Weekdays: 22/09/1955 - 29/07/1968
Associated-Rediffusion was the first ITV company to go on air, providing London's first weekday service. A-R launched with a gala performance, presented jointly with ABC, on Thursday 22nd September 1955.
ITV's first franchise renewal round took place in 1964. All companies survived bar one, Wales (West & North) Television, which had found itself in severe financial difficulties. It was bought out by TWW. (See TVARK's section on ITV Wales.) The A-R of old had been dubbed "The BBC with adverts". Now it took the chance to be less stuffy and drop the 'Associated' moniker...
A hefty percentage of the original programme archive of ARTV and Rediffusion London was destroyed very soon after the company lost its franchise in 1968. The remains are held in private collections and at the National Film Archive, within the British Film Institute; copyright in the original programmes is held by Archbuild Ltd of London.
During the 1990s, Victor Lewis-Smith, the broadcaster and TV critic, bought the rights to the name Associated-Rediffusion. His Cumbria-based company Associated-Rediffusion TV made the series "TV Offal" for Channel Four and "Ads Infinitum" for BBC2. These series made a virtue of recycling poor-quality clips derived from long-forgotten TV adverts, idents, title sequences, music videos, gag reels and 'Christmas Tapes', re-dubbed and accompanied by sarcastic, knowing commentaries.
In recent years AR-TV Productions has broadened its scope, to encompass documentaries on a range of human interest and Arts topics. For example a profile of Benjamin Pell, the noted collector of garbage; the complete Organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach (BBC2), and a touching insight into the early years of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, entitled "Alchemists of Sound" (BBC4). Alas, the directors of the company have asked us to remove clips and stills of their programmes and new graphic identities from this page.