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    Coronation Street

    Coronation Street

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    ITV
    Coronation Street is credited as being one of the longest running soaps in the world and the longest running television soap in Britain (with the longest running overall being The Archers on BBC radio). The show has been on British TV screens since 1960 and has aired over 6,000 episodes. Coronation Street was created by Tony Warren, who drew on his own experiences living in Salford when developing the show for Granada Television in Manchester. The show's working title was Florizel Street. In a memo from Tony Warren to Granada, he explains the basis of the show: "A fascinating freemasonary, a volume of unwritten rules. These are the driving forces behind life in a working class street in the north of England. The purpose of Florizel Street is to examine a community of this nature, and to entertain." The first episode of Coronation Street, written by Tony Warren and containing the first airing of the iconic theme music (composed by Eric Spear), was transmitted live at 7.00pm on Friday 9th December 1960 and was an instant success due to its eliment of "realism". The series began as a twice weekly serial (airing originally on Wednesdays and Fridays) and was initially only commissioned for twelve episodes but due to the series' success with the viewers it became a perminant fixture, soon changing its transmission days to Monday and Wednesdays. Almost 30 years later the number of episodes increased to three per week in 1989 (additional episode on Fridays) and then to four in 1996 (additional episode on Sundays). Recently that has increased again with a second episode being added on a Monday night at 8.30, leaving a half hour gap between the end of the first episode of the evening and the start of the second. Coronation Street, Corrie or The Street (however you know it) has been at the top of the ratings for most of it's long run and despite tough competition from new soaps and even new TV channels it remains the highest rated programme on British television. William Roache is now the only original cast member remaining - he's played Ken Barlow since episode one. The Set: In early 1960, after Granada Television commissioned twelve episodes of Coronation Street, the set designer Denis Parkin was taken on a tour of Salford by series creator Tony Warren for inspiration on the set. The street's set was based on Archie Street in the Ordsall district, a film shot of which was used in the opening credits of the programme from 1960 to 1964. Archie Street itself was knocked down in 1971. The original television set was built indoors, the cobbles and paving slabs were painted to the floor and the houses were made out of wood. The set was so big and the studio so small that it had to be erected in two parts which explains why shots of the entire street were not seen until 1968 when Granada decided that the interior set was too limiting and so re-erected the set outside in a yard rented from British Railways on Grape Street on Manchester, behind the Granada studios. The cast hated it! They complained that it was draughty and cold; nevertheless it was soon re-built in bricks and mortar and survived until the end of the 1970s when the decision was made to incorporate the set into the Granada Studios Tour. By 1982 a brand new set had been erected on a new site just a few hundred yards away. When the set was complete it was opened by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The new set was first seen on-screen in episode 2210, broadcast on Monday 7 June 1982. From 1982 up until 1999, it was possible for fans of the show to visit the exterior set as part of the Granada Studios Tour. With the closure of the tour, Granada were able to expanded the exterior set to incorporate further buildings on Rosamund Street (the Health Centre) and later on Victoria Street (Roy's Rolls & Elliot and Son). Coronation Street currently airs on the following days in the UK: Monday @ 7.30pm & 8.30pm, Wednesday @ 7.30pm, Friday @ 7.30pm, Sunday @ 7.30pm. Note: This episode guide mirrors the episode numbers that are used by Granada Television. These, in turn, are based on the episode production numbers. On the odd occasion over the years these have proven to be slightly haphazard. To explain; the first episode of the programme was production code P228/1, the second P228/2, etc. In 1970, the production team reached episode 999 with the episode that was broadcast on Wednesday 19th August that year. The next episode, the 1000th, was not given the production code of P228/1000 but instead was given the new production code of P694 and the number 1! (To confuse matters more, Granada also publicised episode 999 as the 1000th episode!). The actual 1000th episode was therefore known as episode P694/1. As the seventies went on, two episodes (P694/26 and P694/27) were edited down into one half-hour episode, supposedly because Doris Speed - playing Annie Walker - was ill, and four episode numbers were not used at all - P694/503, P694/504, P694/505 and P694/549. You will therefore not find episodes 1503, 1504, 1505 or 1549 in this guide - because they were never made! When the 4000th episode was broadcast in April 1996, Granada's production codes skipped from P694/2999 to P694/4000, thereby mirroring better the actual episode number being shown and publicised. The fact remains though that other episode numbers have been skipped or counted as double episodes and therefore the publicity over episodes such as number 6000 in 2005 are a few episodes out. This is no big secret and, on occasion, comments have appeared in the UK press about this anomoly.moreless
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    The Benny Hill Show

    The Benny Hill Show

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    ITV (ended 1989)
    This guide strives to be as complete a resource as possible for the third TV series to bear Benny Hill's name in the title, which ran on Thames Television (ITV) from 1969-1989, and has appeared around the world in countless formats and re-edits ever since.

