SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

London Weekend Television

London Weekend Television was the ITV network franchise holder for Greater London and the Home Counties at weekends, broadcasting from Fridays at 5.15 pm to Monday mornings at 6:00. From 1968 until 1992, when LWT's weekday counterpart was Thames Television, there was an on-screen handover to LWT on Friday nights. From 1993 to 2002, when LWT's weekday counterpart was Carlton Television, the transfer occurred invisibly during a commercial break, as Carlton and LWT shared studio and transmission facilities. Like most ITV regional franchises, including Carlton's, the London weekend franchise is now operated by ITV plc; the “London Weekend” franchise was renewed by Ofcom in 2015 for a further ten years and is still separately licensed, but it is no longer distinguished on air in any way at all. LWT is now managed with Carlton Television as a single entity, the legal name for LWT is now ITV London. London Weekend Television Ltd is now listed at Companies House as a "dormant company"; the London Television Consortium was created and led by television presenter David Frost, who, at the time, was working for the London weekday ITV station, Rediffusion.

The consortium included three ex-BBC members of staff: Michael Peacock, Frank Muir and Doreen Stephens. Rediffusion's Controller of Programmes, Cyril Bennett joined the consortium, along with Clive Irving, theatre director Peter Hall and, for financial backing, Arnold Weinstock, managing director of GEC. Frost had considered applying for the new Yorkshire region franchise, but the expected high number of applicants led to a change of plans; the second choice was to take on Rediffusion for their contract but, although it held the largest and most profitable licence, it was felt that the company was too powerful to challenge. Changes elsewhere in the system led Frost to believe that the existing Midlands weekday broadcaster ATV had a significant risk of losing its London weekend contract; the consortium's application promised a variety of high-brow arts and drama productions. It accordingly caught the attention of the regulator, the Independent Television Authority, it seemed to address concerns and criticisms raised in the Pilkington Report.

The authority had been worried by criticism of the network's output, seen as downmarket and the LTC plans were viewed by the ITA as being serious contenders to the quality educational programming of the BBC. So keen were the ITA that they were quoted at the time as saying the LTC had to have its chance, whatever the repercussions; the new company, renamed London Weekend Television, benefited from a slight extension in broadcasting hours, as they were allocated Fridays from 7 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday. The LTC had planned on buying the superior Teddington Studios of former contractor ABC Weekend TV, but following ABC's merger with Rediffusion to form Thames Television, the LTC were forced by the ITA to purchase Rediffusion's Wembley Studios and obliged to employ all members of staff, although the workforce was larger than LWT had wanted. Having worked weekdays for Rediffusion, transmission staff now had to work at weekends, and, as a result, wanted extra pay for the unsocial hours.

This led to threats of industrial action, with the dispute still unresolved, fifteen seconds into their opening night of 2 August 1968, technicians went on strike and the screens went blank. An emergency service was provided by management from the transmission centre of ATV at Foley Street, London. Upon resolving the dispute, LWT suffered poor rating figures, as the station's evening viewing schedule included a Stravinsky musical drama, an avant-garde drama from French film director Jean-Luc Godard, a tribute to Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel and Georgia Brown Sings Kurt Weill; as a consequence, viewers deserted their primetime offerings in favour of the more mainstream Saturday night viewing on BBC1. Other ITV stations refused to show LWT productions because of the poor ratings. ATV, now the seven-day Midlands franchise holder after losing their London contract to LWT, refused to transmit any of their programmes in peak time; the situation came to a head during a meeting of the Network Programme Committee on 9 September 1968.

The NPC was being chaired by Lew Grade, ATV's managing director, he is quoted as saying on this occasion: "I've succeeded in business by knowing what I hate," he told them. "And I know I hate David Frost." Frost no one else spoke out against LWT's programming policy. Meanwhile, the £6.5 million they had put up for the franchise began to drain away more than their audience figures. Michael Peacock, the architect in David Frost's vision for the future of television, wanted to stick to the principles of their contract with the ITA. ATV dropped Frost's major Saturday night

