Outside Broadcasts


Not everything comes from ATV’s studios – sometimes the cameras go out and about

Cover of the ATV souvenir programme given to audience members in 1958

WHEN tackling a fresh event the Producer must work out the mechanical framework necessary to achieve the best results. This requires a broad outline knowledge of the event, and a visit to the venue with the Unit planner, who must obtain and cope with, the right equipment — the lighting engineer, who must ensure perfect lighting, and the communications engineer. The tricky planning to get the programme on to the television screen in the best possible way.

Tackling an O.B. programme is quite different from filming an event. The O.B. Producer has the difficult task of editing the show as it happens, unlike the film man who can edit the film after the event. The success of the venture also depends on the adaptability of all the crew. It is important that each member of the production staff slip into the mood of the programme and be at one with it. Recently, for example, the A.T.V. crew covered a religious programme and followed it after a short interval with an “All-In Wrestling” event. For the first O.B. it was necessary to feel the solemnity of the occasion and adjust the speed of presentation to fit, so that all the solemn atmosphere was portrayed to the viewing audience. Then, shortly afterwards, came the brash excitement of the Wrestling match.

The idea that the O.B. people are a leisurely crowd who point their cameras at cricket matches and get sun-burnt or weatherbeaten at leisure is a fallacy. It takes initiative, a liking for hard work, planning and split second timing and as one O.B. Producer said, “Above all a liking for the challenge of the unexpected, for Outside Broadcasts are not rehearsed, and one never knows quite what is likely to crop up at the last minute.”

Camera in a church
Associated Television’s Outside Broadcast stall are among the busiest people in the vast organisation. ‘Ships and Sails and Sealing Wax, Cabbages and Kings,’ might almost be a motto for the O.B. Unit, for it has to cover an endless variety of functions, racing, exhibitions, and Royal Events.
A view down the nave
Her Majesty the Queen accompanied by Prince Phillip, at the re-dedication of St. Brides Church, Fleet Street, on the 19th December 1957.
A camera points as horses
The A.T.V. Camera 1 is trained on the riders and horses at Richmond ready for the start of an exciting ‘Afternoon Out.’
A temporary studio
Outside Broadcasts are not always out of doors. Here the A.T.V. Unit moves into position in the Albert Hall.
A camera points at a man being interviewed
Olympic Silver Medalist Derek Johnson is interviewed before the A.T.V. O.B. cameras during the Oxford-Cambridge Athletic meeting at the White City.

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A theatre programme-style booklet given to audience members attending ATV productions in 1958

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