Moor keeping tabs on the betting and results. Today the meeting features the 2.30, The Rutland Apprentices Handicap over one and half miles. The 1000 Guineas at 3pm over a mile and worth £28,000 to the winner and also The Heathorn Stakes at 3.35pm also over the same distance as the first race.
The Sullivans is at 3.50pm, as in this episode John Sullivan helps his brother Tom to see the truth and Mrs Jessup receives some good news from Mr Jarvis, Meanwhile Christmas Day is celebrated in different ways by the Sullivans and Mrs Jessup. Children's programmes start at 4.20pm with an adventure with Rocket Robin Hood in space, as the decedents of the mythical rob from the rich to give to the poor. The New Adventures of Black Beauty from LWT is at 4.45pm in this week's episode 'Panic' a mysterious horse bolts during a violent storm and spooks Squire Armstrong's horses. The Squire's groom recognizes the horse as Black Beauty and the Squire threatens to shoot Black Beauty if he escapes again.
From farms to Emmerdale Farm from Yorkshire at 5.15pm and in today's edition from their hideaway near Beckindale, Steve and Pip make desperate plans to do an armed robbery, but who or what is there intended target? After the News at 5.45 and About Anglia at 6.00pm, Arena with Brian Connell and his guests discusses topical affairs at home and abroad as well as casting an eye over the week's headlines as well talking about current affairs.
At 6.35, another edition of Crossroads from ATV hits the screens as Diane Parker decides to spend a few days on her Uncle Ed's farm and tries to help Benny with his problems. Meanwhile Sandy has grave news for his mother, Meg. There follows the first in a new series of Enterprise at 7pm followed by more action drama at 7.30pm with The Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin investigates the disappearance of a top-secret aircraft, piloted by his girlfriend Jenny Fraser. The second part of Armchair Thriller's story 'The Limbo Connection' is at 8.30pm as a heavy drinker, Mark Omney has often been unable to remember the previous night. This time, though, his hangover amnesia involves his wife and a situation with the Police.
Following all this drama, at 9pm is the comedy sketch show 'What's On Next?' with William Franklyn fronts the regular team featuring himself, Bob Todd, Jim Davidson, John Junkin, Barry Cryer, Anne Bruzac, Anna Dawson and Linda Lou Allen. As this week the gang move into Shakespeare and comes out the worse, Bob Todd recalls his experience in Intelligence during the war and Jim Davidson tells a lie to a lie detector which believes him. After that the reporting team of Jonathan Dimbleby, Peter Taylor, Peter Williams and Llew Gardiner bring the background to the week's news stories in This Week, followed by News at Ten and an Anglia weather forecast.
At ten-thirty, there's another half hour of comedy with An Audience with Jasper Carrott, as he appears on the stage to give his views on this that and the other plus life in general. Then we spend an hour in The Streets of San Francisco at 11pm, in this week's episode entitled 'Men Will Die', a distraught rape victim shoots kills one of her attackers - after the police fail to build a case against the two men - and finds herself charged with their murder as Jean Stone and a woman attorney work to save her. Following this at midnight, Man and Woman from Yorkshire Television discusses 'Some Plain Facts about Sexual Relationships' as John and Judy Bancroft suggests ways in which a marriage can be kept healthy and finally for the day at 12.30am, The Living Word features Friends and Lovers read by Phillip Latham.
Someone who is impressed is Katie Boyle, here advertising the Kays mail order catalogue. Katie Boyle, the face of aspirational advertising, she could be seen in the kitchen even having a column in the TV Times for many years offering advice.
Friday morning starts with programmes for schools and colleges at 9.30am, followed by The Learning Tree from Granada Television at midday, as Tony Brandon tells stories with pictures about a wise old tree who befriends two children, Timothy and Emma. Today, Pussy Cat goes missing and Beatrix Beech finds her on her branches. Timothy discovers buring and finds out a glass bottle has caused a fire, then the wise old tree makes a spell to put the fire out. At 12.10pm, Stepping Stones looks at zoo animals and at 12.30pm animals of a political variety as Alistair Burnett rounds up the latest news from the Local Council Elections 1978 with analysis and guests from the world of politics and the press. This is followed by News at One for pretty much the same and also the other day's news from ITN.
After the Anglia News Headlines at 1.25pm, from Yorkshire comes Beryl's Lot as there's mystery surrounding Beryl's new lodger. This is followed by sage advice from Money-Go-Round at 2pm as Joan Shenton and Tony Bastable look at viewers consumer issues and also offer advice on such matters as well. For those who like a gamble, the second day of the 1000 and 2000 Guineas meeting is covered by ITV Sport at 2.25pm as Brough Scott introduces the Ely Handicap at 2.30, the Jockey Club Stakes, the Playboy Bookmakers Handicap at 3.35 and The Chevington Stakes at five past four with the 2000 Guineas themselves being seen in he next day's World of Sport, of which what was that edition's main attraction later.