    This is a guide to the original hour-long version.

    In America, the show was usually presented in a specially-edited half-hour format, which ran for a total of 111 editions (although Comedy Central did screen the hour-long format in the early-to-mid '90's, albeit with sections edited out, typically the musical guest or dance numbers). 30-minute repeats (not the same as were made for the American market) often aired in Britain when the show was "between seasons."

    Comedy Central aired the original hour-long format for Shows 32 - 58 (except for Show 40). Also, USA Network aired the shows in the original hour-long format in the late '80s/early '90s. At least Shows 54 - 58, possibly others, along with the independently-produced Benny Hill's World Tour: New York special (both channels had a few minutes cut for extra commercial time).

    In the U.S., the original hour-long shows have been issued on DVD (Region 1) under the umbrella title Benny Hill - Complete & Unadulterated. The first three sets were released with the subheading The Naughty Early Years, covering the years 1969-1971 (Shows 1-11, including three B&W episodes previously unseen in America), 1972-1974 (Shows 12-21) and 1975-1977 (Shows 22-31, plus his 1970 half-hour silent film Eddie in August). The final three sets bore the subheading The Hill's Angels Years, and covered the years 1978-1981 (Shows 32-41), 1982-1985 (Shows 42-50) and 1986-1989 (Shows 51-58). Also, the Golden Greats set that came out in 2001 (now out-of-print) included 6 episodes, Shows 46, 47, 50, 55, 56 and 58.

    In England, the original hour-long shows (complete with production slates and adcaps) have been released on DVD (Region 2) on a year-by-year basis, under the umbrella of The Benny Hill Annual, each set representing a different year. The 1970 set (Shows 3-6) contains the aforementioned Eddie in August, and the 1974 set (which only saw two new editions air, Shows 20 and 21) features his first two Thames specials from 1969. As of October 2006, the total releases go up to 1979 (Shows 34 and 35). The Benny Hill Annual sets from 1976 and 1977 onwards have adcaps but not VT slates.moreless
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    The Avengers

    The Avengers

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    ITV (ended 1969)
    "Always keep your bowler on in time of stress, and watch out for diabolical masterminds." [Mrs Peel] The Avengers is one of the most popular and beloved television series of all time. Its outrageous blend of wit and style and its unique mix of the fantasy and spy genres, coupled with the marvellous characters of John Steed and Emma Peel make it one of television's great classics. (Plot summaries are authorised by Paul Cornell, Martin Day & Keith Topping, authors of 'The Avengers Dossier' Copyright: Virgin Books, London: 1998)moreless
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    Thunderbirds

    Thunderbirds

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    ITV (ended 1966)
    In 2065, former astronaut and millionaire Jeff Tracy forms an secret organization named International Rescue. Its mission is to intervene when human life is at threat and nobody else is able to help. They're based on a small tropical island in the Pacific. While it appears to all the world as a reclusive millionaire's retreat, complete with luxurious hillside house (appropriately in the International Style of architecture) and swimming pool, hidden beneath the house and inside a cliff face are various facilities for the enormous complex where their equipment is built, maintained and stored. The equipment, including the specialized Thunderbird vehicles, is designed and assembled by Brains, a brilliant engineer fiercely loyal to Jeff. Supporting the team is Lady Penelope, a famous society figure who secretly acts as their London operative, assisted by her butler, Parker. The five Thunderbird craft are piloted by each of Jeff's five sons, all named after members of America's Mercury program: - Thunderbird 1, piloted by Scott, named after Scott Carpenter. This ramjet-powered plane is their fastest aircraft, always first on the scene to assess the situation and coordinate the rescue. - Thunderbird 2, piloted by Virgil (after Virgil "Gus" Grissom." A fan favorite, Thunderbird 2 is the heavy lift air transport, responsible for carrying all manner of large and bulky machinery to rescue sites. - Thunderbird 3 is piloted by Alan (after Alan Shepard) or John (after John Glenn,) depending on who is on station in Thunderbird 5. 3 is the spaceship for International Rescue. - Thunderbird 4, piloted by Gordon (after Gordon Cooper), is a mini-submarine usually carried to sites inside Thunderbird 2. - Thunderbird 5 is manned by John and Alan on rotating monthly shifts. It's an orbital space platform where all communications around the world can be monitored and issues alerts to Jeff whenever trouble arises. International Rescue insists on complete secrecy. Their identities aren't known to anyone outside the organization and photography of their equipment is forbidden. Thunderbirds was produced by Gerry Anderson and was the culmination of his Supermarionation process, which used marionette puppets instead of live actors. Originally intended for children, the show still has a devoted fanbase of adult viewers, both in the United Kingdom where it originated and in the United States, where it was syndicated in the 1960s and 70s. The series spawned three theatrical features. Thunderbirds Are Go! and Thunderbird Six were produced soon after the series left the air, although neither met with box office success. In 2004, a live action feature of the same name was made without Anderson's involvement. It drew scathing comments from professional movie reviewers who compared it unfavorably to the original show.moreless
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    Danger Man

