On this Day: December 31st 1975:

On the last day of 1975 ATV Today headed to the East Midlands to ask locals about their resolutions for 1976.

ATV interviews everyday people in Old Market Square in Nottingham about their new year resolutions.


On this Day: December 29th 1980:

It’s been rebooted for a new generation, but for most of us – we suspect – the Southern Television version of Worzel Gummidge is probably the most memorable and loved.

The stars of that ITV version were Jon Pertwee and Una Stubbs who had taken the show from small screen to theatre stage as ATV Today discovered.

Lynda Berry talked to Una and Jon about the stage version of Worzel Gummidge as it headed to Birmingham. Jon reveals the series was turned down by both the BBC and Thames Television before it was picked up by Southern in Southhampton. He also notes he based the voice of Worzel on an old radio character.


On this Day: Boxing Day 1966:

ATV Today’s John Swallow has a brief interview with ATV stars and comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise who are in Birmingham to appear the pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Birmingham Theatre (Hippodrome).

Eric and Ernie had a successful series on ITV, produced by ATV London until they switched to the BBC at the end of the decade. It was their ten years with the Beeb that made them top TV stars, and festive favourites. In 1978 they switched to Thames TV and a return to ITV that proved less successful.


On this Day: Christmas Day 1958:

Midlands News takes a look at some festive stories including RAF boys’ Christmas dinner in Wythall, an animated choir at Owen Owen in Coventry and Dinner for the ranks served by officers at R.A.O.C., Kineton.

The ATV special also looks at a party for old folks at the Casino Ballroom, carol singing in Selly Oak Hospital and a children’s party at Warwick.


On this Day: Christmas Eve 1979:

Sexy underwear was being bought by husbands for their wives’ Christmas presents. ATV Today’s Geoff Mead talks to sales assistants about why so many are returned after Christmas without being worn.

The feature also includes Vox pops with shoppers in Birmingham on whether they would buy or wear this sort of underwear.


On this Day: December 23rd 1959:

ATV Midlands News pop over to ‘rival’ BBC Birmingham to find out why they were being sheepish about their latest programme.

It turns out the Gosta Green Studios were home to a sheep and her lambs. Why? Well, the sound has been lost so no one knows…


On this Day: December 22nd 1975:

ATV Today took a look at something that is quite normal these days, but in the seventies was a novelty.

A family has placed impressive Christmas decorations in their front garden which includes a large model of Santa Claus and his reindeer.

The display became a talking point for locals when they were put up in the Haigh family’s garden in front of their council home in Banbury in Oxfordshire.


On this Day: December 18th 1974:

The ‘Book of Remembrance’, opened following the IRA pub bombings in Birmingham in November of 1974, was presented to the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor James Eames, by Miss Sadie Paterson on behalf of people of Belfast.

The two bombs, at two locations in the city, saw 21 people murdered and left 182 injured.


On this Day: December 17th 1965:

Gwyn Richards talks to Ken Dodd for ATV Today at the ATV offices on Edmund Street in Birmingham.

The comedian and singer reads out a selection of funny words that are the response to a competition he has been running. He then talks about his role of Humpty Dumpty in this year’s pantomime at the Birmingham Theatre (Birmingham Hippodrome) and finally tells Gwyn about Knotty Ash and the Diddy Men.


On this Day: December 16th 1963:

ATV Midlands News brings footage of the Christmas illuminations in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

The report contains street scenes in both locations with festive lights including 1960s style chandeliers, olde world lanterns, stars and trees. The shots also feature bustling traffic and shoppers in full Christmas spirit.


On this Day: December 14th 1965:

ATV Today was putting on the style with a report on lessons in grooming.

Lionel Hampden reports from the Abraham Darby Comprehensive School at Madeley in Shropshire. Lionel interviews teacher Mrs Roberts about the lessons that have been added to the usual dressmaking and needlework classes. She is critical of pop idols who have worn their hair long but is pleased that the emphasis in fashion is now on shorter styles.

She says that they are trying to avoid having attractive teenagers who grow into untidy wives and mothers.


On this Day: December 13th 1979:

Tony Maycock’s report for ATV Today on the ‘Coventry sound’.

Tony heads to the Coventry recording studios of the Two Tone record company, started by the lead singers from the Specials, who by this point had reached the UK Top Ten twice with singles.

