STV's first talent spotting programme was Fanfare, I think jazz singer Fiona Duncan was the winner. A second talent series had the imitative title Stars In Your Eyes, with Rai Purdy and music from Geraldo's Band. The winner was an opera singer from Kirkintilloch, Joan Summers, who according to one report, managed to beat another competitor named Dudley Moore in one heat. She was awarded her own STV programme on May 4th 1960, A Date with Joan Summers. It lasted a mere 15 minutes and was screened at 10.45pm.
Christmas Eve 1958 saw a live telecast from Dunfermline Abbey. A report noted "the camera angles did credit to all, and there was a grand sense of movement. It was a programme worthy of the network."
The final show of 1958 A Guid New Year from Glasgow was produced by Rai Purdy. Directed by James Sutherland, Liam Hood and Geoff Rimmer,
it featured Jack Radcliffe, Larry Marshall, Jimmy Nairn (of the 'One O'Clock Gang') with Jimmy Blair and His Band.
And the last show of 1959 was an hour long Jig Time special, again directed by James Sutherland.
Mr Fixit was a 1959 puppet series starring Roy Kinnear in his tv debut. Some programmes were recorded, Jim Tattershall manipulated the puppets, director was Liam Hood.
This is Scotland was a serious series on Tuesdays starting on July 7th 1959 which took cameras to various Scottish centres of business. The first programme dealt with steel, later programmes covered shipbuilding, coal, whiskey, farming, and textiles/chemicals.
Programmes were devised by John Wilson, and directed by Liam Hood.
The New Year Show (STV Dec 31st 1960, 11.30pm-12.30am)
- Seeing in the New Year 1961, STV produced their most expensive show to date, based on the theme Make A Wish. It starred David Hughes, Jill Day, and Ivor Emmanuel. Also taking part were The Amin Brothers Eyptian foot jugglers, comedian Len McLean, Deidre O'Callaghan an Irish musician, with Bruce McClure's Dancers, and the George Keenan Orchestra. The hosts were Gracie Clark and Colin Murray from the Metropole. Director: Walter Butler. Producer: Gerry le Grove.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment for viewers was that this show was not live- it was filmed. Is it now lost?
At The Lucky Diamond was STV's local talent show, produced by Liam Hood. With musical director George Keenan, he auditioned the potential acts. The show began on Monday June 18th 1962 and ran for 19 weeks. It climaxed with the final on Monday October 22nd 8-8.30pm.
The top prize was £250, with £100 for the runner up. The finalists included The Merrynotes from Wishaw, Leslie Harvey and Hank Kelly guitarists from Glasgow, and Lana Barclay a singer from Bothwell.
The winner was 29 year old electrician David Cunningham, a singer from Bo'ness.
Sense and Nonsense
began on STV on Monday July 30th 1962 at 10.40pm. It was notable for being one of the earliest tv appearances of Magnus Magnusson, who was the president of a panel of four Scotsmen who discussed items in the news. Producer David Johnstone said, "this will be an unscripted and unrehearsed programme, with every member of the panel completely free to express his or her own views on the subject selected by the chairman." He added, "if anything breaks on the nine o'clock news, the panel will consider its implications." It ran until Dec 17th 1962, then returned on Jan 7th 1963 at 10.30pm until a final programme on Feb 4th 1963 by which time the format was altered to include a studio audience who put questions to the panel
Post Graduate Medicine was one of STV's most unique contributions to the network was a series of twelve specialised forty five minute monthly programmes aimed at doctors.
It began on STV on March 11th 1963. Sir Charles Illingworth introduced each episode
A Man In His Time: William McGonagall (production started June 1964, STV)
An hour long dramatised biography directed by Brian Mahoney about the Scottish poet, played here by Bryden Murdoch, with filming in Dundee. Script: Joe Boyle. Introduced by Leonard Maguire. A total of 22 actors were in the cast
Hey There! (STV 1964)
A series showcasing top entertainers singing their four best numbers from their LPs. Directed by Brian Mahoney and made in STV's Studio C at Theatre Royal.
