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News Flash

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:41 pm
by SgtPepper
This might have rather limited mileage but I'm curious anyway. :-) I was looking at On Demand on my Sky HD box and noticed a lot of breaking news reports that Sky had featured over the years. I started thinking about the days before 24 hour rolling news channels and any programmes that had been interrupted for important news stories.
The one that sprang immediately to mind was the Airey Neave assassination in March 1979. I know a programme was interrupted but I can only remember the news report and nothing else. I also remember Bank Holiday Grandstand being interrupted for a news flash about the murder of Lord Louis Mountbatten in August 1979. I remember an unscheduled news bulletin when Ronald Reagan was shot but I'm fairly sure that was between programmes and not during.

Anyway, a bit of a long shot perhaps. But I wondered if anyone has any memories of programmes being interrupted by a news flash from around the late 60's to late 80's before the advent of dedicated 24 hour news channels?

Re: News Flash

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:58 pm
by TK-JaKe
Does the assassination of Kennedy, 50 years ago come November, the hint at the end of "Tonight"
the running of "Harry Worth" and the disrupted schedule thereafter count?

Re: News Flash

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:15 pm
by Cooper S
Pretty sure scheduled programmes were interrupted to show the SAS storming of the Iranian embassy in 1980. Would have been during Coronation Street on ITV I think.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:26 pm
by Jezza
I'm sure the kids show "Splash!" was interrupted by the news of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

I think Newsround reported it though before at around 5pm!

Re: News Flash

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:42 pm
by ian b
Was there a CLAPPERBOARD on 12th December 1977? If there was, then ITV either interrupted it, or bookended it at top or bottom, with a newsflash of Clementine Churchill's death.

I also recall the assassination of Sadat interrupting an ITV programme - and a memory of the BBC1 Saturday morning kid's show taking a break for a photocaption announcing Gracie Fields' death, (but that occured on a Thursday: I'm either confused, or it took a couple of days to break?).

Re: News Flash

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:05 pm
by GarethR
Cooper S wrote:Pretty sure scheduled programmes were interrupted to show the SAS storming of the Iranian embassy in 1980. Would have been during Coronation Street on ITV I think.
BBC-1 was showing the British TV premiere of the 1970 John Wayne film Rio Lobo, which explains why my memories of the embassy storming are tied up with a cowboy movie.
ian b wrote:I also recall the assassination of Sadat interrupting an ITV programme
The one thing I remember about the Sadat assassination is that BBC News rapidly put together a programme called Sadat Is Dead. Without looking it up I can't remember if it was the same night or the following one, but I recall feeling unnerved by the title when I saw it promoted, even though I was much too young to understand what the significance was.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:05 pm
by ayrshireman
ITV 5th August 1984.

Richard Burton's death.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:06 pm
by Mark Wright
I expect this will be the ultimate "memory playing tricks" thread, especially for those who were young when witnessing newsflashes for the first time (scary!), but here goes...

I can "remember" watching Cannon & Ball on ITV (sorry!) when an aston suddenly flashed up warning that an important news report would follow shortly. Eventually there was a fade to black before the dreaded ITN Newsflash slide appeared. I've no idea what the newsflash concerned, but thinking about it, was it even possible to overlay a networked caption over ITV output back then? (I'm guessing 1980/1981) Where would it have originated? Was this even normal practice? Of course, as these things go, I'm absolutely certain that it happened as it caught my attention - but did it really? ;-)

I also remember ITV"s screening of "The Towering Inferno" being interrupted for something or other. ITV seemed to wait for natural breaks within whatever they were showing before crossing to ITN (did anyone else feel a frisson of excited anticipation when a holding slide was kept on screen far longer than it should?) whereas witnessing an unexpected fade to black on BBC1 really meant business - in the cold war era, the sight of the BBC News symbol with an authoritative, but nervous, announcement about "crossing over to the newsroom" used to send shivers.

Conversely, the most irritating and inconsequental newsflashes happened nightly during early 1991. Having settled down to watch Prisoner: Cell Block H, America's Top 10 or Charlie Tuna's Cinemattractions, ITV screens would suddenly go blank before John Suchet excitedly appeared, essentially barking, "Hello! We've just rewound the tape we recorded from CNN earlier - and here it is!", oblivious to the fact that his omnipresence continually interrupted what we were watching. What wastrels, eh?

I'm expecting at least two horribly clumsy newsflashes before the year is out, that will no doubt raise a smile from Peter Sissons.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:13 am
by Simon36
Did ITV ever show Towering Inferno? BBC1 showed it in 82/83 and I thought that was their second screening of it.

