Elstree Studios (Shenley Road)

Elstree StudiosElstreeABPC Elstree Studios
Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council. elstreestudios.co.uk, Elstree Studios official website. News clip previews at Pathé News. The Elstree Project – "Oral history interviews, showcasing Elstree's rich cultural filmmaking heritage.

London Weekend Television

LWTLondon WeekendLondon Television Consortium
Lillie was based on the real-life story of Lillie Langtry, and saw Francesca Annis reprising the role from ATV's Edward the Seventh, and The Gentle Touch starring Jill Gascoine was the UK's first drama series with a female police detective in the lead role. However, by far the station's most successful drama was Upstairs, Downstairs, a successful attempt to produce a costume drama comparable in scale to BBC1's The Forsyte Saga.

Ludwig Blattner

BlattnerphoneLouis Blattner
Ludwig hanged himself at the Elstree Country Club in October 1935, when his son was 22 and his daughter was 21. Ludwig and Gerry were honoured by the naming of Blattner Close in Elstree in the mid-1990s. * Blattner Close at streetmap.co.uk Blattnerphone at the BBC's A History of the World. Blattner Close at streetmap.co.uk.

Scottish Television

STVSTV CentralScottish TV
Much of the station's early output was provided by ATV, under a ten-year deal worth £1 million per year. By 1965, ATV's senior producer Francis Essex had become Scottish's programming controller. But the station had also gained a reputation for low budget, entertainment-driven programming. It was jokingly said that STV only owned two pieces of equipment; one telecine to show western films and another to show the commercials. Lord Thomson was also criticised, for using much of the profits generated by Scottish Television to further gain his interests in the newspaper industry, rather than reinvesting into the station.


Associated RediffusionRediffusionRediffusion London
Associated Television. ITV (TV network). History of ITV. Animated Associated-Rediffusion Presents logo, 1956, from 625.uk.com (requires Macromedia Flash 6 or later). Animated Rediffusion Black logo, 1964, from 625.uk.com. Associated-Rediffusion at TV Ark. Fountain Studios, formerly known as Wembley Studios. Rediffusion Singapore (official site). Television House from Telemusications (unofficial history site). The history of Rediffusion by Gerald K Clode. Rediffusion Barbados (unofficial history site).

Independent Television Authority

ITAIndependent Televisioncommercial television
The new 7-day franchise in the Midlands was awarded to Associated TeleVision (ATV). The ITA asked ABC and Associated-Rediffusion to merge, forming Thames Television which was awarded the London Weekday franchise. LWT was awarded the London Weekend franchise (from 7 pm on Fridays). Most controversially, TWW lost its franchise for Wales and the West of England to Harlech Television, which soon became known as HTV.

Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops SaturdayTOTPTop of the Pops Plus
In November 1969, with the introduction of colour, the show returned to BBC TV Centre, where it stayed until 1991, when it moved to Elstree Studios Studio C. For a while in the early 1970s, non-chart songs were played on a more regular basis, to reflect the perceived growing importance of album sales; there was an album slot featuring three songs from a new LP, as well as a New Release spot and a feature of a new act, dubbed Tip for the Top. These features were dropped after a while, although the programme continued to feature new releases on a regular basis for the rest of the decade. During its heyday, it attracted 15 million viewers each week.

Shaw Taylor

Police 5
He was an announcer for Associated TeleVision when the normal announcer was not available. He then had a variety of acting roles in film and television from the 1950s on, and presented various game shows including Password, Tell the Truth, Dotto, This Is Your Chance and The Law Game (BBC Radio 2). In the early '60s he and Muriel Young co-hosted a music programme on Radio Luxembourg called The Friday Spectacular. Between 1960 and 1962 he presented the quiz show Pencil and Paper. In 1970 he was the original presenter of the Clunk Click public information films. In 1972 he presented a pilot episode of Whodunnit?


Matthew ButlerMatthew Butler (Tiswas)Series 2 of Tiswas
The presenting team was doubled to four presenters, and these were usually culled from ATV's presentation department. Chris Tarrant and John Asher retained their roles as the main presenters, although John would leave during this series. From the ranks at ATV, other regular presenters were established, notably sports reporter Trevor East (later director of sport at Setanta Sports) and announcer Peter Tomlinson (later to become managing director of Saga Radio West Midlands and High Sheriff of the West Midlands). Producer Peter Harris would leave the show in the summer to help produce fellow cult TV success The Muppet Show at ATV's London-orientated operation in Elstree.

