ITV 59 - All Your ITV Favourites (And The Gingerbread Girl) Part Eight: Schools And Colleges

You'd think, what with everyone always waffling on about pylons and experimental medicines and MURDERS SCARECROWS and folky pagan synths and Hole Hearted by Extreme and all of that other 'sinister seventies' iconography like some lost episode of Series 1 of Look Around You as written and produced by someone who knows nothing about the seventies nor indeed about Look Around You, whether you ask them to or not or indeed threaten them with a mirror-disc top hat to the face if they don't shut up, that there'd be an absolute wooo scary bakery van (for some reason) load of ITV Programmes For Schools And Colleges footage out there. But there isn't, and for some odd reason it's surprisingly hard to find, at least in any form other than a stretched still image with some overloud plank prattling over the top before treating us all to fourteen minutes of a library music track called Ragtime Crow or something, so this has been a much harder instalment to put together than most. And you know why that is? IT'S BECAUSE OF THE 'THEY' WHO DONE ALL OF THE SECRET HAUNTOLOGY EXPERIMENTS ON YOU LOL THE WHOLE OF THE SEVENTIES WILL BE ARRESTED NEXT ESPECIALLY HARTLEY HARE AND SPANGL... OH THAT DOESN'T WORK SORRY

Anyway, we're here to talk about Independent Television For Schools And Colleges rather than RAGGERTY IS HIDING IN YOUR DISUSED FRIDGE, and talk about Independent Television For Schools And Colleges rather than RAGGERTY IS HIDING IN YOUR DISUSED FRIDGE we shall. Starting with...

Hmmm, well it's no BBC Schools Diamond is it? This invariably moderately wonky caption slide, surely not coincidental in its similarity to the ATV ident, would be pressed into service whenever the inadvertent gap between the haphazardly-lengthed schools programmes reached truly ridiculous proportions. Presumably it was intended to have a dual purpose and allow teachers some scope for getting the brightness and contrast set correctly before the programme started, but given that most of them had trouble even switching the TV on in the first place that really was something of a tall order.

Then, eventually, the cross-legged captive audience arrived at the radially-gradated sixty second countdown everyone remembers, rendered in Savlon-inspired Vase-Smashed-With-Hammer blue and white livery, and let's be honest about this, not a patch on the BBC Schools Dots, mainly on account of it requiring those who laboured under the misapprehension that it was the height of hilarity to pretend to 'shoot' the disappearing markings to be simultaneously infinitely more dextrous and infinitely more annoying. Seen here doing an episode of Seeing And Doing, it would also work its Dixieland-driven wonders for the fondly-remembered likes of Good Health, Middle English, Picture Box, Leapfrog, The French Programme, How We Used To Live, Experiment, Stop Look And Listen, My World and of course Jimmy Savile Presents Some Pagan Villagers Make ICI Businessman With That Greasy Side Parting And Thick Glasses Combo Take Some Dangerous Untested Drugs By A Disused Foundry That Is In The Middle Of The Countryside For Some Reason.

And to fill the often not insubstantial gaps between all those programmes, the 'backroom boys' would often deploy short but seemingly infinite loops of rotating artwork, mostly rural and/or Tudor-themed watercolours by gifted semi-professionals, but sometimes haphazard splurges of that powdered water-activated schoolroom paint sent in by the actual viewers. We've been prevented from using any of the above indicated illustrations of The Muppets on health and safety grounds, but if you're willing to take that risk with your sanity, you can see them in all their... something by clicking here. Your best is 'The Drummer'.

And showcasing some of those off-kilter timings, here's a typical schoolday's rundown, so get yourself sat down for a good morning's worth of educativ-

Oh. Good thing too really, if you ask us, as we weren't so much running out of things to say about ITV Programmes For Schools And Colleges as running out of anything to actually have things to say about in the first place. And anyway, it's time to take a look at... well, that would be telling...