As for the Cannon and Ball thing, I bet they were furious! Imagine a comedy show having an aston up saying a major news report will follow. You'd be panicking it was nuclear war or something. That would definitely take the edge off "rock on Tommy!"

I remember ITV's Monday night screening of Live and Let Die in June 1982 having a Newsflash in one of the intervals, and me worrying the pause would conk out as it went on for ages! It just made it though. And also, this may be the memory cheating, but I am sure the Iranian Embassy siege footage was late afternoon and not evening. And also agin I may be misremembering but I think the arrest of the Yorkshire Ripper was announced during an interval on ITV.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:27 am
by Billy
Do news reports still happen on the main channels? Last one I remember seeing was James Callaghan's death just after the first revived episode of Doctor Who in 2005. I'd imagine that now everyone has news channels there's no need except in major circumstances.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:47 am
by Brock
There was the caption that appeared on the live final of the 1982 Young Musician of the Year contest announcing that British troops had taken South Georgia. It didn't actually interrupt the programme, but it was an annoying distraction (and I think the simultaneous radio broadcast was interrupted). I can't think of any other occasion when a news story was broken in this fashion.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:38 am
by Jezza
When Princess Diana died, i think nearly most of the channels on Sky had a caption telling viewers to tune into a news channel for some important news.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:19 am
by Al Dupres
I recall seeing an ITN Newsflash with the news that Pope John Paul (the first one) had died, in September 1978. It occured after HTV's start-up routine, just before Schools programmes.

Al

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:35 am
by GarethR
Mark Wright wrote: was it even possible to overlay a networked caption over ITV output back then?
If it was a networked programme going out, then yes, the originating company would have been able to do it.
Simon36 wrote: And also, this may be the memory cheating, but I am sure the Iranian Embassy siege footage was late afternoon and not evening
The storming began at 7.23pm.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:51 am
by Simon Coward
Simon36 wrote:Did ITV ever show Towering Inferno? BBC1 showed it in 82/83 and I thought that was their second screening of it.
Not back then anyway. The first outing was on 26/12/1980, the second on 02/01/1983 and the third on 29/12/1984, all on BBC 1.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:53 am
by Ronco
Newsround did indeed cover the Challenger disaster, about half an hour after the disaster. I think it was the first UK TV show to cover the disaster. BBC-2 cleared the schedules for a Newsnight panel discussion minutes afterwards.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:14 am
by brigham
Al Dupres wrote:I recall seeing an ITN Newsflash with the news that Pope John Paul (the first one) had died, in September 1978. It occured after HTV's start-up routine, just before Schools programmes.

Al
I lost a quid at the bookies on the name the next Pope would take. I was sure he'd be George Ringo!

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:36 am
by ray lomas
Brock wrote:There was the caption that appeared on the live final of the 1982 Young Musician of the Year contest announcing that British troops had taken South Georgia. It didn't actually interrupt the programme, but it was an annoying distraction (and I think the simultaneous radio broadcast was interrupted). I can't think of any other occasion when a news story was broken in this fashion.
The suspension of the Pound from the ERM on "Black Wednesday" in 1992 was reported in this way by the BBC (can't remember if it was 1 or 2) during coverage of Liverpool's European Cup-Winners' Cup 1st round match against Apollon Limassol.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:26 pm
by Ian Wegg
The newsflash of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison interrupted The Antiques Roadshow. I remember hearing it stated that it caused the largest number of complaints that year.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:28 pm
by Billy Smart
The suspension of the Pound from the ERM on "Black Wednesday" in 1992 was reported in this way by the BBC (can't remember if it was 1 or 2) during coverage of Liverpool's European Cup-Winners' Cup 1st round match against Apollon Limassol.
Not quite. It happened on ITV at halftime in the first leg of the first round European Cup match between Leeds and Stuttgart. Appropriately enough, Stuttgart then put three goals past Leeds in the second half.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:12 pm
by Steve Williams
Brock wrote:There was the caption that appeared on the live final of the 1982 Young Musician of the Year contest announcing that British troops had taken South Georgia. It didn't actually interrupt the programme, but it was an annoying distraction (and I think the simultaneous radio broadcast was interrupted). I can't think of any other occasion when a news story was broken in this fashion.
Yes, they did interrupt it on the radio, during the winner's performance, because there were complaints in the Radio Times, and Radio 4 apologised but said they couldn't put a caption on the screen like on the telly and there was another ten minutes of the piece to go. I remember on the day of the Good Friday agreement - Good Friday, funnily enough, in 1998 - the newsflash went on BBC2 because BBC1 were about ten minutes from the end of Ben Hur and presumably having devoted three hours to it, they could barely leave it then. In fact I remember BBC2 carried on with news coverage even when BBC1 had finished Ben Hur and started covering it themselves.
Ronco wrote:Newsround did indeed cover the Challenger disaster, about half an hour after the disaster. I think it was the first UK TV show to cover the disaster. BBC-2 cleared the schedules for a Newsnight panel discussion minutes afterwards.
Yes, and that was BBC policy at the time, of course, during kids' programmes the idea was that either news would be broken by Newsround or they'd do it on BBC2 to avoid freaking out kids, hence the news coverage continuing on BBC2 after Newsround (which I remember ended up replacing Fast Forward). But in 1995, when John Major resigned in that Put Up Or Shut Up business, it was broken on Newsround, I remember it being read out as breaking news, then they went into the next report but were then faded out for a proper newsflash. And ITV were showing England in the Rugby World Cup so they had to put it on screen and the commentator John Taylor ended up reading it out ("The players certainly not aware of that!").
Billy Smart wrote: Not quite. It happened on ITV at halftime in the first leg of the first round European Cup match between Leeds and Stuttgart. Appropriately enough, Stuttgart then put three goals past Leeds in the second half.
It happened on both channels because both the Beeb and ITV were showing live football that night. And it was in the BBC Sport font.

