Morecambe and Wise

Morecambe & WiseThe Morecambe and Wise ShowMorcambe and Wise
In the mid-1970s they recorded a tribute album, Morecambe and Wise Sing Flanagan and Allen (Phillips 6382 095), in which they performed some of the earlier team's more popular songs in their own style, without attempting to imitate the originals. * Running Wild (BBC, 1954) (Various writers). Two of a Kind (ATV, 1961–68) (Writers: Hills and Green). The Morecambe & Wise Show (BBC, 1968–77) (Writers: Hills and Green (1968), Eddie Braben (1969–77)). The Morecambe & Wise Show (Thames Television, 1978–83) (writers: Barry Cryer and John Junkin (1978), Eddie Braben (1980–83)). The Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise Show (BBC Radio 2, 1975–78. Writer: Eddie Braben).

ITV (TV network)

ITVITV NetworkIndependent Television
ATV: ATV Midlands News, ATV Today. Anglia: About Anglia, Anglia News, Anglia News Tonight, Anglia Tonight. Carlton: London Tonight. Central / Carlton (Central): Central News, Central News at Six, Central Tonight. Channel: Channel Report. Grampian: North Tonight. Granada: Northern Newscast, Scene at Six Thirty, Granada Tonight. HTV Wales / ITV Wales: Wales Tonight, HTV News, HTV Wales News. HTV West / ITV West: HTV News, HTV West News, The West Tonight The West Country Tonight. London Weekend Television / LWT: LWT News, London Tonight. Meridian: Meridian Tonight. Scottish Television / STV: Scotland Today. Southern: Day by Day. Television South West / TSW: Today South West, TSW Today.

ITV Central

Central TelevisionCentral Independent TelevisionCentral
The IBA accepted ATV's assertion that ATV Midlands Ltd planned to take a more local identity and awarded the contract to ATV Midlands Ltd on the basis that further changes were to be implemented, including that the parent company, Associated Communications Corporation, would divest 49 per cent of its shareholding in ATV Midlands Ltd in an attempt to introduce local shareholders and that ATV Midlands Ltd's registered office should be within the region. To demonstrate this change of share structure the IBA insisted that ATV change its company name, to show that it was a substantially new company due to the requirement for a dual region.

BBC Elstree Centre

Neptune HouseBritish National StudiosBBC Elstree Studios
After 1970, programmes such as Crossroads were made at the new Birmingham studios at the ATV Centre. Larger-scale productions, including many drama programmes, continued to be recorded at the Elstree facility for the rest of ATV's existence. In the period of its occupation of the Elstree complex, the smaller Studios A and B were used for schools TV and sitcoms, while Studio C was a drama studio. Studio D, with permanent audience seating, was used for light entertainment programmes such as the ATV Morecambe and Wise series (Two of a Kind, 1961–68) and The Muppet Show (1976–81).


25th anniversaryEast EndersEastEnder
However, by April 2010 a follow-up report confirmed that Albert Square would remain at Elstree Studios for at least another four years, taking the set through its 25th anniversary. The set was consequently rebuilt for high definition on the same site, using mostly real brick with some areas using a new improved plastic brick. Throughout rebuilding filming would still take place, and so scaffolding was often seen on screen during the process, with some storylines written to accommodate the rebuilding, such as the Queen Vic fire.


Elstree, HertfordshireElstree, EnglandE'''lstree
Elstree is perhaps best known for the Elstree Film Studios, where a number of famous British films were made, and the BBC Elstree Centre, where the TV soap opera EastEnders is made; these are both located in Borehamwood. The local newspaper is the Borehamwood and Elstree Times. Together with Borehamwood, the village is twinned with Offenburg in Germany, Fontenay-aux-Roses in France, and Huainan in China. Elstree & Borehamwood railway station is on the Thameslink line between London St Pancras and Bedford. It was built by the Midland Railway in 1868, and is located just north of the 1072 yd Elstree Tunnels.

Independent Broadcasting Authority

IBAIndependent Broadcasting Acts 1973, 1974 and 1978radio industry regulator
The IBA was determined each franchise provided the best possible local service, so the South of England transmission region was split in two, with the successful applicant required to provide separate news services for the South and South East, while in the Midlands ATV's commitment to regional output in the Midlands had been a long-running issue for the IBA; in 1980, they were allowed to keep their franchise, but with several tough conditions.

The Muppet Show

Muppet ShowThe Muppet Show ThemePigs in Space
While neither episode was moved forward as a series and other networks in the United States rejected Henson's proposals, British producer Lew Grade expressed interest in the project and agreed to co-produce The Muppet Show for ATV. Five seasons, totalling 120 episodes, were broadcast on ATV and other ITV franchises in the UK and in first-run syndication in the US from 1976 to 1981. The programme was filmed at Elstree Studios, England. The Muppet Show is presented as a variety show, featuring recurring sketches and musical numbers interspersed with plotlines taking place behind the show.

