They spend the money

Sydney Newman former Head of Television Drama for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, came to ABC nearly three years ago.

Trained on documentary films through eight years with John Grierson at the National Film Board of Canada and winner of several international production awards,

Sydney Newman determined that his ABC programmes should reflect contemporary Britain. He now has seven playwrights under contract and many more under commission, and although Armchair Theatre is often the subject of controversy its consistently high standard draws the best creative talents in the country

David Southwood is a Liverpool man who joined ABC on the Company’s formation after a successful career as a BBC radio commentator and producer and a working introduction to television in Canada and the USA.

He built ABC’s Outside Broadcast Unit into the largest in ITV, and has made notable use of its widely varied programmes to foster good relations throughout the North and Midlands, pioneering many ventures such as the first telecast from the Isle of Man. Now he is ABC’s principal executive in the North

Brian Tesler took a first in English at Oxford University, spent four years at the BBC, where he won the 1954 National TV Award for Devising and Producing the Best Light Entertainment, and three years at ATV, where his work on Saturday Spectacular and Sunday Night at the London Palladium won him the 1957 Light Entertainment Production Award of the Guild of TV Producers and Directors.

He came to ABC early in 1960 to extend the range of the Company’s Light Entertainment and to develop further the work of the Features Departmentl

Brian Tesler

Light Entertainment and Features Supervisor

Ours is probably the only combined Light Entertainment and Features Department in television, but, since the function of light entertainment is to attract and entertain a majority audience which will then stay tuned for the more serious programmes, the combination makes for a pretty useful interaction of purpose. In a few months this department has expanded its output from two to six live hours a weekend. It believes in extending the attack and vigour of light entertainment to its treatment of features, and already has several distinguished firsts and mosts to urge it on to an enterprising future.

To The Book Man, the first regular series on books and writers, it has added the top-rating science programme in British television, You’d Never Believe It! With the startlingly popular Candid Camera it has coupled the world’s first successful sixty-minute situation-comedy show, Our House. To the first and most successful teenage religious series, The Sunday Break, it has added the searching investigations of Living Your Life and two of the most respected and popular serious magazine programmes in regional television, ABC of the North and ABC of the Midlands. Our responsibilities range from Advertising Magazines to Family Bulletins, from Family Hour to Foo Foo, from the rock and roll of Wham!! to the Dixieland of Steamboat Shuffle, from quiz games like For Love or Money to all-star musical spectaculars like Sammy Davis Meets the British.

As we continue to expand, we look ahead to new ventures in children’s entertainment, new angles on comedy and music, new showcases for star performers and writers, new departures in documentary and educational programmes. To the time-honoured Light Entertainment dictum ‘Make ’Em Laugh!’ we add the Features exhortation ‘Make ‘Em Think!’ To entertain superlatively and to instruct entertainingly is our aim. If the ideas, enthusiasm, and sheer hard work of our directors and writers mean anything at all we should achieve it

Mr Wonderful

Another very welcome American visitor to ABC was the sensational Sammy David Jr, who made his only live TV appearance during a whirlwind visit to London last Summer in Sammy Davis Jr Meets the British, a one-hour ABC extravaganza relayed over the ITV Network and produced by Light Entertainment Supervisor Brian Tesler.

British dancing star Lionel Blair partnered the dynamic David in a challenge dance routine built around those traditional London sartorial ornaments, the bowler and the brolly

Stanley Allen

In a specially created scene in another part of the programme, ‘Mr Wonderful’ showed British viewers the brilliant caberet act which has made him the darling of nightclub audiences from London to Las Vegas

Stanley Allen
1960 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM