Lanarkshire Television

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Lanarkshire Television was a terrestrial TV station covering North and South Lanarkshire, which operated from 11 April 1999 until 2005. It was Britain's first mainland local television station.

Development

LTV was set up with a £2,000, four-year licence from the Independent Television Commission and was the model for up to 60 other local television stations that were expected to start transmitting in subsequent years.

The station broadcast from the former Hartwood Hospital near Shotts, which had previously been used as a mental asylum. Because of that link, LTV was often dubbed "Loony TV".

Broadcasting on Channel 67, it was on 24 hours a day, offering local news, chat shows and weather and travel bulletins.

Ahead of its launch, managing director John MacKenzie told The Herald newspaper: "LTV will cover both local and national issues which directly or indirectly affect the people of Lanarkshire."[1]

Programmes

Lanarkshire TV had a talent show called Talented Lanarkshire, a quiz night programme Remote Control, which one night came from Lanark Grammar School and a local constable appealing for witnesses in a small-scale version of Crimewatch.

Tall Tales had a puppet called 'Bookworm' reading to the under-fives. And the nature slot, Animal Magic, saw a camera crew dispatched to the zoo. The cookery programme amounted to a visit to a local restaurant, where the chef of the house cooks a meal.

Financial problems

Less than a year after launch, it was reported in March 2000 that the station was nearing closure because of financial problems. The failure to pay any of its 32 staff since Christmas Eve 1999, prompted Shereen Tulloch, the breakfast show anchor, to leave suddenly. Her erstwhile colleagues said she left "to become a weather girl in London" but, whatever the reason, it spelt the end of Good Morning Lanarkshire. Since the beginning of March, LTV broadcasts began at 4pm.

Despite heavy criticism from newspapers, the ITC heaped praise on the station. Speaking to the Independent, one ITC staff member commented:

The problem is that the management was overambitious at the beginning, trying to broadcast from 8am till midnight, with 90 per cent of the output home produced. But there is still a lot of commitment to make this work.[2]

Thistle Television

Lanarkshire TV was replaced by Thistle Television, which broadcast to a wider catchment area and interspersed its local material with Sky News and the QVC shopping channel. However, it failed to attract enough investors or advertisers and stopped broadcasting in 2005.[3]

Links

References

  1. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12017287.Lanarkshire_TV_in_picture/ Lanarkshire TV in picture]', The Herald, 1 April 1999.
  2. ''Loony TV', the first local channel, faces closedown', Independent, 14 March 2000.
  3. 'The bizarre world of 1970s hyper-local TV', BBC News, 3 September 2013.