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Grampian Television

Grampian Television

Encyclopedia
Grampian Television is the ITV
ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

 franchisee for the North and North East of Scotland. Its coverage area includes the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is an historic region of Scotland. The area is sometimes referred to as the "Scottish Highlands". It was culturally distinguishable from the Lowlands from the later Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands...

 (except Fort William and Lochaber which have always received Scottish Television
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

), Inverness
Inverness
Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland...

, Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

 and parts of north Fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

. The station has been in operation since 30 September 1961.

STV North is owned and operated by STV Group plc (formerly SMG plc), which also owns another Scottish ITV franchise, Scottish Television
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

 (now known as STV Central off-air), based in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and serving Central Scotland.

STV North's regional news programme for Northern Scotland is called STV News at Six
STV News at Six
STV News at Six is a Scottish regional news programme, covering the two STV franchise areas of Northern and Central Scotland, produced by STV Central in the Central region and STV North in the Northern region.The programmes were launched on Monday 23 March 2009, replacing Scotland Today in...

and is supplemented by short news bulletins seven days a week and a weekly review programme for the deaf and hard of hearing. The station also produces regional television commercials.

Both STV North and STV Central, together with their counterpart UTV
UTV
UTV is a television channel based in the UK region of Northern Ireland. The channel is the Channel 3 or Independent Television licensee for Northern Ireland and is operated by UTV Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of UTV Media.- Terrestrial :* Analogue: Normally tuned to 3 * Freeview : 3...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, have resisted adopting the generic ITV1
ITV1
ITV1 is a generic brand that is used by twelve franchises of the British ITV Network in the English regions, Wales, southern Scotland , the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their...

 branding that is now commonplace throughout regions in England, Wales and Southern Scotland that are owned by ITV plc
ITV plc
ITV plc is a British media company that operates 12 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, the oldest and largest commercial terrestrial television network in the United Kingdom...

.

In 2008, the United Kingdom began its 5-year programme to cease analogue television broadcasts as part of the switchover to digital television, with the eight transmitters covering the STV North region (Angus, Rosemarkie, Knockmore, Eitshal, Durris, Bressay, Rumster Forest and Keelylang Hill) switching over from May to October 2010.

Foundation and Launch


Applications for the new North East Scotland contract area were sought by the Independent Television Authority
Independent Television Authority
The Independent Television Authority was an agency created by the Television Act 1954 to supervise the creation of "Independent Television" , the first commercial television network in the United Kingdom...

 in the spring of 1960. From the original seven applicants, three serious contenders emerged and the contract was awarded in August 1960 to North of Scotland Television Limited on the provision that board positions were offered to the other two final applicants, Caledonian Television and North Caledonian Television. The company's first managing director was G E Ward Thomas who went on to establish Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television, now officially known as ITV Yorkshire and sometimes unofficially abbreviated to YTV, is a British television broadcaster and the contractor for the Yorkshire franchise area on the ITV network...

 in 1968.

The name North of Scotland TV was considered too cumbersome for use and to reflect the input of the other applicants, a new name was chosen on 11 January 1961 - "Grampian Television". Grampian planned to launch on 1 October 1961 and had already bought and converted their studios for the start date. However, four months prior to launch, the Post Office
Post office
A post office is a facility forming part of a postal system for the posting, receipt, sorting, handling, transmission or delivery of mail.Post offices offer mail-related services such as post office boxes, postage and packaging supplies...

 announced that the links which would connect Grampian to the network would not be ready until February 1962. This would have left the new station only able to broadcast output from its neighbouring colleagues at Scottish Television
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

 (STV). Pressure at the highest level of Government ensured that the links were in place in time for the station's planned launch.

Grampian Television went on air on Saturday 30 September 1961 at 14:45 with the opening authority announcement from continuity announcer Douglas Kynoch and a brief welcome from the chairman of the Independent Television Authority, Sir Ivonne Kirkpatrick:

Douglas Kynoch:

Good afternoon. This is the first transmission of Grampian Television Limited, over the Durris and Mounteagle transmitters of the Independent Television Authority. Today, we're about to join all the millions of viewers of the Independent Television network and we're very glad to have in our studios, to switch us into the network, the chairman of the Independent Television Authority, Sir Ivonne Kirkpatrick.


Sir Ivonne Kirkpatrick:

Good afternoon. I am glad to be in Aberdeen today to welcome you into the great family of Independent Television viewers. You now have your own television company in the North East and I hope that you'll very soon come to regard Grampian Television as an essential part of your everyday life. I wish you and Grampian the best of luck and now, let us join the network.



Following the brief opening, the station handed over to Tyne Tees Television
Tyne Tees Television
Tyne Tees Television is the ITV television franchise for North East England and parts of North Yorkshire. As of 2009, it forms part of a non-franchise ITV Tyne Tees & Border region, shared with the ITV Border region...

's networked coverage of Racing from Catterick Bridge. Later in the opening day at 19:00, Grampian's first chairman, Sir Alexander B. King, presented a half-hour introductory programme about the station. At the time of launch, Grampian served a potential audience of 332,000 people in 98,000 homes.

