The Harlech House of Graphics ...As Soon As Possible ...
We should start by saying that HTV has an exemplary presentation record. However, we all make mistakes and one of the true arts of presentation is coping with the unexpected - a process which can be very interesting - and entertaining.

Friday Matinee Fault Friday Matinee Slide
It's a long, boring, summer afternoon in 1985 when suddenly disaster strikes "The Friday Matinee". These odd lines appear on 1933 movie "The Masquerader" - this at a time when films were still regularly transmitted straight from telecine. After a few minutes the picture switches to this interesting caption - which actually does look like a piece of cardboard. The apology can be heard here (29Kb). Can anyone identify the announcer?

Apologies for loss of sound Oh dear ... the sound's gone on "Crossroads" - from 1987. This taken as HTV went to the break, for which they had sound - thus suggesting a line fault from the source.

The "Crossroads" audio returned in part two after several seconds, a few "thuds" and a flicker.

Trouble again, this time from a late-night, 1985 presentation of "The International Entertainers". Fortunately, senior announcer Arfon Haines-Davies is on hand to smooth things over and he reads a few passages from the TV Times until the problem is fixed. Listen to it here (147Kb). Arfon Haines-Davies
Night Club Presenter 1990 and HTV's all-night "Night Club" service, has a few problems with a tardy feed from YTV. This one (59Kb) is presented by a pleasant Australian called Monnette Lee.
ITV Breakdown Caption HTV Logo Man In a Suitcase
Another summer afternoon ... it's a Sunday ... it's August 1985 and suddenly our screens grow dim and normal programming is replaced by the standard, ITV apology caption, generated at the transmission station. After several hours, a flicker and an (electronically generated) HTV logo appears. There's been a fire, says announcer, Tom Edwards (thought he worked for Thames..?), voice thick with excitement. Listen to the full drama here (63Kb).

Night Club - 1990 Night Club - 1990 Night Club - 1990
Night Club - 1990 Night Club - 1990 Night Club - 1990
More excitement now, again from "Night Club", circa 1990. The Mid-Staffs by-election is imminent, do we go to "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" or not ..? Poor Polly Boyes is left on-air to deal with the confusion. She does quite well too - especially given the chaos going on in the background.
Listen to it here (193Kb).

No selection of breakdowns and faults would be complete without a contribution from the priceless Dilwyn Young-Jones.
Dilwyn Young-Jones We apologise for the loss of your programme (1988)

First (16kb) from 1987, Dilwyn forecasts the weather and momentarily thinks he's working for ATV. The second (85Kb) is from a year later, where he copes with a delayed programme.

Telethon 1990
Things didn't start too well for HTV Wales as this audio (329Kb) will prove. The first shot appeared at the start of "Telethon 1990" - as the cameras were still lining-up. Presenters Nerys Hughes and Arfon Haines-Davies were unaware that they were on air. Just as Arfon twigs, we're whisked off to the Network feed. The 27 hours of Telethon began with a round-up from the regions. It all went smoothly until they got to Wales ...
Arfon: Oh, is that it ... are we on the ..? First hand over ... ... and no sound
... where twice the audio failed to materialise. (Apart from the talkback to be heard in the first gap and the incredulous moan of technicians in the second.) This appeared to be a network fault rather than HTV's.
Conley's funny impression of HTV Wales HTV Audience Nerys: ... the very special people of Wales ... (SILENCE)
Even "comedian" Brian Conley joins in the fun by wittily doing an impersonation of HTV Wales ... we laughed. Finally, we join Wales for their first opt-out, where Arfon smoothes over admirably.

Next: a look at the graphics of some
Wales and West programmes