Both sides of the camera

Robert Caxton

How would we reflect the history of our own day? There is no foundation stone so enormous that we could seal beneath it the photographs, the motion pictures, the tape recordings that would give a full and live picture of the nineteen-sixties. Perhaps a videotape recording of a week’s television would give the most vivid impression, for within a few days so much of the world, its peoples and its arts are pictured before us. If television is a reflection of our times then a book like this, composed of moments snatched from the screen and recorded for ever, has a certain historic value. Television is the most ephemeral of all the arts and of all the daily chronicles. This collection, then, of what people looked at in the mid-twentieth century is also a mirror of the time, a reminder of the men and women of the earth’s stage, of the fashions, the fads, the themes of our day

Television is an intensely personal medium: we all react differently to artists and programmes, and in a souvenir website of TV pictures it would be impossible to please everyone. Some shows and performers deserve a place in any gallery of memories, but there are also those that may gain point or appreciation in retrospect and so increase the pleasure of future viewing. This book contains a selection of pictures intended to build up an overall impression of the growth and development of television programmes and their relationship to each other, and of the range and diversity of material that goes into a balanced pattern of viewing. Some of the pictures record successful shows and famous names, but television is as much concerned with new faces and new ideas; these also are represented. There is also the influence on programmes of the strong regional roots that are part of the structure of Independent Television

Finally, some photographs have their place because they make a point about television, a medium at once mysterious and intimate, as full of contrasts as the pictures on this site

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

The ITA Areas


ABC TelevisionGranada TV
ABC TelevisionAssociated TeleVision
Associated TeleVisionAssociated Rediffusion
Scottish Television
Television West and Wales
Southern Television
Tyne Tees Television
Anglia Television
Ulster Television