Early years on air


In its first year, Grampian produced nine regular regional programmes - namely News and Views (a thrice-weekly magazine programme), Country Focus, Women's World, Serenade, Scotland for Me, Points North (a long-running current affairs programme), Grampian Golf, local news bulletins and monthly church services.

In the early days, Grampian struggled as viewers in a key part of its transmission area, the city of Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

, were still tuning into coverage from STV via the strong signal of the Black Hill transmitter. Three months after its first transmission, the station was only attracting 13% of the available audience in Dundee while viewing audiences across the region turned out to be less than had been hoped for. Viewer correspondence was said to amount to little more than half a dozen letters per week.

The problems in Dundee along with the effects of Television Advertising Duty and the Equity Strike led to heavy financial losses and a subsequent reduction in transmitter rental for Grampian. But by the end of 1962, the station had succeeded in increasing audience in both Dundee and the region as a whole. The success in viewing figures were attributed to an increase in regional programming. Whereas Grampian had previously restricted its output to news and current affairs beforehand, production controller James Buchan decided to go for broke and branch out to produce light entertainment and music shows (originally, at the rate of four programmes a week) - such output would remain a staple of the station's local output for the next forty years or so. By 1963, no less than fifty Grampian shows had featured in the local Top Ten audience ratings.

Towards the end of the decade, the station's potential audience reached a million viewers and Grampian was employing just over 200 staff at their studios in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh. Prior to the 1968 contract round, smaller regional stations sought an affiliation
Network affiliate
In the broadcasting industry , a network affiliate is a local broadcaster which carries some or all of the television program or radio program line-up of a television or radio network, but is owned by a company other than the owner of the network...

 with one of the four major ITV companies, who would provide the bulk of their programming. Grampian chose to link up with ABC Weekend Television
Associated British Corporation
Associated British Corporation was one of a number of commercial television companies established in the United Kingdom during the 1950s by cinema chain companies in an attempt to safeguard their business by becoming involved with television which was taking away their cinema audiences.In this...

.

Technological advances


Grampian was slower than most other ITV stations to begin colour broadcasting which, after the company invested £180,000 (2009: £1.92m) in new equipment, promptly started in September 1971 - an occasion timed to mark their 10th anniversary on air. Despite this, the station did come up with a number of technical firsts. Most notable of these came in 1978 when Grampian became the first British television station to adopt ENG
Electronic news gathering
ENG is a broadcasting industry acronym which stands for electronic news gathering. It can mean anything from a lone broadcast journalist reporter taking a single professional video camera out to shoot a story, to an entire television crew taking a production truck or satellite truck on location...

 video cameras for news coverage - a move which finally allowed its regional news programme, Grampian Today, to extend from three to five nights a week. Grampian also developed its own outside broadcast unit, initially using studio equipment.

The franchise rounds


Following the station's earlier troubles, Grampian Television, along with all other ITV companies at the time, won a three-year extension to their licence (later extended by a further year) in 1964. In 1967, they went unopposed by any other consortiums to win a further six-year contract from July 1968 - a contract expanded by a further eight years in 1974.

Six years later, Grampian won another eight-year franchise (later extended to ten years), effective of January 1982. The only change made to the licence was the classification of the franchise as North and North East Scotland, as opposed to North East Scotland - a change which the station had already capitalised upon in January 1980 when Grampian Today was relaunched as North Tonight
North Tonight
North Tonight was a Scottish nightly regional news programme covering the North of Scotland, produced by STV North .-History:North Tonight began on 7 January 1980 with presenters John Duncanson and Selina Scott...

as part of a major expansion for Grampian's news operation.

The Broadcasting Act of 1990 led to a significant change in the way ITV franchises were awarded - as opposed to the straightforward review process utilised by the outgoing Independent Broadcasting Authority, the new light-touch regulator, the Independent Television Commission, required that the successful applicant pass a quality threshold and business plan. In the event, Grampian was outbid by two challengers; Channel 3 Caledonia and North of Scotland Television (ironically the name of the original Grampian Television consortium). Both competitors failed to pass the quality threshold and Grampian won back the franchise by default with a bid of £720,000 per year.

After maintaining its franchise, Grampian sought to expand its business interests. In May 1994, the company won the new Central Scotland FM licence in partnership with Border Television
Border Television
Border Television is the ITV franchise holder for the Border region, spanning the England/Scotland border and covering Dumfries & Galloway region, a small part of the south-west area of Ayrshire, the Scottish Borders, parts of north and west Northumberland and the majority of Cumbria...

 - the new radio station was called Scot FM
Scot FM
Scot FM was the name of a regional radio station, originally based at Albert Quay, in Leith, serving the Central Belt of Scotland and originally co-owned by two regional ITV companies, Border Television and Grampian Television....

 (now Real Radio Scotland
Real Radio (Scotland)
Real Radio Scotland is an Independent Local Radio station in Central and Southern Scotland, owned and operated by GMG Radio. The station broadcasts from studios at Ballieston in the east end of the Glasgow on 100.3 & 101.1FM and on DAB.- Background :...

) (Grampian brought out Border's share in the station a year later). It was sold off in July 1996 to the Independent Radio Group for £5.25 million. During the same time, Grampian also owned shares in Moray Firth Radio, until they were sold off to Scottish Radio Holdings
Scottish Radio Holdings
Scottish Radio Holdings was a Scottish media company which owned 22 radio stations, and around 30 local newspapers in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.-History:...