Chris Tarrant

Chris TarrentTarrant, Chris
Tarrant's career began in 1965, when he was hired by the since-dissolved television network ATV. He presented ATV Today, a current affairs programme serving the Midlands area of England, until 1982. Tarrant rose to prominence after becoming a co-host on Tiswas, the children's television show broadcast on a Saturday morning from 1974 to 1981. In January 1982, along with A puppeteer (kiddie fiddler), John Gorman, Randolph Sutherland and Lenny Henry, Tarrant launched a late-night show, O.T.T., thought of as an "adult" version of Tiswas, but it did not prove popular. Tarrant was a Capital Radio host from 1984 to 2004, presenting the early-morning show Capital Breakfast.

Carlton Television

CarltonCarlton TVCarlton Productions
Changes in legislation concerning media ownership enabled Carlton to buy out many of the other ITV stations, including Central Independent Television, Westcountry, and part of HTV (via Granada), as well as the rights to the archives of ITC Entertainment and its former sister company ATV. Rank Film Distributors, including its library of 740 films, was purchased by Carlton in 1997 for £65 million. HTV was the only region owned by Carlton not to be subject to a full rebrand as Carlton.

Associated British Picture Corporation

British International PicturesWardour FilmsAssociated British-Pathé
"It was a dreadful place", said Richard Attenborough when remembering ABPC's Elstree facility. "It created nothing in terms of a feeling of commitment." During this period though, the company produced its best remembered titles such as The Dam Busters (Michael Anderson, 1954), and Ice Cold in Alex (1958), whose director J. Lee Thompson was ABPC's most productive during the 1950s. Policies changed after Clark left in January 1958. New projects from the company were limited to those using contracted television comedy performers, and investment in independent productions. The use of Elstree for television production increased.

Alpha Tower

ATV CentreATV Centre, BirminghamITV Central studios
It was designed by the Birmingham-born architect George Marsh of Richard Seifert & Partners as the headquarters of the commercial television company ATV (Associated Television) and part of the company's production studio complex known as ATV Centre, an adjacent shorter tower was planned but was never built. ATV closed in 1982, after which the building became offices. Birmingham City Council took a large tenancy of the building until they vacated in 2010. It is the third tallest building in Birmingham and the tallest office building in Birmingham. It is a Grade A locally listed building.

Bullseye (British game show)

BullseyeBullseye (UK game show)Bullseye'' (UK game show)
The theme music for the show was written by John Patrick, who was Head of music department at ATV and Central. The first series, whilst containing elements of what would become the familiar theme, featured a notably different, and much longer, arrangement of the theme. This evolved over the next couple of series into the standard and recognised arrangement of the opening theme tune.

Prince Littler

From the beginning of commercial television in the UK, he was a major shareholder in Associated Television. He was a member of the council of the Theatrical Managers' Association, and vice-president of the boards of the Society of West End Theatre Managers, Denville Home for Aged Actors and Actresses and the Variety Artistes' Benevolent Fund. He served on the boards of the South Bank Theatre and the Royal Opera House. In 1957, Littler was appointed CBE. He retired from production in 1966, and died at his home in Sussex in 1973 at the age of 72. *

EMI Films

Anglo-EMIThorn EMI Screen EntertainmentEMI Television
EMI Films also owned Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England; in turn, Cannon ended up purchasing the studio as well, but later sold it to Brent Walker Group plc in 1988, who in turn ended up selling half of the EMI Elstree Studios site to Tesco for a supermarket, before Hertsmere Council eventually acquired what was left of the Elstree Studios, and, as of 2018, still operates it as a film and television studios centre. EMI financed films under a variety of corporate names and with a series of production partners. Below are the main ones: * Hoffman (with Peter Sellers, directed by Alvin Rakoff). The Go-Between directed by Joseph Losey.

ATV Today

ATV Today was a regional television news and current affairs programme, produced by ATV, serving the Midlands area of England. The programme aired from 5 October 1964 until 31 December 1981 – the final day of broadcasting from ATV before the company was restructured and relaunched as Central Independent Television. Regional television came to the Midlands on 17 February 1956 with the launch of ATV's weekday ITV service. The first news programme, a daily 5-minute bulletin called ATV Midlands News, was broadcast on 7 May 1956 – three months after the channel first went on air.