    Danger Man

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    The Danger Man is back! One of the most popular characters ever introduced to television screens, the original Danger Man swept the world, bringing international fame to the talented and good-looking star, Patrick McGoohan. Danger Man is now produced as one-hour programs, with vivid new stories which take Special Security Agent John Drake into even more tensely dramatic adventures in every part of the globe. He is a man who jousts with danger, a man who takes calculated risks, a man dedicated to his ideals. He respects his adversaries, and he respects the beautiful women who came into his life. Big-name stars support Patrick McGoohan throughout the series, and the producer is once again Ralph Smart, the man who created and devised Danger Man. All the episodes are directed by leading motion pictures directors who are masters of their craft. Excitement and suspense are the keynotes of stories which live up to the title. The emphasis is on Danger.moreless
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    The Saint

    The Saint

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    ITV (ended 1969)
    Simon Templar is The Saint - adored by women, feared by his adversaries and a constant thorn in the side of police forces everywhere. A smooth-talking adventurer, the Saint goes in where angels fear to tread. Always where the action is, he courts danger with a smile, but his charm can sometimes be a lethal weapon. The Saint is always on a mission of mercy or intrigue, with a beautiful woman close at hand. He's Sir Lancelot without armor. A formidable enemy, an unwavering friend. (distributed world-wide by ITC)moreless
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    Fireball XL5

    Fireball XL5

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    ITV (ended 1963)
    It is 2062, and the World Space Patrol, set at Space City, watches the skies with its fleet of spacecraft.

    The hero of the show, Colonel Steve Zodiac, is the pilot of Fireball XL5, and with the help from his fellow crewmembers, is able to keep the galaxy safe from alien menaces.

    This is the second supermarionation series by Gerry Anderson after Supercar.moreless
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    Stingray

    Stingray

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    ITV (ended 1965)
    "Stand by for Action! We're about to launch Stingray! Anything can happen within the next half hour!"

    These were the words spoken by Commander Shore at the beginning of each episode of Stingray, the first Gerry Anderson Supermarionation show to be made in colour.

    Set in the year 2064, Stingray is about the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (WASP) who patrol the world's oceans, helping and defeating underwater races. The pride of WASP is the revolutionary submarine Stingray, which is controlled by Captain Troy Tempest and Lieutenant George Lee Sheridan, better known as "Phones".

    The WASP headquarters at Marineville, a huge complex, 10 miles inland. The heart of WASP operations is the control tower, where Commander Sam Shore, Lt. Atlanta Shore (also his daughter) and Sub-Lieutenant Fisher can control and communicate with the entire WASP organization.

    When Marineville is under surface attack, Battle Stations sound. What happens next is that the whole complex sinks beneath the ground on massive hydraulic platforms. Huge concrete blast doors then protect the base, as well as WASP Interceptor and hydraulic missiles.

    The WASP call is "PWOR" (Proceed With Orders Received).

    The main villain of the WASPs is Titan who rules the underwater city of Titanica and has sworn to invade the surface world. His slaves are the Aquaphibians, who control mechanical fish called Terror Fish, armed with deadly missiles that have destroyed many unsuspecting victims. Titan is also assisted by Surface Agent X20, who talks incredibly like Peter Lorre. X20 can infiltrate Marineville through cunning disguises. He lives in an old house on the Island of Lemoy, where he can communicate with Titanica by pressing a button in his living room, which changes the room into a communication centre within seconds!

