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Associated Rediffusion (or A-R) was the first ITV station to go on the air on 22nd September 1955 and carried the very first advertisement on British Television. It covered the London area and the immediate surrounding area of the Home Counties and was owned in a partnership between British Electric Traction (BET) and its subsidiary Broadcast Relay Services (trading as Rediffusion Limited) and Associated Newspapers. Like most ITV stations it made great losses in its first few years and Associated Newspapers sold its shares to its partners although the "Associated" part of its name was not dropped until 6th April 1964.
Best known for its landmark pop programme Ready, Steady, Go! and its police drama No Hiding Place (which starred Johnny Briggs), the station broadcast Coronation Street from its very first episode in 1960. It also carried the spin-offs Pardon the Expression (1965 - 1966) and Turn out the Lights (1967).
Rediffusion lost its franchise in 1967 and carried its final broadcast on Monday 29th July 1968, however that evening's episode of Coronation Street was not in the line-up due to a half-hour strike by technicians at Granada Television. Rediffusion was succeeded by Thames Television which broadcast from 30th July 1968 to 31st December 1992 and carried Coronation Street throughout.
- Associated Rediffusion Television at Wikipedia.