The first show on Monday November 30th at 6.45 featured Helen Shapiro, with subsequent shows offering The Alexander Brothers (Dec 7), Teresa Duffy (Dec 14), Joe Brown and the Bruvvers (Dec 21), and Robin Hall and Jimmie Macgregor (Dec 28).
From Jan 4th 1965, the slot was taken over by The Pop Spot, which on this day starred Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas. Jan 11th: Adam Faith and The Roulettes. Jan 18th: Sandie Shaw. Jan 25th: Freddie and The Dreamers. The last was on Feb 1st: Cilla Black
(STV December 31st 1964, 11.50pm-1.45am)
"A show with a difference." Stars were the familiar Francie and Josie, this was set in Auntie Jessie's kitchen, where the two stars switch on the tv to watch their favourite show, a Hogmanay spectacular with singing, dancing, folk singers and specialty acts. Producer Liam Hood explained, "we plan to do a sort of show within a show... viewers will move from the kitchen to a set of the Francie and Josie Show."
Also with Kenneth McKellar, Bill Tennent, and Sheila Paton.
STV Scottish Television's 'new look' in 1965 was down to the departure of original programme controller Gerry le Grove, and the appointment of Francis Essex, late of ATV. A new board consisted of James M Colthart (previously deputy chairman), Francis Essex, Iain Stewart, Noel Stevenson and William Brown (previously deputy managing director).
Young Scot '65
(STV weekly from Wednesday Feb 17th 1965, 7pm, with the final on April 28th 1965)
The search for a teenager who has displayed "initiative and community spirit." Potential candidates were reviewed by a selection committee which included Lord Clydesmuir, Mrs Michael Noble, Rev George MacLeod, Duncan Macrae, Sheriff Harald Leslie, Naomi Mitchison, and Lavinia Derwent. Judging each case on its merits on the show was a panel which included Juimmy Logan and Rikki Fulton as well as Chief Constable William Merriless, Dr Tom Honeyman, Malcolm Slessor and Lord Polwarth. The Evening Times slammed the third in the series (Mar 3rd), "right at the start this programme came on air with pictures and no sound. After a long delay we were told that the programme would continue without sound." The same paper said of the final, "frustrating: the questions were often preceded by waffling prologues." However the paper's verdict was more encouraging on Meet Young Scot '65 on April 28th 9.10-9.30pm, "we got for the first time some idea of the things the judges were really looking for... there were excellent suggestions for improving the contest should it ever be organised again. I particularly like the idea that Young Scot of the Year should be chosen by young Scots"
Late Night Larry (June 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th 1965) This was Larry Marshall,'s 'compensation' for the ending of the One O'Clock Gang. Half hour "frolics" with Dorothy Paul, Moira Briody and the Tommy Maxwell Quartet. Director: Liam Hood.
A contemporary report of the first show: "After watching hundreds of One O'Clock Gang shows, and now the first of Larry Marshall's four late night shows, I'm still not sure whether the wee Glasgow comic is a better script-gag-song writer than he is a performer. That's the puzzling thing about Marshall. Like McGonagle, you're never quite sure whether he's a genius or just downright terrible. He has never quite hit the heights although he has been in and around the tv scene in Scotland for well night eight years. Seen only occasionally in evening spots, this was by far Larry's best effort yet. It started off with a bang! Lavish sets full of promising material and star names- and then, half way through- flop!...
The mock opera at the end, Larry's own creation... was a sensation. How much better if the entire half hour had been given over to it. Bill McCoe, clearly Scotland's outstanding bass singer, was in glorious voice as was the lovely soprano Dorothy Paul... Let's see what Larry & Co can do with their three remaining programmes. No doubt Francis Essex is watching events closely"
STV Music Hall (STV 1965)
Compere: Johnny Beattie. Critic BM wrote of the first show, "not in the rave class, but it was far from a flop."
