Thames Television
London (weekdays)

Thames Television House, 306-316 Euston Road, London NW1 3BB Tel: 01-387 9494 Teddington Studios, Teddington Lock, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 9NT Tel: 01-977 3252
Sales Office: Norfolk House, Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham B5 41J Tel: 021-643 9151

Thames Television Limited is the company which, under agreement with the Independent Broadcasting Authority, provides the television programmes in London on weekdays from Monday to 7 pm Friday.


Lord Shawcross, PC, QC (Chairman); Howard Thomas, CBE (Managing Director); George A Cooper (Director of Sales); John T Davey, FCA; D R W Dicks; H S L Dundas, DSO, DFC; Bernard R Greenhead, OBE (Director of Studios and Engineering); Clive G D May, FCA (Director of Finance); Brian Tesler, MA (Director of Programmes); T H Tilling; Collin S Wills, MA, ACA (Director of Administration).


Ben E Marr, CA (Company Secretary); Jeremy Isaacs (Controller of Feature Programmes); Philip Jones (Controller of Light Entertainment); Guthrie Moir, MA (Controller of Education and Religious Programmes); Lewis Rudd (Controller of Children’s Programmes); Lloyd Shirley (Controller of Drama); Grahame Turner (Controller of Outside Broadcasts); J. Stuart Sansom, AMIERE (Technical Controller); James F. Shaw (Sales Controller); Jack Andrews (Controller, Programme Department); Ken E Fletcher (Controller, Programme Sales); Donald Cullimore, MA (Chief Press Officer); David Graham (Labour Relations Adviser); John Hambley (Publicity Manager); Max Lawson, FCA (Chief Accountant); Terry W Pace (Head of Production Services); Eric E Parry (Controller, Administration); J A Muir Sutherland, MA (Programme Co-ordinator); Douglas Thornes (Research Manager).


From Monday to Friday Thames provides ITV programmes for 14 million people living in and around the capital. Thames produces well over 1,000 programmes a year, a level which is increasing since the relaxation of restrictions on broadcasting hours.

The company’s aim is to educate, inform and entertain in depth and on the widest possible scale. Most of the drama, light entertainment and children’s productions are made in the riverside studios at Teddington, 10 miles from Thames Television House. There are three studios, the largest of 7,500 sq. ft., all fully operational in colour with complete support facilities, including scene building and rehearsal rooms.

Current affairs and documentary programmes are produced mainly at TTH, with its presentation and audience studios and its extensive telecine, VTR and editing facilities. Today, London’s daily live magazine programme, and Good Afternoon!, one of ITV’s most important programmes intended mainly for women viewers, are also produced at TTH. Recently TTH has been extended to provide extra facilities for the company’s expanding programme output, including dressing rooms, office space for production departments, and a theatre and studio with a seating capacity of over 100.

Thames’s outside-broadcast units are based at Hanworth, near Teddington, where much of the production work for Drive-In, ITV’s motoring magazine programme, is carried out. The equipment includes one four-colour camera unit, two two-colour camera plus VTR units, a single-colour camera unit, a handheld colour camera which may be used independently or in association with other units, three micro-wave link units and a full range of other auxiliaries such as hydraulic towers, stand-by generators. In addition, a specialized sound-mixing vehicle has been added, equipped for large-scale musical programmes and including multi-track recording and reverberation facilities.

The programme output of these three centres has made Thames a leading contributor to the national Top Twenty programme ‘league table’. Overseas sales of programmes are increasing, and with these the Thames symbol on a TV programme is becoming famous internationally. Here is a list of some of the programmes Thames produces:

DRAMA: Armchair Theatre; Armchair Cinema; Public Eye; Special Branch; Man at the Top; Callan; Six Days of Justice; The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes; Shadows of Fear; Van der Valk ; Napoleon in Love ; Way of the World; Confessions of an English Opium Eater. CHILDREN’S: Magpie; Ace of Wands ; The Sooty Show; Pinky and Perky; Zingalong; Pardon My Genie; Happy House; Rainbow; Cliff’s Kids; Larry the Lamb; The Tomorrow People. LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: This is Your Life; Father, Dear Father; Bless This House; Love Thy Neighbour; And Mother Makes Three; Alcock and Gander; Opportunity Knocks!; The David Nixon Show; Max at the Royalty; Tony Bennett at the Talk of the Town; Harry Worth; Looks Familiar; Specials from Benny Hill, Max Bygraves, Mike and Bernie Winters, Frankie Howerd, Eric Sykes, Bob Monkhouse, and Edward Woodward. Outside broadcasts from Danny La Rue at the Palace and Big Bad Mouse from the Prince of Wales. FEATURES: This Week; Today; Tuesday Documentary; Something to Say; Good-Afternoon!; The Second World War (in production); specials (Elections Special, Midsummer Monty etc.). OUTSIDE BROADCASTS: Wrestling; Racing; Football; Tennis; Ice Skating; Athletics; Drive-In (motoring magazine); Specials (fashion shows, beauty contests, Royal Command Performance, etc). SCHOOLS: Seeing and Doing; Finding Out; The World Around Us; Drama; Song and Story; Evidence; Writer’s Workshop; Let’s Go Out; Le Butin deColombert (French); Images. ADULT EDUCATION: Treasures of the British Museum; The Craftsmen; A Place in the Country (in co-operation with the National Trust); Children to Children; Cooking Without Tears; Toga for Health; Looking At… (Antiques); Caring for the Family Pet; Collections Great and Small. RELIGION: My Sweet Lord (Good Friday Special); Only One Earth; Ideas in Print; The Bishops; Christmas Morning Service.

Thames Television House in Central London.

Visits to Studios

A limited number of tickets are available for audiences at certain shows. Applications, enclosing stamped addressed envelopes, should be made to the Ticket Office at Thames Television House, 306 Euston Road, London NW1 3BB. The minimum age is 16, except for some programmes specially for children.


Enquiries about artists and programmes should be addressed to Viewers’ Correspondence, Thames Television House, 306 Euston Road, London NW1 3BB.

Submission of Scripts

While Thames will always welcome the submission of proposals for plays and series, drama plans are subject to change over the year. Writers are advised in the first place to contact the Story Supervisor at Teddington Studios.

Sales and Marketing

Thames operates a full marketing and merchandising service and offers special rates for local advertisers, holiday and travel advertisers, etc. Details are available from the Sales Controller.

New Technology

In order to support sophisticated vtr editing with an equivalent audio facility, Thames has developed and brought into service a comprehensive sound dubbing system. This synchronizes helical scan or quadruplex video-tape machines with multi-track audio recorders and provides a flexible off-line dubbing system with a track laying, mixing and composite track production capability. The system may also be used on outside broadcasts. Associated engineering development work on offline vtr editing is also being carried out.

About the author

Eric Croston was editor of the ITA and IBA yearbooks from 1963 until 1985

Leave a Reply