On the recent trip to the Kaleidoscope event the host of it reminded us of the 1979 ITV technicians strike which lasted a whopping 10 weeks. Its really quite unimaginable now that the country had 1 of its 3 Television channels at that time just taken away.
Escalating from Thames TV when electricians were offered what they considered a derisory pay increase, the strike soon took hold. On August 10th 1979 the screens went blank and stayed that way until October 24th 1979. Fans of Coronation St, Crossroads, World Of Sport, and other such popular shows back then were deprived of ITV for a total of 76 days.
As for myself, well i was 16 at the time and to be honest once i had finished work, had my tea and had a wash i was usually out and about and the strike had little or no effect on me. So much so that i can barely remember this happening.
So almost some 40 years on, i feel the need for small mercies. Thank goodness then that this strike didn't happen on the other side as 10 weeks of Legs & Co and TOTPs wouldn't have happened. Of course we did lose 3 weeks of Legs routines on two separate strike actions during 1979, but that pales into insignificance when you consider the ITV strike.
Alas as you all know strike action did occur in 1980 which affected TOTPs and other musical shows, but that layoff was a bit shorter than the ITV one from some 9 months earlier.
So can anyone remember this and what memory's do you have of it ? Im afraid i can recall little of this.
I have to say i have no recollection of this either Ryan, as Everything'sRosie points out strike action was pretty common back in the 70's and i remember many occasions when there were power cuts and the trusted candles came out. I also remember the school caretakers being on strike at the beginning of 79 with most lessons cancelled, and what did go ahead were held in church halls and community centres, it was a pretty harsh winter and we had to trudge through deep snow to get there, which was all pretty good fun for a 15 year old schoolboy
I remember it very well. My Nan was having terrible withdrawal symptoms not seeing her soaps. I think this was where she became a lush after this. Myself I was not bothered at all. Was never really a fan of commercial TV or the soaps. So many people wrote asking for a reduction in their television licence which to be fair given that we only had three I could understand. The 1980 strike for TOTPs had a more lasting effect on me. Felt really bereft on a Thursday night without my usual Evening Standard.
There was quite a few strikes at this time. Bread strike was bad too.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
Only Miner's Strikes were memorable to me in my Youth. I don't remember this ITV one at all sorry. I would have been in Uni in Leicester and in my "formative" years (yup either working or a bit pi**ed)
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
I remember coming back from school on the day the strike ended, switching to ITV where an evening schedule listing had replaced the blue IBA message and waiting for the channel to resume. Can clearly recall the plinky/naff "Welcome welcome welcome home to I-Teeee-V" song and Quatermass being a big event later that day (bedtime).
The strike also delayed the September debut of a new drama listed as "The Minder". With no publicity behind it, viewers would have been forgiven for wondering whether they were meant to laugh and expecting John Thaw to come crashing in at any moment.
Thanks to everyone for their memory of this time. Im particularly impressed with AC/PDs recollection of the new ITV series `The Minder` being delayed. I never released this was a victim of the strike and on checking i notice it debuted on 29th Oct.
I vaguely remember it, which suggests it did indeed hit the sport in some way, but not much beyond that after all these years. I was thirteen, so the telly played a fairly big part in my evenings, though I could have filled the gap easily by going round to a mate's, so I may not have paid a huge amount of attention. I do remember when Minder finally started, watching the first episode whilst staying the night at my grandparent's place.
This week, I are be mostly eating Brussels sprouts