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All posts by Steven Oliver

Below are all of Steven Oliver's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

The claim that Sunderland is a digital blackspot is slightly miseleading. Most of the city can receive signals direct from Pontop Pike, with some areas receiving from Bilsdale. The main problem is in the south-east of the city, in the Leechmere area, where the Tunstall Hills prevent reception from either of the two main masts, viewers there receiving from the Maiden Paps relay transmitter on the northern edge of the Tunstall Hills. I remember a similar misleading claim being made when that transmitter started carrying Channel 4 in 1986.

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Tuesday 13 September 2011 10:02AM

Les & Brian

AFAIK the Border TV region was indeed created solely to cover the area with the least number of transmitters. Mr & Mrs waan't the only networked programme from the station, though - there was the chat show Look Who's Talking, another Derek Batey vehicle. This ran from 1972-86 and featured big names such as Larry Grayson, Kenneth Williams, Ken Dodd and Hi-de-Hi's Su Pollard. Border also had a successful venture into children's programming and was a regular contributor to the Highway series.

An interesting aside. When the Border TV version of Mr & Mrs started to be networked in 1973, the first series was recorded at Tyne Tees' studios in Newcastle, as ITV wanted the show to be made in colour and Border, at the time, had no colour programme-making facilities. This series was billed as a joint Border Television/Tyne Tees Television production. The money generated from it allowed Border to buy some (second-hand) colour equipment and allowed the show to return to Carlisle full-time.

To my knowledge, the joint Border/TTTV editions of Mr & Mrs still exist in the ITV archives.

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Just out of historical interest, Kendal and the relay transmitters in the South Lakes were originally allocated to Granada. They were transferred to Border from the start of the 1982 franchise period (apparently at Border's request) although retaining BBC North West regional programming. At the same time the relays along the Yorkshire/Lancashire boundary were transferred to Yorkshire Television, although Granada did gain the Buxton relay from the former ATV.

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Brian: if I remember correctly the Berwick relay (which received BBC 1/2 from Chatton and ITV/C4 from Selkirk) was the first one to be altered in late-2006 when it became a full relay of Chatton.

The relays on the Yorkshire/Lancashire boundary retained their BBC North West/YTV/C4 mix until fairly recently when they came full relays of Emley Moor as part of the YTV switchover.

The South Lakes relays became a sub-group of Caldbeck when the Border region went digital, and they retain the BBC feed from Winter Hill with ITV/C4 fed from Caldbeck.

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