    Before becoming a member of the WASPs, Marina, a tailless, voiceless mermaid was the slave of Titan before Troy Tempest rescued her from his clutches. Her father, Aphony is the ruler of the underwater city Pacifica. Marina and her people have been sworn to silence by Titan, who said if they were to speak again, they would be destroyed.

    Occasionally, Marina accompanies Troy and Phones on their missions and sometimes Atlanta goes in place of her if they feel the mission is unsuitable for Marina. Troy has love interests for both women. Rarely seen on missions is a seal named Oink.

    Each episode ended with a song called "Aqua Marina" which was composed by Barry Gray and sung by Gary Miller.

    Not only was Stingray the first Supermarionation series to be made in colour, it was also the first British TV series to be made in colour! The series has also been repeated on BBC 2 over 1992-4 and 2001/2 and recently on weekday mornings over 2003/4. It has also been shown on Sky One.moreless
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    Joe 90

    Joe 90

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    ITV (ended 1969)
    Daredevil Excitement Every Boy Dreams Of
    Nine year-old Joe McClaine becomes the "Most Special Agent" of the World Intelligence Network thanks to a device called the BIG RAT (Brain Impulse Galvanoscope - Record And Transfer) capable of recording the brain patterns of one person and transferring them to another.moreless
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    Doctor in the House

    Doctor in the House

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    ITV (ended 1991)
    The "Doctor" series follows the misadventures of the Medical personnel at St Swithin's Hospital. the first 2 series entitled "Doctor In the House" sees a group of students trying to achieve the "Doctor" title Inside St Swithin's. This Group was constituted by Michael Upton (Barry Evans), Dick Stuart- Clark (Geoffrey Davies), Paul Collier (George Layton), Duncan Waring (Robin Nedwell), Huw Evans (Martin Shaw), Dave Briddock (Simon Cuff) and Danny Hooley (Jonathan Lynn). The third series Entitled "Doctor At Large sees Robin Nedwell, Martin Shaw, Simon Cuff and Jonathan Lynn out of the series. By this time we get the chance to see Doctor Upton's career as a medical doctor, and the obvious disasters that come with it. Also in that series is Richard O'Sullivan's introduction as Dr. Lawrence Bingham. The 4th and 5th series Entitled "Doctor In Charge" Saw Barry Evans departure from the series, and the return of Robin Nedwell.moreless
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    Mystery and Imagination

    Mystery and Imagination

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    ITV (ended 1970)
    Welcome to the Mystery and Imagination guide at TV.com. "Mystery and Imagination" was an anthology series featuring 60-min spooky stories from Victorian authors such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe, M. R. James, Algernon Blackwood, Sheridan Le Fanu, and others; this series was produced by ABC Weekend Television until July 1968. In November 1968, the series was renamed "Tales of Mystery and Imagination," was produced by Thames Television, and featured 75-min teleplays of "Dracula," "Frankenstein," and other famous horror novels. A Victorian adventurer named Richard Beckett (pictured; played by David Buck) hosted the series and also sometimes participated in the stories.moreless
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    Father Dear Father

    Father Dear Father

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    ITV (ended 1973)
    Patrick Cargill stars in Father Dear Father as Patrick Glover, Divorcee, Thriller Writer & Father to two teenage Daughters. His Life revolves around his writing, his family & their Saint Bernard dog H.G.(Wells). In 1978 a new series of Father Dear Father was made, (Father Dear Father in Australia.) Patrick & Nanny came to Sydney to look after Patrick's two nieces while his brother was away.moreless
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    Department S

    Department S

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    ITV (ended 1970)
    WELCOME TO DEPARTMENT S AT TV.COM!! (From the ITC trailer) When a case proves too challenging for the collective minds of Interpol, they turn to the talents of Department S. Department S is an elite branch of the international police agency Interpol. Routine cases are not for them. Only the most baffling, unique, bizzare cases get handed to Department S. The Department has three agents: Stewart Sullivan (Joel Fabiani) is the field leader of the group, the man who makes the decisions for the team and answers to the head of the Department. Jason King (Peter Wyngarde) is a best-selling author of a series of crime novels featuring hero Mark Caine. When Jason can tear himself away from women, he approaches the cases the way his fictional sleuth would, which is frequently infuriating to his co-workers. Annabelle Hurst (Rosemary Nicols), a computer expert, sees things much the way her computer, named "Auntie", would: black and white, 1's and 0's, yes and no. Jason's wild theories annoy her, but Stewart is not always so quick to toss the author's ideas out the window because, as he said, "he has a nasty habit of scoring near misses" with the outlandish notions. Sir Curtis Seretse (Dennis Alaba Peters) is the African diplomat who is ultimately responsible for the cases the Department takes. Although he is usually involved in his diplomatic chores, Sir Curtis occasionally finds himself working with the Department to solve the case. International cases presented with drama, suspense, and humor is on the agenda at Department S!moreless
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    Probation Officer