Four Idle Hands from ATV, starts programmes for children at 4.15pm, as the programme starring Phil Daniels and Ray Burdis plus written by John Kane has school leavers Pete Sutton and Mike Dudds find work at last - but it lacks a certain something, so they decide to train for a new, dynamic career. Friday's Magpie follows this at 4.45, meanwhile Chris Kelly chairs another home made, at Anglia edition of Chatterbox at 5.15, as the TV Times explains the concept of the programme.
"Chatterbox is all about the ability to speak confidently and fluently in front of the camera. Each competitor talks for one minute on a specific prepared subject and for thirty seconds on a mystery object."
The two teams come from The Lord Grey School, Bucks and Longsands School, Cambridgeshire and the judges are Gyles Brandreth, Betty Mulcahy and star of Two's Company Elaine Stritch.
News at 5.45 follows afterwards with About Anglia, presented by Graham Bell and Pam Rhodes is at 6pm, looking ahead to the weekend in the East of England and it was to be a huge one for a certain part of the Anglia region, this week. In the final episode of Crossroads, this week. Jane Smith dispenses charity to Pat Grogan - and feels ill at ease with this. Meanwhile, Muriel Baines wonders about Jim's motives for wanting to lash out on her behalf.
Friday evening's programmes start with another edition of Winner Takes All from Yorkshire's Kirkstall Road studios, presented by Jimmy Tarbuck and assisted by Geoffrey Wheeler as contestants try to take on the jackpot for the chance to come back on next week's show to defend their title and try and win more money against a new opponent. Comedy follows this at 7.30pm with 'The Many Wives of Patrick' where Patrick Cargill plays Patrick Woodford in this week's episode called 'Temporary Bliss', where employee Harold's excuse for being late for work is unsatisfactory. But Patrick lives to regret, accepting his resignation as the day goes array for Patrick. Imported drama is at 8pm in 'Danger in Paradise', as in the episode entitled 'Graduation Eve' as Mitch Frears and Oscar Kalahani on the ranch where they work are temporarily deputised and face a crisis of a different kind with pre-graduation teenage waywardness and a bride with a missing dress.
This is followed by drama from LWT at 9pm in People Like Us with a edition named 'More Lessons in Love', episode six in the series sees Judy Carver and Esme Fraser, who she has worshipped since childhood are invited to a recruiting ball for the local Tory candidate. But Judy's father Jim Carver, a staunch socialist bans his children from going to the event. Elaine Frith is determined to be there, for her mother is in hospital and cannot say no. At 10pm is tonight's News at Ten followed a local weather forecast, after that Probe at 10.30pm, introduced my Malcolm Alsop looks at political news at Westminster and in politics beyond there.
The main sporting event of the weekend ahead was to be the 1978 FA Cup Final between Ipswich Town and Arsenal, Ipswich in their first final were looking to upset the odds again the 1971 double winners and in this special programme, Brian Moore presents a preview of the game along with analysts former Leeds defender and Middlesborough manager Jackie Charlton, West Bromwich Albion captain John Wyle, who's side were beaten by Ipswich in the semi finals plus England and Liverpool defender Emlyn Hughes looks at where which team can be unpicked in both defense and attack. If you don't want to know what happened to Ipswich in the final, look away now as I will tell you at the end of this article.
Another person trying to put the pieces together is Columbo at 11.40pm as Peter Falk stars as the detective in the crumpled raincoat along with Dick Van Dyke in a mystery film called 'Negative Reaction' as wealthy photographer Paul Galesko murders his domineering wife and covers up the crime with a phoney kidnap scheme, framing and killing an ex-convict. He seems safe - but Columbo just refuses to believe what seems a simple open and shut case. The final programme of this week is at 1.25am, 'Men who Matter' with the Reverend Barrie Williams talks about St. Edward who was martyred in 978.
From matters of a religious nature to an outstanding football score, so what did happen to Ipswich Town on Cup Final Day against Arsenal? Would it be hard luck for the team from Suffolk over ninety minutes? Well, actually no. Despite getting beaten only the week before to Aston Villa six goals to one, Ipswich won the cup one-nil through a left foot shot from Roger Osborne, if it was all to beautiful to Ipswich's fans. It was really all too much for goalscorer Osborne who fainted witch shock after he'd just scored his goal and was only brought round by smelling salts before being substituted through sheer of the occasion.
So that was a very packed week from the 29th of April to the 5th of May 1978, taking in action, sport, drama and laughs along the way. Join me next time when we look at another week from the TV Times to see what was happening in 'I Didn't Know There Was So Much in It'.