.

Networked production


By encouragement of the IBA, Grampian and other small ITV companies were encouraged to produce more network output following the 1980 franchise round. The station had previously produced a small number of networked or part-networked productions including the daytime adult education series Katie Stewart Cooks and light entertainment show Melody Inn.

In the franchise period following, the station was commissioned to produce networked series of the previously local film magazine programme The Electric Theatre Show (following a successful run on London Weekend Television
London Weekend Television
London Weekend Television was the name of the ITV network franchise holder for Greater London and the Home Counties including south Suffolk, middle and east Hampshire, Oxfordshire, south Bedfordshire, south Northamptonshire, parts of Herefordshire & Worcestershire, Warwickshire, east Dorset and...

) alongside new series including occasional variety series Magic of the Musicals, lifestyle series Pennywise & Hot Property, networked one-off documentaries such as A Prince Among Islands and children's cartoon series James the Cat
James the Cat
James the Cat was a children's series created by Kate Canning and produced by Jan Clayton with Grampian Television. It chronicles the many events which take place at the Cornerhouse between James and his new friends. Fellow characters include: Mrs...

. The station also produced various editions of several series co-produced by most ITV regions - namely the religious programme Highway
Highway (TV series)
Highway is a British television series broadcast from 1983 until 1993. Presented by Sir Harry Secombe, the show was a mixture of hymns and chat from various locations across Britain, produced by their respective regional ITV franchise holders...

, current affairs debate The Time, The Place
The Time, The Place
The Time, The Place was a British audience participation talk show that was produced by Central Independent Television, later Anglia Television and broadcast live on ITV from 1987-1998. TTTP was presented by Mike Scott from 1987-1993 and by John Stapleton from 1991-1998...

, documentary strand About Britain and the Saturday morning children's shows Get Fresh
Get Fresh
Get Fresh was a children's television programme that ran from 1986 to 1988 in the United Kingdom.-Premise:Broadcast on the Children's ITV network, the show starred Gareth Jones , Charlotte Hindle, and a puppet named Gilbert the Alien...

& Ghost Train
Ghost Train (TV series)
Ghost Train was a children's television programme broadcast on ITV, between 1989 and 1991, produced by Tyne Tees Television in association with various ITV regional stations including Border Television, Television South West, Ulster Television, Channel Television and Grampian...

.

Grampian also contributed to Channel 4
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 in the form of various documentary series including Oil (co-produced with NRK), The Blood is Strong, Alternative Energy and Scotland the Grave. The long-running schools programme Living & Growing was transferred from ITV to Channel 4 in September 1987.

Grampian's later networked contributions amounted to very little, with the few exceptions including co-production of The National Television Awards
National Television Awards
The National Television Awards is a British television awards ceremony, broadcast by the ITV network and initiated in 1995. The National Television Awards are the most prominent ceremony for which the results are voted on by the general public. Because of the way the awards are decided, winners are...

from 1995 to 1997 and a daytime repeat run of local documentary series Medics of the Glen in 2004.

SMG buyout


Grampian remained independent until June 1997 when Scottish Media Group (SMG) bought the station for £105 million.

The buyout led to various scalebacks in staff and overall production at the station - notable changes included the transfer of presentation & continuity from Aberdeen to Scottish Television's playout centre in Glasgow. More Grampian-produced programmes were also broadcast on Scottish, and vice versa. The station was also criticised by the Independent Television Commission
Independent Television Commission
The Independent Television Commission licensed and regulated commercial television services in the United Kingdom between 1 January 1991 and 28 December 2003....

 concerning the amount and relevance of its non-news regional output with more and more programming being produced from outside the region, chiefly in Glasgow - production on such output was gradually phased out with the station's final non-news programme broadcast in 2008.

In June 2003, the company moved to new premises at Craigshaw Business Park in West Tullos
Tullos
Tullos is an area of Torry, a suburb of Aberdeen, Scotland. The area takes its name from the Vale of Tullos which lies between Tullos Hill and Torry Hill. Tullos derived its name from a corruption of the Gaelic ‘Tulach’ meaning a hill....

, Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

 and the original headquarters at Queens Cross
Queens Cross
Queen's Cross is area in the west-end of Aberdeen, Scotland. It is located just west from the main Union Street and about from the geographical town centre at Mercat Cross....

 were subsequently demolished, becoming home to a development of luxury flats.

From Grampian to STV North


In March 2006, the owners of Grampian Television, then known as SMG plc (now STV Group plc) announced that the Grampian TV brand would be scrapped and renamed, along with Scottish Television
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

, as simply 'STV', with a new logo comprising a large, stylised letter 'S'. It was also announced that no jobs would be lost as a result of the rebranding. The two regional news programmes in the Northern and Central Scotland regions (previously known as North Tonight
North Tonight
North Tonight was a Scottish nightly regional news programme covering the North of Scotland, produced by STV North .-History:North Tonight began on 7 January 1980 with presenters John Duncanson and Selina Scott...

and Scotland Today
Scotland Today
Scotland Today was a Scottish regional news programme covering Central Scotland, produced by STV Central . Despite its name suggesting a national remit, the programme was actually limited to stories around STV's Central Belt franchise...

respectively) were still broadcast in their respective regions after the "stv" rebranding, which occurred at 09:25 on Tuesday 30 May 2006. Both North Tonight and Scotland Today were rebranded as STV News at Six
STV News at Six
STV News at Six is a Scottish regional news programme, covering the two STV franchise areas of Northern and Central Scotland, produced by STV Central in the Central region and STV North in the Northern region.The programmes were launched on Monday 23 March 2009, replacing Scotland Today in...

on Monday, 23 March 2009 but continue to air as separate programmes.