    Probation Officer

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    ITV (ended 1960)
    Based on real-life court cases, the show centred on the work of individual probation officers, men and women responsible for the supervision of offenders released into the community with restrictions on their movements or associations. Probation Officer was an ATV production, and the first one-hour drama series to be carried on the ITV network.moreless
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    The Champions

    The Champions

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    ITV (ended 1969)
    Welcome to The Champions guide at TV.com. "Craig Sterling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett… These are the Champions. "Endowed with the qualities and skills of superhumans - qualities and skills, both physical and mental, to the peak of human performance. Gifts given to them by an unknown race of people, when their 'plane crashed near a lost civilisation in Tibet. Now, with their secrets known only to them, they are able to use their fantastic powers to their best advantage… as the Champions of law, order and justice. Operators of the international agency, Nemesis!" The Champions was the first production from the team of Dennis Spooner and Monty Berman. Their company Scoton made the series for ITC in 1967 and established the format for many future ITC productions of casting three actors as the heroes.moreless
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    On The Buses

    On The Buses

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    ITV (ended 1973)
    Stan Butler works as a bus driver for the Luxton & District Bus Company. He lives at home with his slightly overbearing mother, his frumpy sister Olive and his lazy brother in law Arthur. Stan's route is the number 11 to the Cemetery Gates which he works with his conductor Jack. Stan and Jack have an eye for the ladies and are often found chatting up either the 'clippies' (female bus conductors) or the canteen staff. The bane of Stan's life is Inspector Cyril 'Blakey' Blake who is often checking up of them and threatening them with the sack for lateness and untidyness. His catchphrase is "I 'ate you Butler!". "On the Buses" was made by London Weekend Television and was remade in the US as "Lotsa Luck".moreless
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    Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969)

    Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969)

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    ITV (ended 1970)
    U.S. title: My Partner the Ghost There's something different about this pair of private eyes....one of them is dead! Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk are best friends and private detectives. The partnership is broken when Marty is killed in a hit-and-run accident while crossing the street in front of his home. After the funeral, Jeff is startled when Marty's ghost appears to him and tells him it was murder, not an accident. Marty helps Jeff solve the murder, but in the process violates an ancient curse -- "Cursed be the ghost who dares to stay and face the awful light of day / Ye shall not to the grave return until a hundred years be gone" -- and has to remain on earth for the next century. Since Jeff is the only one who can see Marty, the detective partnership continues, but with the unusual benefit of one of the detectives being invisible to the rest of the world.moreless
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    Man in a Suitcase

    Man in a Suitcase

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    Welcome to the Man in a Suitcase guide at TV.com.

    Man in a Suitcase was filmed in and around Pinewood Studios and on location in London during 1966/7. A rough, tough adventure series, which, thanks to the strength, charisma and capability of the leading player, Texan method actor, Richard Bradford, still continues to enthral and entertain audiences today.

    McGill is a no nonsense hero, an ex-CIA Agent unjustly accused of treason by his own people. Subsequently he is compelled to travel the world making his living in the harsh and sometimes terrifying world of a modern-day bounty hunter.

    Man in a Suitcase was an ITC production for ITC World Wide.

    The complete series is now available on DVD: from Network DVD in the UK and Umbrella DVDs in Australia.moreless
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    Crossroads (1964)

    Crossroads (1964)

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    ITV (ended 1988)
    Soap opera that was based around a midlands Motel called Crossroads. Set in the sleepy village of Kings Oak, this show followed the family staff and guests to the motel and the entangled problems that they all had. The show was originally produced by Associated Television (ATV) and then from 1981 onwards was made by Central Independent Television. 4510 episodes were made which (at that point) was more than Coronation Street, four years its senior. The series did return 13 years later on March 5th 2001, but this time no longer a motel, but a four star hotel.moreless
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    Saki

    Saki

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    ITV (ended 1962)
    Saki (1870-1916) - pseudonym of Hector Hugh Munro. Scottish-born writer whose stories satirize the Edwardian social scene, often in a macabre and cruel way. Munro's columns and short stories were published under the pen name 'Saki'.moreless
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