Tuesday October 19th 1965 9.10-10.05pm: with Chic Murray and Maidie, Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen, David Berglas, Will Starr, Denis Clancy.
October 26th 1965: with Ivor Emmanuel, The Clancy Brothers
November 2nd 1965: Callum Kennedy. Billy Rusk
(November 9th 1965 no show)
November 16th 1965: Alex Finlay
November 23rd 1965: Rolf Harris
Other guests on unknown dates included David Nixon, The Cluny Boys, Eileen Keegan, Sheila Paton, Janie Marden, Mal Hollander, The Douglas Brown Four, The Derek Franklyn Trio.
Present Grandeur Nov 29th 1965, 10.05-10.50pm- on Cumbernauld. A second programme on Monday Dec 6th 1965 10.35-11.20pm was titled High Living. A third and fourth programme followed at the same time the following two Mondays. The fifth and final programme on Dec 27th at 10.35pm was titled Not Proven.
Song for Scotland (1966)- to find a song that expressed "feeling about Scotland." Any type of song could be submitted, ballad, comedy, folk, pop. Andy Stewart- who else?- was judge, and two songs proved popular, Loch Marie, and These Are My Mountains by Jimmy Copeland.
A second competition was announced in July 1967, to be held in early 1968, with six shows, the top prize was a splendid £100.
Night Club Night
(STV Mondays 10.05-10.35 starting Jan 10th 1966).
Screened from the elegant Restaurant Chevalier, top cabaret acts were shown, with compere John Toye. Critic Hugh Brown complained, "my main objection to Night Club Night is that it fails completely to capture any sparkle or gaiety... indeed it leaves one with the impression that there's very little of either." Guests included: Lance Perceval (Jan 10), Ronnie Carroll (Jan 17th), Rolf Harris, Cleo Laine, Matt Monro, Donald Peers (Feb 28th), and The Beverly Sisters.
A revival titled Night Club Nights began on Monday January 9th 1967 and was transmitted live from Glasgow's Chevalier Casino. Resident musicians were Peggy O'Keefe and Her Trio, with Peggy as host. Director was Bryan Izzard. In the first show Kenny Lynch and magician Johnny Hart appeared. Janie Marden was on January 16th, while Kenenth McKellar starred on February 13th.
Another 12 week series started on Jan 8th 1968 at 10.30pm. This new series came additionally from (during February) the Piccadilly in Glasgow and (during January) the Pentland Club in Edinburgh. Director: Russell Galbraith.
Appearing in the first show was George Chisholm.
A Matter of Expression- Summer Saturdays in 1967 at 11.05pm. A half hour series of humorous sketches, all mimed. Though only shown in the STV region, the humour was apparently not especially Scottish. No words were used, only mime, plus dance and jazz. Star was Alex McAvoy, director Bryan Izzard
The Bowler and The Bunnet (Tuesday July 18th 1967, 8.35-9.30pm- dvd issue 2011) marked the tv directorial debut of Sean Connery. A study of The Fairfield Experiment after one year. This was a new deal in management and labour relations on Clydeside. The opening scene was an attention grabber: a Celtic victory, though cameras quickly moved to Dumgoyne, and Govan. Connery put the questions and gave commentary. Script: Cliff Hanley. Producer: Bryan Izzard. Partially networked.
The Soldier's Tale (Tues Sept 4th 1967 8.30-9.30pm)
A bold screening of Stravinsky's opera with the Edinburgh Festival cast which included Patrick Wymark, Una Stubbs, Gordon Jackson and Nicky Henson. Director: Wendy Toye.
Playing the soldier was Henson, with Una Stubbs as the princess, and Patrick Wymark as The Devil.
Peter Hemmings, Director of Scottish National Opera, stated, "we are delighted to be continuing the association with STV which was so fruitful in the production of Singing For Your Supper." Francis Essex added, "after last year's production of The Winter's Tale, Peter Hemmings and I were enormously impressed with the atmosphere in the Assembly Hall"