IBA Archive at Bournemouth University

Documents | Correspondence

Simulated Newscasts

Document Information

File: 380

Box: 3995532

Attached media: 380 D1, 380 D3, 380 D2

Summary of Document

This file contains correspondence, memoranda, and scripts. The file covers a date rage from January 1959 until March 1959. In addition to the Authority, documents from Rediffusion and Granada are in the file.

The dramatic play “Before the Sun Goes Down” by Lester Fuller had been vetted by the Authority as there was a simulated newscast at the beginning of the play, and for other potentially confusing or blasphemous scenes. The play was duly changed to avoid a repeat of the “War of the World” incident in the US during the 1930s, in which simulated radio newscasts were mistaken for real ones. Although changes were made as requested, the play still sparked letters of outrage (included in the file) by the public, and an investigation was launched. Please see the enquiry report below for further details. In addition to the letters of complaint sent to the Authority, the file contains copies of those sent to the House of Commons and the Post Office. There is a Parliamentary report, “Brief for Adjournment Depart – Mr. M. Edelman, 16 March, 1959 – Bogus News Broadcast of ITV”. The final documents are portions of a script for the Granada production “The Skin of Our Teeth”, which also opened with a simulated newscast, and a memorandum for the Authority Chairman insisting that the sequence should be eliminated from the play.

Documents:

Enquiry Report for “Before the Sun Goes Down” dated 23 February 1959

Report “Action Taken by STV Controller dated 23 February 1959 from Mr. G Le Grove to Mr. J. M. Coltart”

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