On Tuesday, August 28, 1962 a new publication appeared on the newsagents’ display shelves in the Islands. It was the very first edition of the Channel Viewer, heralding the start of ITV programmes in the islands on Channel 9. Price 5d.
Shaw Taylor and Lisa Finlayson, hosts of the popular quiz show Pencil and Paper, were the cover personalities and inside were full details of Channel’s programmes from 1 to 8 of September, along with messages from the then director-general of the Independent Broadcasting Authority, Sir Robert Fraser OBE, and Senator George Troy, chairman and joint managing director of Channel when the company began broadcasting.
Other features included a behind the scenes look at Channel’s Rouge Bouillon studios and, to show you that some things haven’t changed much, a walk through Coronation Street to meet the cast, some of whom are still residents of the most well known street on television.
Following the station opening on Saturday. September 1, the very first programme was The Adventures of Robin Hood and the evening also included Edgar Lustgarten’s Casebook, Hawaiian Eye and Big Night Out, starring Mike and Bernie Winters.
The evening ended with the news read in French and The Day Is Ended at 12.5 am. That was a late night in those days.
On most days programmes opened at 4.45 and closedown was not long after 11 pm
Some of the highlights of that first week were 77 Sunset Strip, Bernard Delfont’s Sunday Show with Tommy Steele, Emergency Ward 10, No Hiding Place, Bonanza, Ben Casey and The Morecambe and Wise Show.
Twenty-one years later many islanders still refer to Channel’s programme journal as the Channel Viewer, although it’s long been called Channel TV Times.
Today the magazine carries full details of ITV programmes that run from TV-am’s breakfast service almost without interruption through until the early hours of the morning. And, of course, there are Channel Four programmes as well.
But over the years the Channel TV Times has become much more than just lists of programmes. Naturally, there are features of the stars and personalities that are favourites at the time, but the magazine has become known for its wide variety of features that reflect many facets of Island life.
It’s the only locally produced weekly magazine that is sold in all the Channel Islands and many copies are also sent to viewers on the nearby French coast.
It’s been encouraging islanders to take a closer look at the neighbours that the magazine has built a reputation with both readers and advertisers.
Keeping readers right up to date the magazine has also regularly featured computers, developments in video technology and home entertainment.
Other regular columns provide the latest motoring news with prolific contributor Roger Bowns at the steering wheel; an advertising executive with Channel, Peter Double, is the author of Fisherman’s Line, with Brian Robson giving the latest on the Guernsey scene.
Bobsbest looks at the racing world, both national and local; former TV Times editor and now Oracle writer Gordon de Ste. Croix reviews the latest video tapes.
There’s also news on local showbiz attractions and a look at what’s in the stars with that most extrovert of astrologers Russell Grant.
Channel’s reporters also contribute background features of local programmes and major items featured in Channel Report.
All this plus your complete guide to a full week’s ITV and Channel Four programmes, in-depth review of the week’s movies and all those star features … yes, it does live up to the advertisements you hear on television.
So. to continue the commercial. why not pick up a copy the next time you’re at the newsagent’s and take a look.
You’ll see for yourself why, like Channel itself, the Channel TV Times has become part of the islands’ way of life.