The decision to rebrand Grampian was met with much criticism from across the former Grampian region - the move was viewed by many as similar to the ITV plc
ITV plc
ITV plc is a British media company that operates 12 of the 15 regional television broadcasters that make up the ITV Network, the oldest and largest commercial terrestrial television network in the United Kingdom...

-owned licences in England, Wales and Southern Scotland where all of the regions are branded as ITV1
ITV1
ITV1 is a generic brand that is used by twelve franchises of the British ITV Network in the English regions, Wales, southern Scotland , the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their...

. The objections are largely due to the fact that the largely rural Scottish culture in the North is very different from the more commercial and industrialised Central Scotland area.

The news service and advertising remains regionalised as before with the Tayside and North East Fife area receiving its own opt-out service, featuring a dedicated news bulletin within STV News at Six on weekdays and separate local advertising. Up until September 2011, both areas also receive their own version of the overnight strand, The Nightshift
The Nightshift
The Nightshift is an overnight regional television programme broadcast on STV in Northern and Central Scotland.The service, broadcast live from STV's transmission control centre at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, features highlights of archived STV programmes, STV News & ITV News bulletins, showbiz news...

.

As of 3 December 2007, the former Grampian name was partially resurrected at the launch of GMTV Grampian
Daybreak Scotland
Daybreak Scotland is the regional news strand for the two ITV regions in northern and central Scotland, provided for the ITV breakfast station ITV Breakfast...

, a local news segment for North Scotland shown as part of GMTV
GMTV
GMTV was the national Channel 3 breakfast television contractor, broadcasting in the United Kingdom from 1 January 1993 to 3 September 2010. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of ITV plc. in November 2009. Shortly after, ITV plc announced the programme would end...

 (now Daybreak
Daybreak (ITV)
Daybreak is the weekday breakfast television programme on the British commercial ITV network that broadcasts on weekday mornings from 06:00 to 08:30 and is currently presented by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley from Monday to Thursday with Dan Lobb and Kate Garraway on Fridays...

) and is provided by Macmillan Media
Macmillan Media
Macmillan Media is a multimedia company covering the UK and Ireland working in Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester and London, and is owned by British journalist Michael Macmillan.-Daybreak Regional News:...

, a separate company with no connection to STV. It took over the contract when GMTV did not renew STV's contract to supply early morning Scotland Today
Scotland Today
Scotland Today was a Scottish regional news programme covering Central Scotland, produced by STV Central . Despite its name suggesting a national remit, the programme was actually limited to stories around STV's Central Belt franchise...

and North Today bulletins. STV had supplied GMTV with its news since the breakfast channel took over from TV-am in 1993. From its Glasgow studios, Macmillan Media began its service for the Grampian region on 3 December 2007.

Studios


Grampian's first studios and headquarters were located at Queens Cross
Queens Cross
Queen's Cross is area in the west-end of Aberdeen, Scotland. It is located just west from the main Union Street and about from the geographical town centre at Mercat Cross....

, Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, where the company purchased a former tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

 depot belonging to Aberdeen Corporation Tramways
Aberdeen Corporation Tramways
-The system:The city's tram system was the most northerly municipal tramway in the United Kingdom. The system was electrified, with trams using bow collectors to take power from the overhead wires...

 in 1960. The depot was converted for use as a television studios with completion planned prior to October 1961. These studios were updated in the early 1980s with £4 million worth (2009: £10.5m) of new equipment for a new Central Technical Area and presentation facilities. These studios continued to be of importance to Grampian well into the new millennium, despite the transfer of the presentation and continuity to Scottish
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

's Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 base and the loss of staff when SMG took over the company. In June 2003, Grampian moved to new, smaller, state-of-the-art studios at Craigshaw Business Park in West Tullos
Tullos
Tullos is an area of Torry, a suburb of Aberdeen, Scotland. The area takes its name from the Vale of Tullos which lies between Tullos Hill and Torry Hill. Tullos derived its name from a corruption of the Gaelic ‘Tulach’ meaning a hill....

, Aberdeen
Aberdeen
Aberdeen is Scotland's third most populous city, one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas and the United Kingdom's 25th most populous city, with an official population estimate of ....

, some of the most advanced in the world at the time of opening. Their previous headquarters at Queens Cross were subsequently demolished and developed.

In addition to their Aberdeen headquarters, Grampian ran a newsroom and sales office in Dundee
Dundee
Dundee is the fourth-largest city in Scotland and the 39th most populous settlement in the United Kingdom. It lies within the eastern central Lowlands on the north bank of the Firth of Tay, which feeds into the North Sea...

 which was moved in 1980 to a new remote-controlled studio at Albany House. A further newsroom and studio was located at Huntly Street, Inverness
Inverness
Inverness is a city in the Scottish Highlands. It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland...

