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THE HANDBAGJD AND THE GLADRAGS THAT BECAME JOHN HANNAS FAVOURITE SUPPER TIME
Well, we apologise for that short break in transmission, during which you probably had to sit through that Butterfly Ball thing again, and let's just see if we can't now return you to our regular programming. Hello, one and all, and welcome to the third and final (TAHT IS NOT SOON ENOGUH SOON) instalment of our series-within-a-series look at the various variations on regional insignias of ITV franchise holders passim, before they all got bought up by Disney and thrown in a burning bin to impress Reece Shearsmith, and indeed before the entirety of ITV itself was subsumed by the unstoppable Chewits-endangering region-scoffing rise of Carlton Television, a phenomenon which as any self-respecting MP knows is a prime example of BBC 'Bias'. Just imagine if it had been SelecTV instead, and in place of Celebrity Juice we'd have all those wall-to-wall repeats of Hadleigh. Anyway, the final leg of our tour of the regions starts by stopping off here...
Where ast tha bin since ah saw thee? In the Yorkshire TV region! Yes, it's the plain-speaking flat-capped cobble-streeted home of the makers of such televisual landmarks as Rising Damp, Emmerdale Farm, Follyfoot, Topper's Tales, Tarby's Frame Game and Matthew Corbett And Sooty "In Search Of Gulliver", which were invariably introduced by the so-called 'chevron', though many observers have noted that it actually bore a far closer resemblance to a 'bird' as seen in a chortle-free newspaper cartoon about Thatcher/Major teetering on the 'economic' edge of Beachy Head, and a five-note brass harrumph through something that sounds nothing at all even remotely like On Ilkla Moor Baht 'at. And, what with being all no-nonsense and common sense and dripping sandwiches and all that, they rarely ever messed around with said 'chevron', and while Twitter may regularly reverberate with endless live tweeting of when it twatted Dusty Bin at the start of 3-2-1, this was very much an isolated incident and you never exactly saw it, say, turning into a 'flying v' guitar at the behest of Animal Kwackers, or being called a 'barstard' by Alan B'Stard. Below are two very rare examples of promotion-orientated jiggerypokery, firstly a standard issue 'one pill makes you larger' mind expansion gambit from the late sixties, and secondly a salutation to any passing aliens that might have been looking in (so, Vrillon of Ashtar Galactic Command, then) with a somewhat overblown boast about reaching a very small percentage of the viewing audience. Meanwhile, improbably, a bewildering amount of people claim to have been somehow frightened by the 'chevron'. What did they think it was going to do?! Fly out of the TV and 'yellow' at them?
The green glowing I AM ALIEN FROM PLANET MARS-esque variant noted above would doubtless have been of great interest to the galactic emissary who allowed himself to be used as a logo for original Midlands ITV-profferer ABC.
But soon enough he headed off back into space, to warn his home planet of the Earth people and their Pathfinders To Venus, and consequently the regional franchise for the Midlands was handed over to Lord Grade's ATV and their none-more-ITV ident, featuring as it did that infamous speaker-rattling double-whammy fanfare with added binging and bonging, and 'colour'-denoting representation of what appears to be Mickey Mouse turned upside down and subjected to a chemical leakage from developing fluid, self-animatedly giving way to the emblematic Zippy/Al Jardine/Graham Taylor-head-shaped logo. And this celebratedly bombastic in-your-face bit of televisual arrestingness almost always found itself attached to equally arresting programming, from The Strange World Of Gurney Slade to Sapphire & Steel to Pipkins, and woe betide anyone who witters over a stretched still of it while pretending to introduce some woeful long-forgotten daytime talk show where the real original continuity announcers probably just shouted "PISS 2" and hoped for the best anyway.
Yikes - head for the hills, everyone! ATV handed over the Midland reins to Central in 1982, inadvertently letting slip the dogs of war and unleashing Hardwicke House on a traumatised public who are still recovering to this day. Not far behind in the viewer-spooking stakes came hard-hitting swindle exposure courtesy of The Cook Report, MURDERS PUPPETS extravaganzas Pullover and Fox Tales (and, according to some, Spitting Image when not moving), chillingly post-Cold War tug-of-rights-stricken The Little Green Man, the sweary-graffiti-shouty-theme-song end credits of Murphy's Mob, endless spooktacular contributions to Dramarama, and the general horror of those song-and-dance prone kids in Emu's Pink Windmill Show, with the result that many viewers can now no longer see their original solarized Christmas Tree bauble and corresponding synth hum without hiding behind the 'sofa' that nobody ever actually hid behind. Later in the eighties this would evolve into a paint-splattering computerised approximation of the original 'globe' - apparently referred to in official parlance as the 'cake', though anyone who has ever eaten any cake that looked even marginally like that requires immediate help - and a more assured synth fanfare that bore an uncanny resemblance to The Robinsons' doorbell on Neighbours. Also included for sheer amusement is the ludicrous 'Central Into The 90's' turn-of-the-decade variant, doubtless intended to signpost a brave new world of Press Gang and, erm, Press Gang, but these days calling to mind little other than Inspector Morse donning a hooded top and buying an Inspiral Carpets 12".
Being prominent denizens of so-called (by planks writing pretentious thinkpieces about not very much in particular) 'Granadaland', Inspiral Carpets themselves would have been otherwise engaged charting the evolution of the Anthony H. Wilson-pointing-out 'G', from its early appearances as a lone 'G'-deficent arrow (to denote 'North', of course), through a brief misguided excursion into just rendering the company's name in the same font they used for the signage on their Service Station/TV Rental Shop sideline, and into the classic Bob Greaves-era A Handful Of Songs-prefacing 'grinning face' Coronation Street-bookender and its later bevelled and Silver Plated 25th Anniversary upgrades, the latter of which is particularly noteworthy for having introduced Show They Can Never Repeat Now par excellence How To Be Cool. And what's more, it used to turn into a fucking HOUSE at the start of Hickory House. Stitch that, 'Chevron'!
And finally, it's time for Tyne Tees, and its legendary Yer Programme's On blippery synth clarion call for 'Gog' from The Paper Lads, and the root cause of a million juvenile misconceptions that 'Tees' was somehow 'North East' for telly. And with tha- oh. It's exploded. Oh well, join us again next time when we'll be taking a look at - wait for it - Oracle...!