Sunday 28 January 2024

Early Children's ITV Continuity Captured

I’ve been digging through some Betamax tapes this weekend and, as luck would have it, the first one I pulled out of the box had an absolute gem on it. And it came in the form of a rare clip of Children’s ITV continuity.

Starting in January 1983, after the demise of the Watch It! slot, Children’s ITV would become a long running brand which only went off the air in September 2023. The first month of continuity, from a rocketship set, was helmed by Matthew Kelly before he handed over to Isla St Clair, who covered February 1983 before Derek Griffiths took over in March.

This particular clip comes from 11th February 1983 and finds Isla St Clair in the hot seat. It may only be a brief piece of continuity, but footage from this era is rare, with only a couple of clips of Isla’s Children’s ITV presenting duties available on YouTube. As far as I’m aware, due to their lack of commercial value, these pre-recorded links were not stored in the archives by ITV. Therefore, snippets such as these are not only classed as missing footage, but provide a valuable link to the past.

I’ve found a few of these over the years, but this is the oldest Children’s ITV one so far. The collection this Betamax tape came from was owned by someone who, I suspect, used to record the afternoon film with a timer function, so they often ended up recording a few minutes of footage afterwards. This is why we get all of Isla’s introduction, but only the opening moments of an episode of Rainbow before the recording stopped.

As ever, I’m always on the lookout for old Betamax and VHS tapes from the 1970s/80s, so please get in touch if you have any to donate. Hopefully, we can find some more gems such as these.


  1. That's an utter gem. I am hoping one day someone finds a recording of World In Action: After Doomsday. It came out in 1983 (same year as Able Archer) and could well be as scary as what was offered by QED and Panorama on the nuclear subject.

    It never came out on any of the DVD's and for a collector of nuclear war and Cold War based films this is a must have.