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NOTES A.B.C, or the "Associated British Corporation", were one of the I.T.V. franchises that begin in 1955. They covered the North and Midlands, broadcasting during the weekend, whilst other I.T.V. franchises suc as Granada handled weekday programming. In 1967/8 there was a round of franchise renewels in which weekend franchises were scrapped (with the exception of London for some reason), at which point A.B.C. formed a joint company with with Rediffusion to create a new company, Thames Television, broadcasting to the London area on weekdays.

The set (or is it partial set?) of matchbooks shown below illustrates many of their popular shows which, combined with the text found inside each matchbook would date them to around christmas/new year 1964/5.

The "Armchair Theatre" featured a variety of dramas and was one of A.B.C.'s more successful programmes. It began in July 1956 and continued into the Thames Television era. The matchbook includes a reference to the play "The Importance of being Earnest", which was broadcast on the 15th November 1964. Initial episodes, like most dramas at the time, were generally transmitted live and as such both actors and programme makers would be expected to improvise their way through should any problems being encountered. Indeed, one such problem was was the play "Underground" tranmitted in late 1958 in which one of the actors collapsed and died in the middle of the broadcast.

The "Big Night Out" was a variety show hosted by Mike and Bernie winters and ran from 1963 to 1965.

"Tempo" was billed as A.B.C.'s arts programme. I can't find much about this series, however the matchbook makes reference to a book by Angus Wilson, the book almost certainly being "Tempo : The Impact of Television" published in 1964.

There are in fact three incarnations of "Eamonn Andrews Show". The first of these was made by the B.B.C. between 1956 and 1957, then after a long break it surfaced on A.B.C., running from September 1964 through to 1969, and was resurected under on Thames Television in 1979.

There were only two series of "The Human Jungle", a phsychological medical drama. The first series began in March 1963 but there is some confusion over when the series ended, being somewhere between December 1964 and May 1965.

"The Sunday Break" was a religious programme aimed more at the"rock and Roll" youth, featuring a mix of moral discussions and non-religious music. Prior to 1972, television broadcasting was not allowed between 6pM and 7:30pM on a Sunday for fear that it might encourage people to stay away from evening church services. However the restriction was ignored if the programmes were of a religious nature; I wonder if this series was aimed at young people whilst their parents were at church ? Whatever, the series began in March 1958 and was clearly still running in the mid 1960's.
WHERE FOUND Bought off Fleabuy for nearly £7.50.
RELATED LINKS If you can read black text on a dark background then you can read more about ABC television on the Transdiffusion website.

The text accompanying the following illustrations is taken from the inside of each matchbook.

"Susannah York, Ian Carmichael, Wilfred Brambell and Patrick Macnee of The Avengers, four of the stars of The Importance of Being Ernest. Star studded casts, compelling plays, incomparable production; these are the ingrediants that put Armchair Theatre into the forefront of television drama - and are holding it there." "Big Night Out, ABC TV's fast moving, all-star variety show, hosted by comedians Mike and Bernie Winters. Following on the phenomenal success of the ITV Networked summer edition of the show - Blackpool Night Out - Mike and Bernie continue to create fresh variety spectacular and comedy trends." "Yehudi Menuhin is representative of the many artists of international reputation who have appeared on Tempo, the widely acclaimed programme devoted to highlighting the contemporary arts, which has now been made the subject of a book by Angus Wilson."
"Eamonn Andres brings to his own show each week on ABC TV that special blend of charm and warmth that has won him a place in the hearts of television viewers." "The complexities of the human mind, the hidden secrets of the subconscious, the fears and torment created by mental disturbance. These are the problems to be faced and solved by psychiatrist Dr. Roger Coder, played by Herbert Lom, in ABC TV's exciting and adult drama series The Human Jungle".
"Left: The Bishop of Woolwich. Facing him: a panel of young people, concerned, clear-headed, representative of their age, together in The Sundy Break, a religious programme that supplies straight answers to pertinent questions.
Exciting programming from ABC TV."


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J.Evans 2007
Last updated
11th November 2007