, which opened in 1983.

Grampian also had a studio in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, despite it being in Scottish
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

's franchise area, which had closed by 1969, and a new £4 million studio complex in Stornoway
Stornoway
Stornoway is a burgh on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.The town's population is around 9,000, making it the largest settlement in the Western Isles and the third largest town in the Scottish Highlands after Inverness and Fort William...

, opened in the early 1990s to facilitate an expansion in Scottish Gaelic language output, including the daily news bulletin Telefios
Telefios
Telefios was a Scottish Gaelic-language news programme, broadcast on both Grampian Television and STV from 1993 to 2000.Its name is a portmanteau of the word fios meaning "knowledge" or "information", and telebhisean ....

. The studios were closed in 2000 following the end of the news service and transfer of other programmes to Glasgow.

Identity


Grampian's company logo and on screen identity made use of The Saltire, the Flag of Scotland
Flag of Scotland
The Flag of Scotland, , also known as Saint Andrew's Cross or the Saltire, is the national flag of Scotland. As the national flag it is the Saltire, rather than the Royal Standard of Scotland, which is the correct flag for all individuals and corporate bodies to fly in order to demonstrate both...

, in all incarnations of the companies independent life. Grampian's first on screen identification film, or ident for short, featured a black, white and grey image of four mountain peaks, which turn into the saltire, with the grey peak at the bottom, against the tune "Scotland the Brave". This ident lasted until 1971, when colour came to the region at the same time as the 10th anniversary of the station. The replacing ident started with the four sections of the saltire coloured red, yellow, blue and white merging to form a white diamond from which the saltire emerges upon a light blue background accompanied by a harp version of the Scotland the Brave jingle.

In 1980 a new black background ident was introduced and a newer version of Scotland the brave jingle used as well. It run along side the Dark blue version until 1983 when it was withdrawn from use. "Black" Ident was not used for links into ITN, until the start of 1983, During the same period the idents were seen less and less as in-vision continuity was used for the majority of links.

Grampian's first computer generated ident was introduced in April 1985 and featured various diamond and dot shapes flying around in space, changing colour against a tune of an electronic tune. As the ident progresses, the dots move closer, and the diamonds bend to that it becomes a three dimensional saltire shape as the 'Scotland the Brave' music begins to be more noticeable. The saltire logo then forms up in the place of the box.

However, this colourful and dynamic ident was only to last a four years, as Grampian adopted the first ITV generic look in 1989 and used it from then until 1998, which made Grampian the longest ITV company to use this look at nine years. As the majority of links were done by in-vision continuity, the ident was rarely seen for most of the day. When the new ITV logo was about to be launched and after SMG had bought the channel, the ident was replaced by a saltire on blue background, tilted slightly, with the sections of the saltire bursting into place, accompanied by the generic music from 1989.

In 1999, Grampian refused the second generic look and, like Scottish Television
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

, took a branding package based on a blue square with the words 'grampian tv' in the bottom of the square. Launched on 28 February 2000 and featuring various scenes of Scottish people and places up and down the country. Various scenes featured a lady horserider along a beach, a young lady and dog returning home, elderly tweed
Tweed (cloth)
Tweed is a rough, unfinished woolen fabric, of a soft, open, flexible texture, resembling cheviot or homespun, but more closely woven. It is made in either plain or twill weave and may have a check or herringbone pattern...

 workers in the highlands, waves crashing below Dunottar Castle, a tea dance
Tea dance
A tea dance, or thé dansant is a summer or autumn afternoon or early-evening dance from four to seven, sometimes preceded in the English countryside by a garden party. The function evolved from the concept of the afternoon tea, and J. Pettigrew traces its origin to the French colonization of Morocco...

, an oil rig in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

, the grampian mountains, chefs in a restaurant kitchen and a waitress in a pub. The look is notable for its cool colour pallette and ambient music.

On 6 January 2003, the idents were replaced by the celebrity idents, mostly used by the Granada and Carlton regions, and adapted for use by Grampian. The ITV1
ITV1
ITV1 is a generic brand that is used by twelve franchises of the British ITV Network in the English regions, Wales, southern Scotland , the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. The ITV1 brand was introduced by Carlton and Granada in 2001, alongside the regional identities of their...

 logo was replaced with Grampians logo, and additional idents made depicting Scottish and grampian celebrities. However, this was not to last, as in 2006, the Grampian name was to be lost on screen in favour of STV. The idents featured Scottish people passing around the logo, an elongated 'S', to other people in other scenes off screen until the 'S' is placed in the centre of the screen. The upbeat music and dynamic filming gives the idents an energetic quality to the station. These idents were shared with Scottish
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

, as were all idents following the package as the two networks have ceased as separate entities.

