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Your Wednesday Night In...

Your Wednesday Night In… July 1969

Wednesday, 16th July 1969


A collection of highlights from the award-winning series, introduced by Malcolm Muggeridge who apparently earmarked that ‘previews of the future are invariably wrong’. Wonder if he kept that up when introducing the interview with Christiaan Barnard? Elsewhere there are features on computer-aided design, the human brain, moon buggies and, erm, ‘the dance of the iron filings’. We know you had to make your entertainment in those days, but even so.


A repeat showing for Roger’s halo-flinging showdown with The Golden Frog (above, in Spanish, because…), which involves an expedition to ‘South America’ in the sense that ‘America’ means ’round the back of where they’re making Gideon’s Way’. In fact the schedules were dominated by ITC in 1969, and pretty much every available slot that didn’t have one of their new shows in had a repeat and people didn’t seem to mind much either. Strange, then, that they would lose the plot so spectacularly barely 18 months later.

An unpromisingly-named medical magazine show until you see the staggering Radio Times billing, which basically looks like about 15 pop-up spam ads crammed into one disorientating exhortation to watch a programme you’re probably not that bothered about really: “Do you suffer from travel sickness? Does foreign food upset your tummy? Do you sunburn easily? Do you know how to deal with wasp stings and adder bites? Are you aware that nearly 800 People were drowned off the coasts of the United Kingdom last Year? Do you know how to give the Kiss of Life? Have you insured yourself and your family for your holiday? Do you realise that a ski-ing accident in Switzerland or, say, appendicitis in Belgium, may cost you more than £500?” Assuming that you can cope with that volume of informational input, a suspiciously unnamed Consultant Physician, Skin Specialist, and Doctor From A Cruise Liner are on hand to give you the answers before they – ho ho – head off on holiday themselves. Yes, it’s the last in the series. What a surprise.



  1. THX 1139

    July 18, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Not big fans of The Persuaders(!), then?

    Wait a minute – eight hundred people drowned in the seas of the UK in 1968? That’s like an epidemic!

  2. Applemask

    July 18, 2018 at 1:54 pm


  3. Glenn Aylett

    July 18, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    1969 was like the end of an era with The Saint and The Avengers finishing, and Doctor Who coming close to being cancelled until it was given a second chance with Jon Pertwee. While Doctor Who would flourish in the seventies and become even more popular than in its William Hartnell heyday, revivals of The Avengers and The Saint proved shortlived and not fondly remembered. I do think Return of the Saint was unfairly attacked by the critics as the budget was a lot higher( Venice was Venice, not Elstree Studios), the stories were good, and 14 million people seemed to enjoy it.

  4. Richard16378

    July 18, 2018 at 5:44 pm

    The ITC crime thrillers seemed to fall from popularity quickly in the early 1970s, Jason King was another late effort, & even the BBC’s adaption of Paul Temple got in on the act.

    Maybe people got bored of the recycled clips of cars crashing, the Jaguar was used a lot, & the Renault Dauphine going off a cliff was dug out for Father Ted 30 years later!

  5. Glenn Aylett

    July 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I think The Protectors was one of the last of these glamorous secret agent/ crimebuster series, and as the sour seventies took over from the swinging sixties, people wanted gritty realism and more violence in crime shows. Someone like Jason King looked completely old fashioned by the mid seventies, when crime fighting was being done by two hard drinking, chainsmoking members of the Flying Squad, and villains changed from the fantasy figures you saw in The Avengers to realistic looking bank robbers with sawn off shotguns.

  6. Richard16378

    July 20, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Also the Americans started the trend of the buddy cop show in the 1970s.

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