Just when I thought that I had reviewed every element of classic TV presentation, from having a look back at the ITV regions over the years to closedowns, I have realised that I haven’t looked back at startups yet, so here’s my review of those. Just as closedowns would end the day’s programming, startups would begin them.
I must admit that startups on ITV are before my time, but as ever I have watched several archive clips of them online, and I do find them rather curious. Although it would vary from region to region, the startup process would be mostly the same. At around 9:30 a caption would come on the screen featuring the region’s name and an solemn announcement informing us that the region was “providing a full colour service on the transmitters of the Independent Broadcasting Authority”, as if they felt that they had to thank them every single day for the honour of being able to provide programming to viewers.
Then there would usually be a short piece of music over this caption, some of these pieces were used for a long time so they became familiar to viewers in their various regions that they were used. For example Thames used to use a classical piece called “Perpetuum Mobile”, before then their own classic “Salute To Thames” which was played over the mankiest slide of the Thames ident that they could find. It just seems so odd now that they would have to spend about ten minutes settling in before you would see anything else.
After all this ceremony, the continuity announcer would finally start the day by introducing a lineup of forthcoming programmes and usually informing us about what the weather was like before the first programme, which is these days was usually for schools. After the launch of TV-am in 1983, the startups would occur at 9:25am. LWT also used a famous piece of music for their startups called “A Well Swung Fanfare”. As a tribute to this, on their final day under the LWT name in October 2002 a recreation of a startup was shown which was a nice touch.
Some regions would also feature various things in their startups such as a short film of landmarks around the region. By the mid-1980s the startup process began to be phased out by the regions, and by the time 24-hour programming had come to every ITV region in 1988 there was no longer any need for a startup routine as all regions would now be on all day.