From the souvenir programme given to attendees at the Guildhall on 22 September 1955
The Associated Broadcasting Company brings to the field of independent television a Board of Directors whose combined experience in public service and entertainment is unrivalled.
A.B.C.’s Chairman, Prince Littler, has occupied a prominent place in the field of entertainment for many years and, among his other directorships, includes that of Moss Empires Ltd., Stoll Theatres Ltd., Associated Theatre Properties and many other theatre-owning and theatre-managing organisations.
A.B.C.’s Vice-Chairman, Norman Collins, a former director of the B.B.C.’s Television Service, has been in the forefront of the battle to bring independent television to Britain and has been closely associated with every stage of its development.
The Members of the Board of Directors and the Management Committee of A.B.C. include: the outstanding figure of the Variety world — Val Parnell; Richard L. Meyer, a pioneer in independent television; Harry Alan Towers, one of the foremost independent producers and distributors of radio and television programmes and Lew Grade — one of Britain’s leading agents and an important figure in the entertainment field.
A.B.C. has been entrusted, initially, with the responsibility of providing the programmes for the London Station on week-ends and for the Birmingham Station, Monday to Friday. It is, therefore, the only independent television programme contractor with a programme responsibility which extends over the whole seven days of the week.
A.B.C. has predominantly turned to the field of experienced technicians and producers and numbers among its staff some of the many whose knowledge of television extends back to its earliest days in Britain.
Heading its Light Entertainment Department is Bill Ward, associated with many of television’s best-known shows. Keith Rogers — another pioneer of television — heads the O.B. side; and, in the initial stages, his responsibility extends considerably beyond the Outside Broadcast field.
Individual directors whose services are available to A.B.C. include Bill Lyon Shaw, Denis Vance, Desmond Davis, Henry Caldwell, Dicky Leeman, Leonard Brett, Stephen Wade, Cecil Petty and many more.
A.B.C. has converted Wood Green Empire — one of the largest suburban Variety Theatres — into one of the most modern and best equipped Television Theatres in the world. It is from here that many of the top Variety Productions of A.B.C. will originate.
In addition, through the interests of its Directors, A.B.C. will have available many of the best known theatres in London and the Provinces, including the London Palladium, whence will originate, each Sunday night a Variety highspot — SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM. A.B.C. has recently acquired the British National Studios at Elstree — a fully equipped modern motion picture production centre where many of the television films which A.B.C. is presenting are being made. Through other Directors of A.B.C., the Company has a link with Highbury Studios and Nettlefold Studios — two other centres for the production of television films.
Many of A.B.C.’s major programmes will be produced for it by the Incorporated Television Programme Company Limited, with which Prince Littler, Val Parnell, Lew Grade and Harry Alan Towers are also associated. This Company, founded by public relations expert Suzanne Warner, adds further show-business strength through members of its Board, who include Hugh Beaumont, of H. M. Tennent Limited, Stuart Cruikshank of Howard & Wyndham Theatres, Phillip and Syd Hyams of Eros Films, John Schlesinger of the Schlesinger Organisation and Anthony Gishford of Boosey and Hawkes Limited.
The nerve centre of A.B.C.’s week-end operation is the modern control centre at Foley Street, London, within 200 yards of Museum Exchange — the nerve centre of the micro-wave and coaxial cable linking system of the G.P.O.
A.B.C. will also be developing a studio centre in Birmingham.
These are some of the personalities and facilities which together, will be ensuring that A.B.C. T.V. fills an important role in the pioneering and development of independent television in Britain.
Note: after less than a month on air and following a court battle with the Associated British Picture Corporation who owned the ABC cinema chain, Associated Broadcasting Company Ltd was renamed Associated TeleVision Ltd (ATV). It is not related to ABC Weekend Television, who provided the programmes at weekends in the Midlands and the North from 1956-1968, who were a subsidiary of the Associated British Picture Corporation.