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Tyne Tees Television first went on the air on 15th January 1959 covering the north east region of England and its surrounding areas. For a period of time between 1969 and 1980 the company merged with Yorkshire Television under the name Trident Television. The station was one of two companies, the other being ATV, that refused to carry Coronation Street when it began in 1960 but after its initial success quickly joined in with transmissions, beginning with Episode 14 (25th January 1961).
Both Episode 80 (18th September 1961) and Episode 81 (20th September 1961) were firsts for the programme in that they were not recorded in the Quay Street studios of Granada Television in Manchester but instead used the facilities of Tyne Tees on City Road in Newcastle. The listings magazine for the North-East region, The Viewer, carried the story in its issue dated 14th October 1961, concentrating on Jack Watson who was recording his debut as Bill Gregory there and who had worked extensively in the area before. He was quoted as saying “Fancy having to come to Newcastle to start my role in Coronation Street.” The magazine stated it was a “red-letter day...when a large number of the cast of Coronation Street spent a couple of days at the Tyne Tees studios, doing two episodes of the series.” Based on the recording pattern of the period, the days in question were almost certainly 14th and 15th September, i.e. the week before transmission. The reason why the normal studios in Manchester were unavailable was not stated but was probably due to either maintenance work or another one-off production which bumped the programme from its standard routine booking.
- Tyne Tees Television at Wikipedia.