Captain Thomas Brownrigg RN (Retired), the general manager of Associated-Rediffusion from 1955, had a very clear idea of what his new commercial television station was to be like - the BBC Television Service, with advertisements. To this end, the station had a heraldic-style on-air clock, referred to as "Mitch" by staff (after chief station announcer Leslie Mitchell, who had not only made the first announcement when A-R went on the air in 1955, but had done the same when the BBC TV service started in 1936).
The strategy allayed any fears that the new commercial TV service would be aimed at the bottom of the market. Associated-Rediffusion made ITV respectable. A-R certainly introduced popular game shows, but can also take credit for providing a raft of quality programming across all genres and for gaining a massive audience both in its own London area and, as the ITV network grew, for programmes shown across the country.
The company's administrative headquarters and transmission facilities were based at Television House in Kingsway, London. Most programme production was located at Wembley Studios, Wembley, north-west London. However, it should be noted that a small basement studio at Television House, Studio 9, was occasionally used for current affairs programmes and was home to Ready, Steady, Go! during its first few years of production.
Television House, Kingsway, London, had previously been known as Adastral House when it was the headquarters of the Air Ministry - this gave its name to A-R's logo, the 16-point Adastral Star, which appeared not only at the start and end of each commercial break but also between each advertisement. (The motto of the Royal Air Force is "per ardua, ad astra" - "through adversity to the stars".) There was also an electrical rentals chain related to Associated Rediffusion called Rediffusion that was once common on high streets which was bought by Granada Rentals in 1984 and had featured the Adastral Star on shop signs and marketing.
The writer James Thurber once claimed that "Associated-Rediffusion" sounded more like a rare neurological disorder than a television company.
Programmes produced by Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion, London included Double Your Money, Take Your Pick, Ready, Steady, Go!, Do Not Adjust Your Set, This Week, Crane, Riviera Police, No Hiding Place, Top Secret, Five O'Clock Club, and At Last the 1948 Show. Redvers Kyle was among the company's announcers throughout its 13 years on the air, and Muriel Young was among its original announcing team.
A large quantity of Rediffusion's programme library was either lost or destroyed after the Independent Television Authority forced a merger of the company with ABC Television in 1968. Surviving titles from the Rediffusion archive are held by the National Film and Television Archive at Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Most titles are the intellectual property of Archbuild Limited, with the exception of some of Rediffusion's musical output such as Ready, Steady, Go! which is the property of Dave Clark International.
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