Public holidays in Azerbaijan

Holidays in Azerbaijan were regulated in the Constitution of Azerbaijan SSR for the first time on 19 May 1921 by the Azeri leader Nariman Narimanov. Through the history non-working days have changed. Non-working days in Azerbaijan include the following: National days in Azerbaijan that are working days follows: January 30 – Day of Azerbaijani customs February 2 – Day of Youth in Azerbaijan February 11 – Day of Revenue Service February 26 – Day of Remembrance for Victims of Khojaly massacre March 5 – Day of Physical Culture and Sport March 28 – Day of National Security March 31 – Day of Genocide of Azerbaijanis March 23 – Day of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources April 10 – Day of the builder May 10 – Flower Festival June 2 – Day of Civil Aviation June 5 – Day of Reclamation June 18 – Human Rights Day June 20 – Day of the gas sector July 2 – Day of Azerbaijani police July 9 – Day of the employees of the diplomatic service July 22 – National Press Day in Azerbaijan August 1 – Day of Azerbaijani language and alphabet.

August 2 – National Day of Azerbaijani cinema September 15 – Day of Knowledge September 18 – Day of National Music September 20 – Day of Azerbaijani Oil / Oil Workers' Day October 1 – Day of prosecutors in Azerbaijan October 13 – Day of Azerbaijani Railway October 18 - Independence Day November 6 – Day of Baku Metro Employees November 12 – Constitution Day November 22 – Day of Justice of Azerbaijan December 6 – Day of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan December 16 – Day of Azerbaijani Ministry of Emergency Situations Only the holidays of Ramadan and Qurban remain as non-working religious days in Azerbaijan as the country is secular and irreligious. The religious population of the country in Nardaran and a number of other villages and regions celebrate the Day of Ashura, a Shia mourning day in the Islamic calendar. Religious minorities of the country – Orthodox Christians and Jews - celebrate notable religious days of their faith. Despite the fact that the holiday Novruz takes its roots from the religion of Zoroastranism all Azerbaijanis celebrates it as a holiday of spring.

Holidays of Azerbaijan

Steal the Sky

Steal the Sky is a 1988 HBO movie directed by John D. Hancock and starring Mariel Hemingway and Ben Cross; the film is based on the true story of Iraqi fighter pilot Munir Redfa, who defected by flying a MiG-21 fighter jet to Israel in 1966. Steal the Sky was the first production under the HBO-Paramount co-financing agreement launched in 1987; the 1986 story of a female agent of the Israeli Mossad involved in the defection of an Iraqi Israeli nuclear scientist may have been instrumental in gaining attention for the film. The soundtrack was performed by New age artist Yanni. American-born Israeli spy Helen Mason is sent to Iraq to coerce an Iraqi pilot into hijacking a Soviet-made fighter jet for Israeli defense research, she seduces Munir Redfa in order to blackmail him. There are unexpected results when Helen finds herself falling in love with him, endangering the mission, while he is torn between his love for her and his loyalty to Iraq. Steal the Sky was filmed on location in Israel and Reno, Nevada.

The story of Captain Munir Redfa inspired the film, but some aspects of his exploit were not revealed. In one of the Mossad's most significant operations, it was able to smuggle Redfa's entire extended family safely out of Iraq to Israel. Mossad did not have any involvement with Redfa's initial defection, his MiG-21F-13 fighter was evaluated by the Israeli Air Force and was loaned to the United States for testing and intelligence analysis. Knowledge obtained from analysis of the aircraft was instrumental to the successes achieved by the Israeli Air Force in its future encounters with Arab MiG-21s; the aircraft used in the film were three MiG-15 / three T-33s and a Bell Jet Ranger. In a 1988 review for the Los Angeles Times, Howard Rosenberg wrote, "Oh, it's watchable enough, but it's a spy/adventure story that lacks suspense, a love story whose lovers lack intensity, a Middle Eastern story... that lacks historical and political definition." He concludes, "It's love, adventure--and schmaltz – the Middle East."Film historian and critic Leonard Maltin wrote in Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide that it was a "pretentious, melodramatic misfire."

In the 1989 Primetime Emmy Awards, Steal the Sky was nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries or a Special. Additionally, Ben Cross was nominated as Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries, while Steal the Sky was nominated for Editing and Direction of Photography for a Dramatic Special or Series/Theatrical Special/Movie or Miniseries in the 1989 CableACE Awards. Steal the Sky! on IMDb Steal the Sky! at AllMovie Steal the Sky! at the TCM Movie Database Stealing a Soviet MiG, article at JewishVirtualLibrary.org