Announcers working for Associated TeleVision were warned by Mr. Philip Dorté, ATV Midlands Controller, yesterday that if they did not dress sensibly for the cameras they might be faded out.
Mr. Dorté, who considers that both the men and women are trying to be too fashionable, said: “Announcers are there to do a serious job of work and their dress should in no way lead to distraction from what they are saying. Recently there has been a tendency for announcers to be too flashy in their appearances.”
Pat Astley, the announcer, said: “I quite agree that announcers should not be flashily dressed. I try to be discreet with my choice of clothes, but I have to keep an eye on the latest fashions.”
Jean Morton said: “I believe that viewers expect me to be fashionably dressed and, without being flashy. I try to be discreet in choice of styles. Viewers are critically interested in fashion, hair styles and the jewellery we wear.”
Mr. John Taylor, editor of The Tailor and Cutter, said: “It seems to me a stuffed-shirt attitude. We might as well all go back to radio if the announcers on television are not to be allowed to look smart and fashionably dressed.”
A BBC television spokesman said there had been no complaints of their announcers wearing dress that was anything but correct.
Mr. Ted Harris, Midland executive of ABC Television, responsible for the week-end ITV programmes in Midlands and North England, said: “Each week-end we have four male announcers – John Edmunds, John Benson, Mel Oxley and David Hamilton. We leave the question of dress to their own good sense, and we have had no occasion to reprimand them for their turnout.
“Our announcers are free to express their own sartorial personality, and we rely upon their good dress sense. As John Edmunds was recently voted the best male announcer on television, we do not intend imposing any restrictions.”