The current ident set came into force in February 2009 and was an extension to the theme. A scene, similar to the last look, flips over to reveal another scene. This continues, with increasing pace and a wider perspective, until the STV logo flips into view against a blue background

Programmes


Programming produced by Grampian Television (STV North) over the past 49 years include:

News



  • Grampian Headlines (1988–2003)
  • Grampian News (2002–6)
  • Grampian Today (mid 1970s - 1980)
  • News and Views (1961 - mid 1970s)
  • News Review (early 1990s - )

  • North News (lunchtime bulletin, 1980–8)
  • North Headlines (late night bulletin, 1980–7)
  • North Today (2006–9)
  • North Tonight
    North Tonight
    North Tonight was a Scottish nightly regional news programme covering the North of Scotland, produced by STV North .-History:North Tonight began on 7 January 1980 with presenters John Duncanson and Selina Scott...

    (1980–2009)
  • STV News at Six
    STV News at Six
    STV News at Six is a Scottish regional news programme, covering the two STV franchise areas of Northern and Central Scotland, produced by STV Central in the Central region and STV North in the Northern region.The programmes were launched on Monday 23 March 2009, replacing Scotland Today in...

    (2009 – )


Current Affairs



  • The Buck Stops Here
  • Craig Millar Reports (latterly The Craig Millar Files, 2003-4)
  • Country Focus (1961–84)
  • Crossfire (1984–2004)
  • Grampian Week (1970s)
  • Inquisition
  • North Tonight Special

  • One Life to Live
  • Personal View
  • Points North (1961–84)
  • Politics Now
    Politics Now
    Politics Now was a Scottish political programme produced and broadcast by STV in northern and central Scotland. The half-hour programme, running for 40 weeks of the year, was broadcast on late Thursday evenings....

    (co-produced with STV Central, 2004–2011)
  • Scotland Tonight
    Scotland Tonight
    Scotland Tonight is a Scottish news and current affairs programme, covering the two STV franchise areas of Northern and Central Scotland, produced by STV News...

    (co-produced with STV Central, 2011–present)
  • Scottish Questions
  • We the Jury


Documentaries



  • The A9 Mystery (1978)
  • About Britain (contributions for the ITV network)
  • Around the World in 80 Hours (1993)
  • Beyond Explanation
  • The Big Beat
  • Black Water, Bright Hope
  • The Blood is Strong (for Channel Four, late 1980s)
  • Blowout at Bravo (1977)
  • Carnoustie: A Town of Golf
  • Columba's Way (1972)
  • Commando (1983)
  • Cop College
  • A Day in the Life (2003)
  • Elizabeth of Glamis (1985)
  • The Energy Alternative (for Channel Four, 1990)
  • Export Scotch (1982)
  • Fife: Andrew's Kingdom
  • A Glen for All Seasons (1997)
  • The Glovers of Nagasaki (co-produced with Fuji TV, 1995)
  • Highlands
    Highlands (TV series)
    Highlands was a 6-part documentary series produced by STV Productions and broadcast on STV in Northern and Central Scotland and The History Channel , presented by Taggart actor John Michie....

    (produced by STV Productions, 2008)
  • The Highland Heartlands (1986)
  • Home at Last (1989)
  • Hot Property (for the ITV network)
  • Last of the Hunters (1987)
  • The Man Who Changed the World (1986)
  • The Masterbuilders

  • Medics of the Glen (also broadcast on the ITV network)
  • Network First (contributions for the ITV network, mid - late 1990s)
  • Nick Hancock's Fishing School (produced by STV Productions, 2007)
  • Northern Eye
  • Oil (co-produced with NRK for Channel Four, 1986)
  • On the Road Again (1984)
  • Picnic at Whitehill (1986)
  • Place in the Sun (1981)
  • A Prince Among Islands
    A Prince Among Islands
    A Prince Among Islands was a television programme about Prince Charles' visit to Berneray.In 1987, Charles, Prince of Wales visited Berneray in the Outer Hebrides, for a week to learn about crofting. During his stay, he planted and lifted potatoes, cut peat, helped dip sheep and planted trees on...

    (for the ITV network, 1992)
  • The River
  • Seeing Scotland
  • Scotland the Grave (for Channel Four, 1991)
  • Scotland's Larder (early - late 1990s)
  • Selina Scott Meets
  • Storm on the Mountain (for Channel Four, 1988)
  • The Byre Theatre: Please Keep Your Feet Off the Stage (1983)
  • This Scotland (co-produced with Scottish Television
    Scottish Television
    Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

    )
  • To Russia with Burns (1978)
  • Two of a Kind
  • Unsolved
    Unsolved (TV series)
    Unsolved was a regional television documentary series produced by Grampian Television...

    (2003-4)
  • Valhalla
  • Walking Back to Happiness
  • What Price Oil? (1973)
  • The Woman Who Ate Scotland (2006-7)
  • A Year in Spain: Selina Scott with the Spanish Royal Family (for the ITV network, 1993)


Features



  • Breakthrough
  • Country Matters (1990s)
  • Desert Island Chefs
  • The Electric Theatre Show (for the ITV network, 1976–84)
  • The Five Thirty Show
    The Five Thirty Show
    The Five Thirty Show was a short-lived Scottish topical magazine show, which began broadcasting in Northern and Central Scotland on STV on Monday January 28, 2008...

