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Monday, 17 January 2011

The rise and fall of Associated Television (ATV) Broadstreet Birmingham

Left: Central House 1937.

The original Broad Street building began its life with laying of foundation stone in 1926, beginning the construction of a hall for the Freemasons of Warwickshire.

It was used as a Masonic hall until 1939 and within a matter of days of World War 2 breaking out, the hall was acquired by the government for ‘war duties’ and used by the Ministry of Food and also by The War Office for Army Recruitment.

Architects began work on the new ATV Centre as early as 1967.

A site located in Birmingham’s city centre was chosen; located on the corner of Broad Street & Paradise Circus and was donated in 1965 by Birmingham City Council.

Initial construction work began on the site during the autumn of 1968, in the form of work for the new studio complex, attached hotel, Alpha Tower block and NCP multi-storey car-park. Paradise Lost: The ATV Centre Story

Below: Famously quirky ATV Today reporter John Swallow interviews people on Broad Street in Birmingham as they stare into the abyss that would become the Paradise area of Birmingham.

The foundations for what would become a Birmingham landmark were being built.

The building was to be known as ATV Centre. The whole complex was sadly demolished in 2007.

Crossroads opening 1960's

Crossroads was soap opera set in a fictional motel near Birmingham, England. Originally broadcast on the commercial ITV network between 1964 and 1988, it was created by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling and it was produced by ATV until the end of 1981 and then by Central.

Live from Birmingham, Bob Monkhouse hosts The Golden Shot 1970. The game show produced by ITC for ATV between 1 July 1967 and 16 March 1975, was based on the German TV show Der goldene Schuss.

One of the many 70's title sequences and theme tunes from ATV Today. This was the Midland's own news programme provided by the regional contractor ATV.

Who Needs A Chimney In The Head? ATV Schools programme from 1974 teaching kids about the dangers of smoking.

Tiswas 1981

Every episode was filmed at the ATV Centre in Broad Street, Birmingham, with one exception - where the 100th episode was an outside broadcast, from Hednesford Park (a racing track) in Staffordshire. When ATV 'became' Central in 1982, the ATV Centre changed its name to Central Independent Television. Subsequent Saturday morning shows made by Central in the 1980s came from the same building.

Here Haystacks joins Big Daddy on the cult Saturday morning TV show TISWAS, and the two giants of British wrestling have some unfriendly banter with Sally James.

This was the final closedown from ATV in the early hours of 1st Jan 1982. Then follows the first start-up from the new Central Independent Television (ITV) about 9 hours later. The dawn of a new era in midlands broadcasting.

was a drama and modern-day western series starring Michael Elphick, David Daker, and later Neil Morrissey. It was created by Jim Hill and Bill Stair and filmed by Central Television for ITV. It revolved around the life of a modern-day Lone Ranger and ex-firefighter, Ken Boon.
January 1981 - December 1992

Inside the old ATV/Central studios

What a shame the ATV/ITV Studio complex has been demolished.

Who knows what talent and new shows could have been made there?

Central House on 21/3/08

Shaw Taylor advertises the forthcoming DVD production that will tell the story of the ATV Centre in Birmingham. Other personalities are to be featured in this one off documentary.


Paradise Lost: The ATV Centre Story - Part I

By Roddy Buxton

Back in 1997, the old ATV Centre in Birmingham's Broad Street had just been used for broadcasting for the last time. Roddy's task was to help a colleague examine and inventory equipment prior to its auctioning off - and help him remove any items he bought. In this extensive article, Roddy takes us round the ATV/Central studio headquarters, opened by Princess Alexandra in 1970 as the most advanced television production facility in Europe. Read more


Anonymous 11 June 2013 at 22:10  

Late I know but like to point out the studios have not been demolished. Still there and unloved.

Anonymous 15 June 2013 at 11:26  

Thank you

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