Two of a Kind (British TV series)

Two of a KindTwo Of A Kind (1961)*
In 1968, Lew Grade began negotiations for a new deal to retain Morecambe and Wise at ATV for another three years. However, at that time, the duo were anxious to take advantage of the technological advancements that were coming through in television, most notably the advent of colour. ATV at the time were not in a position to offer this and so, in spite of the financial package offered, Morecambe and Wise instead accepted an offer to return to the BBC. The first series was billed as Sir Bernard Delfont Presents Morecambe & Wise, with the Two of a Kind title not used until the second series.


Boreham WoodWell EndBorehamwood, England
Elstree Studios were more recently used for the popular TV series Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Big Brother, as well as several major feature films. The Inspector Morse TV series' production offices were based in the studios and, although the series was supposedly set in Oxford, several exterior locations (banks, shops etc.) were filmed in the streets of Borehamwood. The former British National Studios off Clarendon Road, referred to locally as "The Douglas Fairbanks studios" (which were bought by Lew Grade's ATV in 1962), are now the BBC Elstree Studios.

ITC Entertainment

ITCIncorporated Television CompanyITC Entertainment Group
Programmes were made in several facilities but most notably at ABPC's Elstree film studios (not to be confused with ATV's nearby Clarendon Road Studios, Borehamwood studios which was a live/videotape facility, and now known as BBC Elstree). However, the MGM-British Studios complex at Borehamwood, the Rank Organisation's Pinewood and Shepperton Studios were also used. 'Ghost Squad' was made at the Independent Artists Studio in Beaconsfield. * APF. ATV Network. Central Independent Television. ITC Films. Independent Television Corporation. Incorporated Television Company. AP Films. Century 21 Productions. Cult television. Gerry Anderson. ITV (TV channel). Sapphire Films.

Lew Grade

Sir Lew GradeLord GradeLew Grade, Baron Grade
Their firms, effectively amounting to a "cartel", were agents for most of the major talents in acting as well as entertainment and controlled theatres in both London and the rest of the UK and ATV was a major provider of televised entertainment. The following year, ATV lost its London franchise to what would become London Weekend Television (LWT); at the same time, however, ATV's Midlands franchise was expanded to run throughout the week from July 1968. Through ATV Music, Grade acquired Northern Songs, gaining control of the Lennon–McCartney song catalogue.

Thames Television

ThamesThames TVITV (Thames)
The Morecambe & Wise Show. Carry On Christmas Specials. Bless This House. The Edward Woodward Hour. For The Love Of Ada. Alcock and Gander. Thirty Minutes Worth. Love Thy Neighbour. Alice Through the Looking Glass. The Kenny Everett Video Show/Video Cassette. Man About the House. Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width. Robin's Nest. George and Mildred. Shelley. Mr. Bean. Men Behaving Badly. Full House. Give Us a Clue. Name That Tune. Strike It Lucky. Take Your Pick!. Whodunnit?. Quick on the Draw. The Avengers. The Tomorrow People. Six Days of Justice. London Belongs To Me. The Mind of Mr. J.G. Reeder. Minder. The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. Rumpole of the Bailey. Special Branch.

Alpha Television

Alpha studiosAlpha Television Network GreeceTheatre Royal, Aston
The company was formed in 1956 as a co-venture between two newly created Independent Television (ITV) companies, ATV and ABC Television. The former operated the contract to broadcast programming to the Midlands during the week, the latter at weekends. The respective companies had established production centres near London and Manchester (Elstree in Hertfordshire, Teddington in Middlesex and at Didsbury), but despite conflicts over contract applications and rivalry over the corporate acronym, the costs of creating separate facilities in the Midlands led to a decision to co-operate. A separate holding company to operate the centre, Alpha Television Services (Birmingham) Limited, was formed.

James Paul McCartney (TV program)

James Paul McCartneyMcCartneys' first American TV special
Songs: "When I'm 64", "A Hard Day's Night", "Can't Buy Me Love", "She Loves You", "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "Yesterday", "Yellow Submarine" Part 10 "Wings in Concert", recorded on a sound stage at Elstree Studios (Borehamwood), before a live audience. Songs: "The Mess", "Maybe I'm Amazed", "Long Tall Sally" (US broadcast only; the UK and other European market replaced this with "Hi, Hi, Hi") Part 11 The coda of "Another Day", followed by a live acoustic performance of "Yesterday". Credits roll over the performance. Songs: "Another Day", "Yesterday" McCartney performed "Mama's Little Girl" as part of a medley during this television special, though it was not broadcast.