    (co-produced with STV Central, 2008-9)
  • Fix It
  • Get Real
  • The Grampian Garden (1963–80)
  • Grampian Midweek (2000–3)
  • Grampian Weekend
  • The Great Outdoors
  • Grow for It
  • Movie Date
  • Naturally Scottish
  • Northern Exposure
    Northern Exposure (video blog)
    Northern Exposure was a supplementary video blog for the Northern Scotland edition of the regional news programme, STV News at Six. The first blog was produced on Tuesday June 19, 2007 and as of June 30, 2009, 180 episodes had been made available...

    (for stv.tv
    Stv.tv
    www.stv.tv is the URL of the website of the Scottish television channel, STV. The website currently offers the usual sections of News, Sport, Entertainment, Weather, Competitions, Forums and STV programme information, with TV listings...

    , 2007–2009)
  • Northern Exposure: Ask Kirstin (for stv.tv
    Stv.tv
    www.stv.tv is the URL of the website of the Scottish television channel, STV. The website currently offers the usual sections of News, Sport, Entertainment, Weather, Competitions, Forums and STV programme information, with TV listings...

    , 2007–2009)
  • Off the Wall (2004)

  • Out and About (late 1980s)
  • Pennywise (for the ITV network, 1985-8)
  • The People Show
  • Pin Money (1987)
  • Put It in Writing
  • Rich, Gifted and Scots (co-produced with Scottish Television
    Scottish Television
    Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

    )
  • Rude Health
  • The Scottish Tourism Supreme Awards
  • The Scottish Soldier (1975)
  • Spend, Spend, Spend
  • Sign a Story
  • Strictly Scottish (1970s)
  • Summer at Six (1980s)
  • Under the Hammer (1997–9, co-produced with Scottish Television
    Scottish Television
    Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

    )
  • The Way It Was (1980s - 1996)
  • Wednesday People


Entertainment



  • Andy's Party (1977–81)
  • The Art Sutter Show (1989–96)
  • Aye Yours
  • At Home with Kenneth McKellar
  • The Big Break (1989)
  • Bothy Nichts
  • Breakers (1990s)
  • Calum's Ceilidh
  • The McCalmans (1986)
  • Cairngorm Cabaret
  • Cairngorm Ski Night
  • Ceilidh on the Caledonian Canal (1986)
  • Chartburn (1990–2000)
  • A Highland Hogmanay
  • Come Aboard
  • Country and Irish
  • Club Cupid
    Club Cupid
    Club Cupid, was a Scottish regional dating show co-produced by STV Central and STV North and presented by Des Clarke and Michelle Watt. The series was recorded at the Apex Hotel in Dundee....

    (co-produced with STV Central, 2006)
  • Conquer the Castle
    Conquer the Castle
    Conquer the Castle is a British reality TV series filmed in Scotland, and broadcast on STV.The weekly 12-part series followed six devoted city slickers as they swapped their fast-paced metropolitan lives for a crash course in Scottish country living....

    (produced by STV Productions, 2008)
  • The Entertainers (1977–81)
  • First Light
  • Grampian Disco Dancing Championship
  • Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (1984–86)
  • The Highland Road (1984)
  • Ingle Neuk
  • It's George (1970s-1980s)
  • ITV Telethon
    ITV Telethon
    The ITV Telethons were three charity telethons organised and televised in the UK by the ITV network. They took place in 1988, 1990 and 1992. Each lasted for 27 hours and all were hosted by Michael Aspel.- Thames Telethon :...

    (local and networked contributions, 1988, 1990, 1992)
  • The Jim Macleod Show (1970s)
  • McCue's Music
  • Magic of the Musicals (1984)

  • Maggie! (1983)
  • Melody Inn (part networked)
  • The National Television Awards (co-produced with Indigo Television Productions for the ITV network, 1995–7)
  • The Nightshift
    The Nightshift
    The Nightshift is an overnight regional television programme broadcast on STV in Northern and Central Scotland.The service, broadcast live from STV's transmission control centre at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, features highlights of archived STV programmes, STV News & ITV News bulletins, showbiz news...

    (regional version, 2010-1)
  • Northern Nights
  • The Paul Coia Show (1986)
  • Pick of the North
  • Pop Scotch
  • The Royal Clansmen
  • Runrig on the Rock
  • Random Choice (1986)
  • Richard Clayderman (1985)
  • Scotch and Irish (1993-6)
  • Scotland the What
  • Shammy Dab
    Shammy Dab
    Shammy Dab was a Scottish comedy panel quiz show, first broadcast as a local radio feature and later as a regional television series, produced and broadcast by Grampian Television during the 1980s.-History:...

    (1980-9)
  • Silver City Folk
  • Stritcly Scottish
  • A Touch of Music
  • Talking Loud
  • Thomson at teatime (ealry 70s)
  • Top Club
    Top Club
    Top Club was a Scottish regional television game show produced and broadcast by Grampian Television between 1971 and 1998. During the mids 1970s a spin off called Top team was also aired....

    (1971–98)
  • Top Team (1972-7)
  • Try For Ten (1965-7)
  • The Video Show (1985)
  • Video Jukebox (1987)
  • Welcome to the Ceilidh (1976–82)
  • Win a Word
  • You'd Better Believe It! (1990)


Children's



  • Bill's Magic Box
  • The Birthday Spot
  • Furry Tales (2001)
  • Get Fresh
    Get Fresh
    Get Fresh was a children's television programme that ran from 1986 to 1988 in the United Kingdom.-Premise:Broadcast on the Children's ITV network, the show starred Gareth Jones , Charlotte Hindle, and a puppet named Gilbert the Alien...

