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On this Day 1960: Jean Morton and a ABC Cinema ‘Christmas Party’

On this Day

On this Day 1960: Jean Morton and a ABC Cinema ‘Christmas Party’

OTD, December 21st, 1960…

The ABC Cinema chain held a Christmas party at their theatre on Bristol Road in Birmingham. The event was attended by Jean Morton, of ATV, who arrived in a vintage car.

The Bristol Cinema opened in 1937, becoming part of the Associated British Cinemas chain in 1944 – although it wouldn’t be until 1959 that the theatre was rebranded as an ABC Cinema. In 1972 it was revamped into a three-screen complex, but had fallen out of fashion with picture goers by 1987 – when it closed for the final time. Unlike many former cinemas it wasn’t repurposed for bingo, instead, the silver screen palace was bulldozed the following year to make way for a McDonalds drive-thru.

Jean Morton, born in 1921, began her ITV career at its very beginning. She joined ATV, which operated London weekends and Midland weekday services on ITV, from its inception working primarily in the Midlands region as one of the original four continuity announcers, alongside Shaw Taylor, Arthur Adair and Peter Cockburn. She is best known to network ITV audiences for hosting children’s series Tingha and Tucker.

Jean in the mid-1970s moved behind the screens, virtually full-time, with ATV working in an executive role. However, she did make occasional television appearances. Jean Morton died aged 91 in Lichfield on May 26th 2012 and her funeral took place on July 4th in Sutton Coldfield. In 2016 a DVD release containing the best of what survives of Tingha And Tucker was released by Network.

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