April 20 in Television

Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech is filmed by ATV

Enoch_Powell50 years ago today, Conservative MP Enoch Powell made his infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech about immigration and anti-discrimination legislation in the United Kingdom. The speech is made at the Midland Hotel in Birmingham to a meeting of the Conservative Political Centre at 2:30 pm. The Birmingham-based television company ATV saw an advance copy of the speech that morning, and its news editor ordered a television crew to go to the venue, where they filmed sections of the speech. The speech provokes great outcry among the British public, making Powell one of the most popular and loathed politicians in the country, and leading to his dismissal from the Shadow Cabinet by Conservative party leader Edward Heath.

Professor Nostalgia has not posted this in support of Enoch Powell’s views but only to highlight the landmark TV event.

Also this day in television…

  • 1964BBC Two starts broadcasting, the existing BBC TV channel is renamed BBC1.
  • 1994: The Cheers spin-off, Frasier, starring Kelsey Grammer, first aired on British television.

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