Tony speaks with Terry Hall of The Specials, Chris Griffin about Two Tone and Pauline Black, singer with the Selector about their music which was at the time number three in the charts.


On this Day: December 11th 1972:

ATV Today met ‘the world’s smallest woman’ Miss Joyce Carpenter from Bromsgrove. Joyce was a local midland ‘celebrity’ thanks to her height, reaching just 29 inches. Born on December 21, 1929, with Morquio syndrome. She is noted as being the shortest recorded adult to ever live in the UK.

The report shows Joyce leaving the home she shared with her mother, getting into a specially converted Mini and driving into Bromsgrove to collect her mother’s pension.

ATV cameras also captured her walking along the pavement, standing next to a letterbox – a child helps her to post a letter – and at home doing domestic jobs at her bungalow on Grafton Crescent.

The audio for the report is Joyce describing her life, how she’s ‘got to make the best of it’, people’s attitudes to her height and her hopes for a relationship. Sadly Joyce passed away on 7 August 1973. It wasn’t the first time she had featured on television. In 1971’s Born to be Small, produced by ATV Network for ITV.


On this Day: December 10th 1979:

Anne Diamond took a look at computerised Weather Forecasting for ATV Today.

Anne reports from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment at Malvern, about the latest computerised weather forecasting system which uses colour to show the pattern and movement of weather on a television screen.

The report includes a view of the Malvern Hills as well as a shot of a radar dish at the Royal Signals and Radar. Doctor Keith Browning discusses the system with Anne and demonstrates a sequence on a monitor showing a recent weather pattern and one from August during a major storm that caused a loss of life in the Fastnet yacht race.


On this Day: December 8th 1964:

Midlands News reported on a Piglet that was being mothered by an alsatian dog.

Footage shows the hog and its canine ‘mother’ walking around outdoors along with another four-legged doggie friend at Galley Common, Nuneaton. There are also close up shots of the pig and the dog as well as the owner.

However, the sound has sadly been lost from the report so we don’t know the owner’s name or those of his pets.


On this Day: December 7th 1978:

Christmas lights were being turned on across the Midlands, ATV Today takes a look Birmingham as the city centre illuminations are officially switched on at the stroke of 12 noon.

The report also brings to viewers the lights in Derby and Oxford.


On this Day: December 5th 1980:

Lynda Berry reported on Christmas shopping in Rackhams in view of the economic recession.

The department store, now House of Frazer on Corporation Street in Birmingham, was brimming with gifts for adults and children, the report shows various handheld electronic games, computer battleship game and an expensive teddy bear.

We also see an Atari video game, television display and aftershave on sale. Exterior view of Rackhams showing Christmas window display.


On this Day: December 4th 1981:

Punk rocker Lee Warner was in the middle of a row with his recent employer, the Jaguar Car Plant, in Coventry after he was dismissed from work for his unorthodox hairstyle.

Lee is seen talking to Ray Lissaman from AEEU trade union about his future and a recent trip to the dole office.

ATV Today reporter Anne Leuchars interviews Lissaman on the dismissal, he also answers questions about Lee’s alleged messy eating habits. Ann then talks to Lee about his punk look.

On this Day: December 3rd 1964:

ATV Midlands News reported on how the Fine Fare supermarket in Solihull was, to some residents, ‘spoiling the look’ of the street.

Reporter Tim Downes asks locals what they make of the ‘ugly promos’ that have been according to complaints to the local authority ‘spoiling the look of upmarket Solihull.’


On this Day: December 2nd 1966:

ATV Today reporter John Swallow meets the artist Rowland Emett who has designed a flying machine.

Flying machine Spark One was on display in a midlands shop, the fun interview with Rowland sees him discuss his aircraft which he describes, tongue in cheek, as a direct challenge to the aircraft industry.


On this Day: December 1st 1960:

ATV presenter Noele Gordon opened the new look Kam Ling Bamboo Rooms in Birmingham, she arrives on a rickshaw, pulled by Jerry Allen and some of the TV Trio band from the ATV series Lunchbox.

The site of Kam Ling, sadly, no longer exists with the area around Snowhill Station and Livery Street redeveloped in the 1980s.


Further OTD can be seen on the following pages.