Yorkshire TV: End of 40 years of programme making on our doorstep

ITV insists it remains committed to production in this region, but today's announcement undoubtedly marks the beginning of the end of an era for Yorkshire Television, or ITV1 Yorkshire as it is now formally known.

R.I.P. Yorkshire TV: Full coverage

The company started broadcasting on July 28, 1968, from its new studios in Kirkstall Road, and was created as a result of one of four new ITV contracts issued nationally.

Originally called Yorkshire Television Network the title was abbreviated before it went on air, a name which remains familiar to many even though it is now almost seven years since it was changed to mark its position in the current ITV franchise.

Its studios, built on land made available through the 1960s slum clearance programme, were at the forefront of broadcasting technology in that era, the first in Europe which were purpose made for colour television and cost 4 million to create.

The company survived one early setback, in March 1969, when the Emley Moor transmitter collapsed under a heavy build up of ice, though a temporary replacement was erected to restore broadcasts to the region.

Later that year, the company switched from black and white to colour transmissions and the current mast, which is visible for miles around, was completed in 1971.

Over the decades, the company's transmission boundaries have altered, with it taking in the Belmont mast in the mid 1970s, giving it coverage in areas including Hull, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.

In future the only entertainment programme with a certain future at Yorkshire Television is Emmerdale, but the company has been responsible for producing some fo the most fondly remembered television shows.

The comedies Rising Damp, Duty Free and Only When I Laugh were all produced at Kirkstall Road, with Emmerdale first hitting the screens in the early 1970s under the Emmerdale Farm name.

That show occupies studios in a former car dealership's premises in nearby Burley Road, which ITV have confirmed will survive the cuts. Interior scenes are filmed there.

Today's middle-aged viewers are likely to remember the children's series Follyfoot and the company also has an illustrious back catalogue of documentaries, including one featuring Hannah Hauxwell who lived an austere existence in the Yorkshire Dales and an investigation into Rampton Hospital in 1979.

Its drama output has included memorable productions including The Darling Buds of May.

Over the years, Yorkshire Television has experienced a raft of changes to its business and the Yorkshire chevron, used to identify its programmes, was finally dropped from broadcasts around five years ago.

Earlier, the company had used a 'Channel 3' branding alongside other ITV companies, but that was later dropped.

The most significant recent change was the acquisition of the company in 1997 by Granada, now ITV.

In 2002 Yorkshire Television became ITV1 Yorkshire.

The Calendar news programme was originally produced from the main Kirkstall Road studios but was moved to its own site in 1989.

That show has generated presenters who have gone on to become household names, including Richard Whiteley, who for some years presented both the news programme and the Countdown show, Austin Mitchell and Jonathan Aitken, who both went on to political careers.

According to ITV, the changes they are to impose in Yorkshire and across the rest of the company will leave it well placed to exploit any economic upturn.

It may be some time before the company is able to repeat its past glories, however.

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