The celebrations begin on Monday August 31st with Britain: As Seen On ITV, a six-part series which tells the story of our changing nation through extraordinary, real-life footage seen on our screens over the last 60 years.
From our attitudes to fashion and the food on our plates, pop music and the weather, our homes and our hobbies, the series features rare and forgotten footage often not seen on television since it first aired on ITV, in many cases decades ago. The series is narrated by Jane Horrocks and was series produced by Richard Mortimer.
Our one-hour documentary ITV Changed My Life, produced by Patrick Talbot, meets some of the people whose lives have been changed forever by its shows. We meet the first Blind Date couple to marry; hear the profound effect the 1975 film The Naked Civil Servant had on some young viewers struggling to come to terms with their sexuality; reveal how a student from Oldham turned a one off go on The Krypton Factor flight simulator into a successful career; and find out what happened next to Stars In Their Eyes winner Gary Mullen who triumphed as Freddie Mercury.
There’s a special Hall of Fame edition of our hit ITV series You Saw Them Here First featuring those first steps of some of ITV’s biggest stars. Sir Bruce Forsyth watches his presenting debut on Sunday Night At The London Palladium. Lorraine Kelly relives her first reports for breakfast TV. Phillip Schofield recalls his debut on ITV hosting Talking Telephone Numbers and TV detective Kevin Whately confesses to his previous job as ‘Kevin the truck driver’ in Coronation Street. Stephen McGinn, producer of You Saw Them Here First, also made this Hall of Fame special.
Meanwhile The Sound of ITV: The Nation’s Favourite Theme Tunes celebrates six decades of the greatest musical compositions that have featured in the channel’s best-loved television series. From Inspector Morse and Tales Of The Unexpected to The Avengers and Thunderbirds, these ITV favourites have provided viewers with some of the most memorable TV soundtracks of the last 60 years.This one hour documentary from Kerry Allison reveals the stories behind 20 of these iconic pieces of music, and pays tribute to the writers and performers who brought them to the small screen with contributions from the likes of Chris Tarrant (Who Wants To Be A Millionaire), Dennis Waterman (Minder, The Sweeney) and William Roache (Coronation Street), as well as the musical maestros responsible for television theme tune classics, including Christopher Gunning (Poirot), Simon Park (Van Der Valk) and Tony Hatch (Emmerdale).
The story of the newsreader is celebrated in And Here Is The News. It was September 22nd, 1955 – the opening night of ITV – when former athlete Christopher Chataway first read the news on ITV, just a few days after Richard Baker and Kenneth Kendall had appeared in vision for the first time on the BBC. This hour long documentary from Patrick Talbot looks at the remarkable transformation of the newsreaders on our screens across 60 years – telling the story of some extraordinary events through revealing interviews with the likes of Trevor McDonald, Angela Rippon, Sandy Gall, Richard Baker, Alastair Stewart, Julie Etchingham and Katie Derham.