Of course the Golden Jubilee happened during the 2002 World Cup and during the World Cup coverage on the Sunday night, the day before all the big celebrations, Gary Lineker announced they were going to the newsroom, which put the willies up me. Turns out it was only a piddly fire at Buckingham Palace which they virtually put out with a glass of water. Then when they did the Children's Party In The Palace in 2006, it started with a spoof newsflash and they got a million complaints because it was too scary, which it was, it was Huw in the newsroom looking sombre and was completely misjudged. I know after two seconds it was obvious but two seconds too long, really, on a show like that.

There are still loads of newsflashes on telly, regardless of the rise of news channels, because you need to be watching them to know it's happening. Michael Jackson got one, Gordon Brown resigning got one and, when Kate gets a move on, you'll get one any minute.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:33 pm
by Juswuh
ITV did an onscreen news caption when Harold Shipman was found guilty on all charges - can't remember the programme, maybe it was Inspector Morse or something similar, so a bit like showing other results during sports?

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:23 pm
by Focus II
I remember an ITN Newsflash in the latter half of 1977. Sandy Gall appeared on screen to announce they'd just heard that Bing Crosby had died.

Brian

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:33 pm
by Juswuh
Also that year there was a newsflash that Elvis Presley had died, which went out with the story not yet fully confirmed.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:17 pm
by ian b
Steve Williams wrote:But in 1995, when John Major resigned in that Put Up Or Shut Up business, it was broken on Newsround, I remember it being read out as breaking news, then they went into the next report but were then faded out for a proper newsflash.
My memory of that was that it happened in the morning - there was either an interruption in a R4 programme for an announcement that he'd resigned, or it was inserted between programmes.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:25 pm
by Brock
You're not confusing it with the Thatcher resignation, are you? That was announced on Radio 4 at 9.45am after "Punters", as I recall. The Major "resignation" was definitely in the afternoon, as others have mentioned.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:26 pm
by Juswuh
It was definitely around teatime - Major's statement ended "I have nothing more to say this afternoon."

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:42 pm
by GarethR
The end of the miners' strike was initially reported with a caption over Dad's Army. I'm sure I've seen an off-air clip of that in a documentary.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:12 pm
by Ross
ian b wrote:Was there a CLAPPERBOARD on 12th December 1977? If there was, then ITV either interrupted it, or bookended it at top or boittom, with a newsflash of her death.
Whose death?

I remember the storming of the Iranian embassy. I was about nine at the time but I seem to recall that it was snooker that had been interrupted.

I also remember when Louise Woodward, the nanny accused of shaking a baby to death, was found guilty (or later released) that a caption appeared over a daytime repeat of Terry & June on BBC1.

Re: News Flash

Posted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:00 pm
by Scary
Jezza wrote:When Princess Diana died, i think nearly most of the channels on Sky had a caption telling viewers to tune into a news channel for some important news.
Yes, the policy was for those affiliated with Sky Multichannels to point towards Sky News in such an event. Although I seem to remember that UK Gold was the exception due to it's connection to the BBC. They would have captioned to tell people to tune to BBC 1