Goodbye, Mitch

The managing director, Paul Adorian, hands over Mitch, the old station clock, to Mr. G. R. M. Garrett, deputy keeper of the Science Museum, London, as ITV’s first exhibit.

After one of the coldest and dullest starts to April on record, the sun began to shine again on Monday, April 6. By the evening of Tuesday, April 7, a minor heatwave had hit the country. Spring had arrived. Daffodils began to bloom; coats from the long depressing winter were discarded. Significantly this turn for the better coincided with the ‘Rediffusion ’64’ exhibition in Studio 9, Television House, and the blossoming into life of Rediffusion – London’s Television.



On Monday, April 6, shortly after 11 a.m., the managing director, Paul Adorian, officially presented the old and faithful Mitch (named after Leslie Mitchell, first head of presentation) to Mr G. R. M. Garrett, deputy keeper of the Science Museum, as the museum’s first ITV exhibit. A new, modern clock face graced the screen that evening. The old was out: the new had started. Out, too, went the old name Associated-Rediffusion. In came the new, shorter Rediffusion as a working title. In came a new call sign and station signature tune composed by Johnny Dankworth, a streamlined identification sequence, a reshaped weather service and ‘Newsdesk’ from ITN.



But that was only the beginning. Soon afterwards, chief programme executive David Windlesham addressed the press who had assembled in Studio 9. Also present were Sir Robert Fraser, who accompanied Dame Anne Bryans and Mrs Graham Bryce of the ITA. Afterwards the members of the programme board developed what he had said with individual members of the press. Come and eavesdrop….