21 July 2010 | Arthur-nose
Tyne Tees's attempt at Saturday morning television
ITV were fairly fragmented with Saturday morning offerings, which largely comprised, initially, of the duty announcer reading out birthdays, in between American imports and old films - for quite a while, Tyne-Tees did precisely this - by about 1976, the job of doing that was given to one Lyn Spencer, under the banner of "Saturday Morning Television".
A competition was ran to come up with a new name for the strand - the winning name was "Lyn's Look-In" - under that name, the strand went out of the continuity suite and in to a proper studio. They also employed Malcolm Gerrie (the G is pronounced like the G in GO as opposed to a J) and Radio Tees presenter Alastair Pirrie.
By 1979, ITV decided to come up with a networked Saturday morning programme, in the shape of The Mersey Pirate - Tyne-Tees still stuck resolutely to local programming, which, by early 79, had evolved into Saturday Shake-Up. By Autumn of 1979, the network was showing Tiswas - but, for the next two years after that, Tyne Tees still thought that they were "Geordieland Community Television".
Oddly enough, Saturday Shake-Up was not live - it was shown in short ten or fifteen minute bursts, between American imports and, at 10:15 every week, an old film - not even the kind of film that kids would have enjoyed - nevertheless, Tyne-Tees felt it appropriate to show this instead of Tiswas, Fun Factory and The Mersey Pirate. What gave away the fact that it was not live was that Alastair Pirrie was, at the same time, presenting a programme on Radio Tees, which had to be live, as it featured time checks and phone-in elements.