Norman Collins

The new company thus formed was to be called the Associated Broadcasting Company (ABC), but rival franchise holder Associated British Corporation pointed out that they already held rights to this name, so Associated Television (ATV) was decided upon as a substitute. Collins took on the role of Deputy Chairman of ATV, but was effectively sidelined by the force of personality of the company's other senior directors, Prince Littler and Lew Grade. In 1931 Collins married actress Sarah Helen, daughter of Arthur Francis Martin; they had two daughters and one son. The Facts of Fiction – 1932 (Gollancz) US: 1933 (Dutton). Penang Appointment – 1934 (Gollancz) US: 1935 (Doubleday).

Edward the Seventh

Edward the Kingrecent TV series
Edward the Seventh is a 1975 British television drama series, made by ATV in 13 episodes. Based on the biography of King Edward VII by Philip Magnus, it starred Timothy West as the elder Edward VII and Simon Gipps-Kent and Charles Sturridge as Edward in his youth, and Annette Crosbie as Queen Victoria. It was directed by John Gorrie, who wrote episodes 7-10 with David Butler writing the remainder of the series. Only the final three episodes dramatised Edward as King (in line with his short, nine-year reign, which did not begin until he was nearly sixty years old).

Carry On Laughing

*Carry on Laughing!one television series
Carry On Laughing is a British television comedy series produced in 1975 for ATV. Based on the Carry On films, it was an attempt to address the films' declining cinema attendance by transferring the franchise to television. Many of the original cast members were featured in the series. Carry on Laughing ran for two series, the first for six half-hour episodes and the second for seven episodes. The episode Orgy and Bess featured the final Carry On performances of both Sid James and Hattie Jacques. The TV series is not as widely known as the original films, which - by contrast - are broadcast regularly on British television.

Death of a Princess

Death of a Princess is a British 1980 drama-documentary produced by ATV in cooperation with WGBH in the United States. The drama is based on the true story of Princess Misha'al, a young Saudi Arabian princess and her lover who had been publicly executed for adultery. Its depiction of the customs of Saudi Arabia led some Middle Eastern governments to oppose its broadcast under threat of damaging trade relations. The film was based on numerous interviews by journalist Antony Thomas, who, upon first hearing the story, grew passionately curious about its veracity, soon drawing upon contacts in the Arab world for their insights and opinions.

Crossroads (British TV series)

CrossroadsCrossroads Motel Crossroads
It was created by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling and produced by ATV (until the end of 1981) and then by ATV's successor, Central Independent Television until 1988. The series was revived by Carlton Television in 2001; however, due to low ratings it was cancelled again in 2003. The original premise of Crossroads is based around two feuding sisters, Kitty Jarvis (Beryl Johnstone) and Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon). Meg is a wealthy woman who, with the help of her late husband Charles' insurance money, and compensation money from the council for them building a motorway through their land, turned her large Georgian house into a motel.

Madame Pompadour (1927 film)

Madame PompadourMadam Pompadour'' (1927 film)
It was the first film to be shot at the newly christened Elstree Studios. In 18th-century France, the King's mistress Madame Pompadour (Dorothy Gish), frees her jailed lover, political prisoner Rene Laval (Antonio Moreno), to make him her bodyguard. Gish and Wilcox had just enjoyed a big hit with Nell Gwyn. British National Films and Paramount signed them to make three more movies of which this was the first. Gish was paid ₤1500 a week for six weeks. Filming was delayed an extra three weeks and this added a large amount to the budget and almost brought the film to a standstill. Wilcox was paid £3000 for a film plus 25% of the profits but there were none.

Angela Morley

Wally StottWally Stott & His OrchestraWalter Stott
Another short but remembered theme was the 12-note-long "Ident Zoom-2", written for Lew Grade's Associated TeleVision (ATV), in use from the introduction of colour television in 1969, until the demise of ATV in 1981. In 1953, Morley began a long association with the Philips record label, arranging for and accompanying the company's artists, as well as releasing records, including the 1958 album, London Pride. In 1958, Morley began an association with Shirley Bassey, including work for Bassey's recording of "As I Love You", which reached Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1959, and also worked with Dusty Springfield and on the first four solo albums by Scott Walker.


CBS TelevisionColumbia Broadcasting SystemCBS-TV
Notable examples include the Austrian Broadcasting System (ORF), which formerly used a red version of the eye logo; Associated Television (ATV) in the United Kingdom; Frecuencia Latina in Peru; Fuji Television in Japan; Rede Bandeirantes and Rede Globo in Brazil; and Saeta TV Channel 10 in Uruguay. The network celebrated the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the Eye logo in October 2011, featuring special IDs shown during the network's prime time lineup of logo versions from previous CBS image campaigns. The standard corporate typeface used by CBS since the 1950s is Didot, a close relative to Bodoni.