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|'Panorama' (Nov 11 1953)
A programme which is still going strong. This dealt with current affairs and was originally introduced by Max Robertson. It was more of a magazine with Malcolm Muggeridge on hand to interview the famous. Denis Mathews was the art critic and Nancy Spain reviewed books whilst Lional Hale discussed events in the theatre.
After two years, Panorama was transformed to become a 'window on the world' and into the programme we know today by the arrival of Richard Dimbleby (left), originally aided by athlete Christopher Chataway and John Freeman.
A clever April Fool's Day joke was played by this, normally very serious, programme in 1957 when Panorama reported on a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland. TV viewers saw Richard Dimbleby walking among trees growing spaghetti, while workers pulled the pasta off the trees and put it into baskets. When viewers called to ask how they could grow spaghetti plants, the BBC replied "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best." Lending the hoax credibility, was the fact that spaghetti was not a widely eaten food in Britain in the 1950s and was considered by many to be very exotic
Spaghetti Harvest clip (RealVideo)
Spaghetti Harvest clip (audio)
Robin Day took over the presentation in 1959
In February 1950 came the first general election of the television era. Producer Grace Wyndham Goldie managed to persuade the BBC to let her put on a programme on election night to report the results (over the objections of engineers who thought it was dangerous to the transmitters to keep them on overnight). Chester Wilmot was the anchorman and David Butler, who went on to become an election regular, was chief pundit
The 1955 election results were reported on television in a much more comprehensive way than ever before. A professional anchor was found - Richard Dimbleby (above). For the first time, a telerecording of an election night programme was made and kept. Robert McKenzie was a Canadian born Politics professor who wrote a standard study on political party structure. McKenzie talked about the political impact of the election results as they came in. He also invented the one graphic which came to symbolise television coverage of elections, and is still in use today: the swingometer, a pendulum attached to a chart illustrating the House of Commons outcome at each point of swing.
|This Week (ITV 1956-78; 1986-92)
ITV's answer to Panorama, This Week began life as a simple topical news magazine with the slogan 'A window on the world behind the headlines'. Presenters over the years were Rene Cutforth, Leslie Mitchell, Michael Westore, Ludovic Kennedy (above), Daniel Farson, Brian Connell, Alastair Burnet and Jonathan Dimbleby. It was renamed to TV Eye in 1978 but restored to its original title in 1986.
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