From: ITV


THE STORY OF ITV: THE PEOPLES CHANNEL looks at the networkÕs 50 year history and talks to many of the players, celebrities and key executives who helped shape BritainÕs most popular commercial channel. The five-part series is written and presented by Melvyn Bragg, presenter and editor of ITV1Õs The South Bank Show and GranadaÕs Controller of Arts and Features.

Programme 1 – ‘The Peoples Channel’
This programme tells the story of how ITV came into being, how its character was formed, and how it developed a uniquely warm relationship with people.

ITV first aired from LondonÕs Guildhall on 22nd September 1955 at 7.15pm. From the outset the channel reached for the stars to attract its viewers. Lew Grade created ATV to give ITV showbiz sparkle and programmes such as Sunday Night at the London Palladium became must-see television.

But the birth of ITV was plagued with problems. ITVÕs troubled gestation in the 1950s was the source of heated debates in parliament. In the north, the Bernstein brothersÕ Granada gave us Coronation Street, the countryÕs favourite soap and its creator, Tony Warren, describes where it came from and its grip on peopleÕs imagination.

This programme also explores how ITV has put ordinary people on the box. Ant and Dec, Chris Tarrant and Nicholas Parsons look back at the quiz and games shows, Simon Cowell at the talent shows and Jeremy Beadle at the hidden camera programmes.

Picture shows: CILLA BLACK with contestants on Blind Date 1985.

ITV Picture contact – Sandra Powell – 020 7261 3466

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