Southern Television (August 30, 1958 – December 31, 1981) was the ITV broadcasting licence holder for the south and south-east of England.
Southern Television went on air on Saturday August 30, 1958 at 5.30 pm with the first playing of Southern Rhapsody, the station theme which was used to begin each day’s transmission until 31 December 1981, written by composer Richard Addinsell and performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Addinsell conducting.
The first presenter on air was continuity announcer Meryl O’Keefe (later to become a BBC announcer); her first on-air announcement was followed by an outside broadcast link-up fronted by Julian Pettifer (later an award-winning war correspondent) and a regional news bulletin read by Martin Muncaster.
Broadcasting was interrupted at 5:10 p.m. on November 26, 1977 via the Hannington transmitter of the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The broadcast message is generally considered to be a hoax, but the identity of the hijacker is unknown.
The company ceased broadcasting on the morning of 1 January 1982 at 12.43am, after a review during the 1980 franchise round gave the contract to Television South (TVS).
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20th Century Highlights
- Day By Day (1961-1981)
- Out Of Town (1963-1981)
- How (1966-1981)
- Freewheelers (1968-1973)
- Runaround (1975-1981)
- The Famous Five (1978-1979)
- The Saturday Banana (1978-1979)
- Worzel Gummidge (1979-1981)
- Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981)
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