The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine

Co-produced by ATV in the UK and ABC TV in the United States, it was recorded at ATV's Elstree Studios. It features opening and closing credits animated by Terry Gilliam, as well as featuring guest appearances by Spike Milligan, John Junkin and Frances de la Tour. It also featured sketches written by Barry Levinson and Larry Gelbart. Long unavailable, the complete series was to be released on DVD in the UK through Network on 6 June 2016. However, the release has been postponed indefinitely for unspecified reasons. *

The Golden Shot

Bernie, the bolt!Der goldene SchußGolden Shot
The studio facilities in Birmingham, situated in a converted cinema, were rather run-down and unreliable (they dated from the start of ATV's franchise in 1956) and simply not well-suited to a fast-moving live show like The Golden Shot; as such, technical failures were common, but Monkhouse was well able to cover for them through his quick-witted humour. From 1970, the show moved to the new ATV Centre in Birmingham. In 1972, Monkhouse was spotted accepting a gift from Wilkinson Sword representative Bob Brooksby. The following week, a Wilkinson Sword "his and hers" grooming kit was the bronze prize on the show.


Inigo Pipkin
The new set was built up from ground level to enable puppeteers to work standing up and to move around more freely, modelled on the methods used by The Muppet Show which was also filmed at ATV's Elstree Studios. Pipkins ended when ATV lost its franchise for the Midlands ITV region, was restructured and became Central Independent Television. The programme was replaced by Let's Pretend. The series was made at ATV's Elstree studios, with occasional filming on location. For the Inigo Pipkin episodes, the opening and closing titles were sung by Jackie Lee, who had earlier sung the themes to children's programmes The Adventures of Rupert Bear and White Horses.

The Elstree Project

The Elstree Project is an oral history project which began in 2010. The project is conducted in partnership by the University of Hertfordshire and Elstree Screen Heritage. The project is endorsed by the BECTU History Project and Elstree Studios. The Elstree Project interviews cast and crew members who have worked at any of the six main studios in Elstree and Borehamwood: Elstree Studios (formerly ABPC, later EMI), BBC Elstree Centre (formerly ATV), MGM-British Studios, Danziger's New Elstree Studios, British and Dominion Studios and The Gate studios.

Grange Hill

Paula Ann BlandBradley SheppardGrange Hill'' Cast
In 1985, production shifted to the former ATV studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. The BBC had purchased the studio complex the previous year. The studios, now known as BBC Elstree Centre, were the location for some exterior filming from Series 8 on the closed Elstree set. A 1960s office block, Neptune House in the facility now doubled as Hills "lower school". The change was explained on screen with an elaborate storyline whereby Grange Hill merged with rival schools Brookdale and Rodney Bennett to form a new school, Grange Hill.

Julie on Sesame Street

Produced by ATV and ITC at ATV Elstree in the United Kingdom (and not at Sesame Street 's then-usual New York City studios), the special was televised in that country on ITV on July 10, 1974 at 8PM in most regions. The special was the first Muppets-related program to be produced with ATV and ITC, who would both co-produce the highly successful The Muppet Show three years later. * Jim Henson as Ernie, Kermit the Frog. Frank Oz as Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover. Jerry Nelson as Biff, Frazzle, Mr. Snuffleupagus. Caroll Spinney as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch.

History of ITV

ITV strikeITVnext franchise round
ATV was reawarded its contract for the dual Midlands region, but was considered by the IBA to have not focused on the region enough. As a result, changes were ordered including the diluting of existing shareholdings, greater production facilities in the contract area and the sale of Elstree Studios; to emphasise these actions the company was told to rename itself. It settled on the name Central Independent Television. Southern Television lost its licence for the South and South East of England, in favour of South and South-East Communications, but later renamed Television South (TVS).

ABC Weekend TV

ABCABC TelevisionAssociated British Corporation
and, together with ATV, British television's first regular weekly series of adult education programmes. Associated Television. Granada Television. Associated Rediffusion. ITV (TV network). History of ITV. ABC at Large from Transdiffusion (unofficial history site). Animated ABC logo, 1960s from (Macromedia Flash 6 or later required). Animated ABC logo, c.1964 from

The Morecambe & Wise Show (1968 TV series)

The Morecambe & Wise ShowThe Morecambe and Wise ShowMorecambe and Wise Show
The Morecambe & Wise Show was a comedy sketch show originally broadcast by BBC television and the third TV series by English comedy double-act Morecambe and Wise. It began airing in 1968 on BBC2, specifically because it was then the only channel broadcasting in colour, following the duo's move to the BBC from ATV, where they had made Two of a Kind since 1961. The Morecambe & Wise Show was popular enough to be moved to BBC1, with its Christmas specials garnering prime-time audiences in excess of 20 million, some of the largest in British television history.


Hertfordshire, EnglandCounty of HertfordHerts
The studios generally used the name of Elstree. American director Stanley Kubrick not only used to shoot in those studios but also lived in the area until his death. Big Brother UK and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? have been filmed there. EastEnders is filmed at Elstree. Hertfordshire has seen development at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden; the Harry Potter series was filmed here and the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye. On 17 October 2000, the Hatfield rail crash killed four people with over 70 injured. The crash exposed the shortcomings of Railtrack, which consequently saw speed restrictions and major track replacement.