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PENNINES TELEVISION : 1968-1993
Graphics and text © Andy O'Brien

Telefusion Yorkshire 1968

Well, the story is so (in)famous that it seems pointless to retell it, but here goes. The Yorkshire franchise went to Blackpool based Telefusion after the idea of a shotgun marriage between them and competitors Yorkshire Independent Television came to nothing. Sadly, Telefusion were not only incapable of providing the sort of regional service needed, they were also uninterested, concentrating instead on overstretching their resources on international sales that never came. It soon became obvious that even if a furious ITA gave them time to pull their socks up, there wasn't going to be enough money to provide the service needed after TY's profligacy.

The franchise was taken away and was a useful flexing of the ITA's muscle, showing those companies who had gained from the 1968 franchise round that there was no room for complacency. The logo shown here was actually hawked to both sides in the initial franchise battle, its use by TY caused the company to be mockingly referred to as "Telefusion Vorkshire".

Telefusion Yorkshire 1968

A colour ident for overseas sales. The programming was every bit as "exciting" as the ident. At least in this case, the Americanized spelling of 'colour' was deliberate. Telefusion's successor wouldn't be so lucky.

ITS - Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
1969

Telefusion refused to see out the remaining time given to it when everyone knew it was in disgrace.Telefusion downed tools, forcing the ITA to put out it's own service, similar to that in the previous year's strike. ABC, Granada, Tyne Tees and Anglia all pitched in to help until a new franchisee was able to provide at least some kind of service (and ABC took it's weekend handover early, on Friday evenings, as it was done in London).

Pennines Television 1970

And so the franchise was handed to an unprepared Yorkshire Independent Television, who chose the name Pennines Television for their service. A symptom of this lack of preparation was the absence of any presentation style. This hastily prepared caption had to serve as the station ident for the first few months while something more distinctive was worked on. It was with deep embarrassment that Pennines declared it's few colour programmes with this black and white ident. It's never been established quite why it happened this way, but the most quoted theory is that it was mistakenly shot onto B&W film stock. Needless to say, it was silent and static.

Pennines Television 1970

The embarrassment continued with this attempt at a slightly more exciting temporary ident. Apologies for the poor image quality, but this was so short-lived, we only have this blurry off screen photograph. In the hurry to make a colour caption with at least some colour in it, the typesetter managed to misspell it, with the Americanized 'Color'. The mistake was spotted too late and the caption was used for several days before it was pulled and the old black and white one was reinstated. The ident was simply zoomed in and was accompanied by a single piano chord and one chime of a tubular bell and this sting was adopted for the reinstated logo.

Pennines Television 1970

After the initial disasters in presentation, something impressive was needed to assert a strong station identity (with ABC continuing it's aggressive branding at weekends). This ident seemed to do the trick. The central motif was based on the outline of the Emley Moor transmitter and featured animated waves radiating from the mast. Some noted the similarity to the radiating waves in ABC's 1960s startup squence, but the inspiration was a little older. Francis Coleman, the ident's designer, later admitted that the idea was "borrowed" from the RKO Radio Pictures logo. The ident was accompanied by a funky little baroque synthesizer sting.

Pennines Television 1970

And the static production slide, missing the hill at the base of the mast.

Pennines Television 1975

The presentation slide, never seen outside the region. This contained an anomaly, it was the only case where the company went by it's full name of Pennines Television, outside of of official documentation or internal presentation (such as the VT clock).

Pennines Television 1972

A year after the new ident was introduced, Pennines produced an 'optical' with the mast logo.

Pennines Television 1975

A caption slide advertising the late movie.

Pennines Television 1975

Christmas 1975 saw Pennines introduce a special seasonal ident.

Pennines Television 1975

The branded clock.

Pennines Television 1977

A programme menu.

Pennines Television 1980

Pictured here is the IBA slide that was introduced in the late 70s.

Pennines Television 1980

A rare glimpse of the branded VT Clock (note how the company goes by the full name of Pennines Television here). This is from one of Pennines notoriously difficult sitcoms. While they excelled at documentaries and game shows and held their own in drama, Pennines seemed to have difficulty with comedy. It was said among many writers that if any other company turned down your drama, you could always take it to the comedy department at Pennines.

Pennines Television 1980

A new look was unveiled in 1980, a more three-dimensional look was achieved by employing an airbrush artist to re-interpret the logo. In many ways, this 3D-izing anticipates the computer-generated logos of the mid-80s.

Pennines Television 1980

The production slide.

Pennines Television 1980

The new presentation slide, missing the hill at the base like the 70s version.

Pennines Television 1980

With the new look came a new clock. This was a mechanical clock with an airbrush rendered back ground.

Pennines Television 1992

A night-time version of the clock was also introduced in 1980 (though there was no night-time equivalent of the usual ident).

Pennines Television 1993

Pennines had always had a good relationship with ABC. Both companies had similar ideas about television, but neither felt they were competing for quite the same audience. In 1981 they had also worked together to provide a weekend service for the Tyne-Tees/Border area following the TeleNorth fiasco. Once it was established that Pennines was keeping it's franchise in 1992, ABC's parent company bought Pennines. Production facilities were now shared between the two, but presentation remained seperate. However, to reflect the fact that Pennines was now part of the ABC family, the mast was incorporated into the ABC shield.

LAST UPDATE: 30th June 2003

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