    (contributions for the ITV network, 1986–8)
  • Ghost Train
    Ghost Train (TV series)
    Ghost Train was a children's television programme broadcast on ITV, between 1989 and 1991, produced by Tyne Tees Television in association with various ITV regional stations including Border Television, Television South West, Ulster Television, Channel Television and Grampian...

    (contributions for the ITV network, 1989–92)
  • Isla's Island
  • James the Cat
    James the Cat
    James the Cat was a children's series created by Kate Canning and produced by Jan Clayton with Grampian Television. It chronicles the many events which take place at the Cornerhouse between James and his new friends. Fellow characters include: Mrs...

    (for the ITV network) (1984–6)
  • Junior Try for Ten (1967–9)
  • High Time
  • Pick a Number (1987–96)

  • Romper Room
    Romper Room
    Romper Room is a children's television series that ran in the United States from 1953 to 1994 as well as at various times in Australia, Canada, Japan, Puerto Rico, New Zealand and the United Kingdom...

  • Rumblie Jumblie
  • Ron & Friends (1972-4)
  • Seamus
  • Scene on Saturday (1976 - early 1980s)
  • Superbox (early 1980s)
  • Top Team
  • Win a Word (1970)
  • Wize Up (1996-7)
  • Zoom! (early - mid 1970s)


Sport



  • The Back Page
  • Grampian Sheepdog Trials (also broadcast on the ITV network and Channel 4
    Channel 4
    Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

    , early 1980s - mid 1990s)
  • Pure Strength
  • The Scottish Golf Show
    The Scottish Golf Show
    The Scottish Golf Show is a Scottish television series, which aired on Scottish TV and Grampian TV . The programme captures the imagination of golfers and non-golfers alike and explores the experience that is Scotland and the true spirit of golf in a blend of humour, nostalgia, science, history,...

    (2005)

  • Sportscall
  • Sportscope
  • The Western Isles Challenge (co-produced with S4C
    S4C
    S4C , currently branded as S4/C, is a Welsh television channel broadcast from the capital, Cardiff. The first television channel to be aimed specifically at a Welsh-speaking audience, it is the fifth oldest British television channel .The channel - initially broadcast on...

     and Trans World International)

Outside broadcast coverage of various sports including league football, cross country, lawn bowls, shinty, professional wrestling (for the ITV network's World of Sport
World of Sport (UK TV series)
World of Sport was a British television sport anthology programme which ran on ITV between 2 January 1965 to 28 September 1985 in response to competition from BBC's Grandstand...

), marathons, cycling, exhibition tennis, international amateur boxing, curling, triathlon and mountain bike racing.

Education



  • Bits 'n' Pieces
  • Do It Herself (1982)
  • Gather Round
  • Living and Growing (1966–95)
  • Let's Make It

  • Mathman
  • Play Better Squash (1983)
  • Simply Sewing (1979–82)
  • Our Police
  • Your Health


Religion



  • Evening Worship
  • First Thing
  • Highway
    Highway (TV series)
    Highway is a British television series broadcast from 1983 until 1993. Presented by Sir Harry Secombe, the show was a mixture of hymns and chat from various locations across Britain, produced by their respective regional ITV franchise holders...

    (contributions for the ITV network, 1983–93)
  • In Good Faith
  • Morning Worship (contributions for the ITV network)

  • Reflections
  • Studio Service
  • Testimony
  • A Working Faith (1983)


Scots Gaelic



  • Ar Duthaich
  • Am Fasach
  • Blas (1994-8)
  • Beathainchean Neontach (Nature)
  • Beagan Gaidhlig (1971–74)
  • Bocsa‘s An Fidhle
  • Ceol na Fidhle (Traditional music)
  • Coille is Cuan (Nature, 1995-6)
  • Comhla Rinn (Chat show)
  • Crann Tara (Current affairs/features 1982-1990s)
  • Cuir Car (Children's)
  • Deanamaid Gairdeachar

  • Failte (Features)
  • Fionnan Feior (Documentaries)
  • Le Durach (Gaelic version of The Birthday Spot)
  • Nochd Gun Chadal (Contemporary music)
  • Seall (Documentaries)
  • Seudan a chauain(1995–97)
  • Sechd Laithean (Current affairs)
  • Sgeulachdan Na Cagatcile
  • Spors (Sport)
  • Telefios
    Telefios
    Telefios was a Scottish Gaelic-language news programme, broadcast on both Grampian Television and STV from 1993 to 2000.Its name is a portmanteau of the word fios meaning "knowledge" or "information", and telebhisean ....

    (Regional news, 1993–2000)
  • Telefios na Seachduinn (News review, 1993–2000)

An expanded archive of selected factual and entertainment output from Grampian Television's continues to be uploaded to the STV Player
STV Player
The STV Player is a website based video on demand service accessible though the main STV website and separately in the distinct domain name stvplayer.tv. Current programmes are available for 30 days after transmission on the main STV channel, with archive programming available longer-term...

's YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

channel.