Sherlock Holmes is a fictional private detective created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Referring to himself as a "consulting detective" in the stories, Holmes is known for his proficiency with observation, forensic science, logical reasoning that borders on the fantastic, which he employs when investigating cases for a wide variety of clients, including Scotland Yard. First appearing in print in 1887's A Study in Scarlet, the character's popularity became widespread with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine, beginning with "A Scandal in Bohemia" in 1891. All but one are set in the Victorian or Edwardian eras, between about 1880 and 1914. Most are narrated by the character of Holmes's friend and biographer Dr. Watson, who accompanies Holmes during his investigations and shares quarters with him at the address of 221B Baker Street, where many of the stories begin. Though not the first fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes is arguably the best known, with Guinness World Records listing him as the "most portrayed movie character" in history.
Holmes's popularity and fame are such that many have believed him to be not a fictional character but a real individual. Considered a British cultural icon, the character and stories have had a profound and lasting effect on mystery writing and popular culture as a whole, with the original tales as well as thousands written by authors other than Conan Doyle being adapted into stage and radio plays, films, video games, other media for over one hundred years. Edgar Allan Poe's C. Auguste Dupin is acknowledged as the first detective in fiction and served as the prototype for many that were created including Holmes. Conan Doyle once wrote, "Each is a root from which a whole literature has developed... Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?" The stories of Émile Gaboriau's Monsieur Lecoq were popular at the time Conan Doyle began writing Holmes, Holmes' speech and behaviour sometimes follow that of Lecoq. Both Dupin and Lecoq are referenced at the beginning of A Study in Scarlet.
Conan Doyle said that Holmes was inspired by the real-life figure of Joseph Bell, a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, whom Conan Doyle met in 1877 and had worked for as a clerk. Like Holmes, Bell was noted for drawing broad conclusions from minute observations. However, he wrote to Conan Doyle: "You are yourself Sherlock Holmes and well you know it". Sir Henry Littlejohn, Chair of Medical Jurisprudence at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, is cited as an inspiration for Holmes. Littlejohn, Police Surgeon and Medical Officer of Health in Edinburgh, provided Conan Doyle with a link between medical investigation and the detection of crime. Other inspirations have been considered. One has been argued to be Maximilien Heller, by French author Henry Cauvain, it is not known if Conan Doyle read Maximilien Heller, but he was fluent in French, in this 1871 novel, Henry Cauvain imagined a depressed, anti-social, opium-smoking polymath detective, operating in Paris. Michael Harrison has suggested that a German self-styled "consulting detective" named Walter Scherer may have been the model for Holmes.
Details about Sherlock Holmes' life are scarce in Conan Doyle's stories. Mentions of his early life and extended family paint a loose biographical picture of the detective. An estimate of Holmes's age in "His Last Bow" places his year of birth at 1854, his parents are not mentioned in the stories, although Holmes mentions that his "ancestors" were "country squires". In "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter", he claims that his grandmother was sister to the French artist Vernet, without clarifying whether this was Claude Joseph, Carle, or Horace Vernet. Holmes's brother Mycroft, seven years his senior, is a government official. Mycroft has a unique civil service position as a kind of human database for all aspects of government policy, he lacks Sherlock's interest in physical investigation, preferring to spend his time at the Diogenes Club. Holmes says. A meeting with a classmate's father led him to adopt detection as a profession, he spent several years after university as a consultant before financial difficulties led him to accept John H. Watson as a fellow lodger.
The two take lodgings at 221B Baker Street, London, an apartment at the upper end of the street, up seventeen steps. Holmes worked as a detective for twenty-three years, with physician John Watson assisting him for seventeen, they were roommates before Watson's 1888 marriage and again after his wife's death. Their residence is maintained by Mrs. Hudson. Most of the stories are frame narratives, written from Watson's point of view as summaries of the detective's most interesting cases. Holmes calls Watson's writing sensational and populist, suggesting that it fails to and objectively report the "science" of his craft: Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love-story... Some facts should be suppressed, or, at least, a just sense of proport
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. A physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective; the Sherlock Holmes stories are considered milestones in the field of crime fiction. Doyle was a prolific writer. One of Doyle's early short stories, "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement", helped to popularise the mystery of the Mary Celeste. Doyle is referred to as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle or Conan Doyle, his baptism entry in the register of St Mary's Cathedral, gives "Arthur Ignatius Conan" as his given names and "Doyle" as his surname. It names Michael Conan as his godfather; the cataloguers of the British Library and the Library of Congress treat "Doyle" alone as his surname. Steven Doyle, editor of The Baker Street Journal, wrote, "Conan was Arthur's middle name. Shortly after he graduated from high school he began using Conan as a sort of surname.
But technically his last name is simply'Doyle'." When knighted, he was gazetted as Doyle, not under the compound Conan Doyle. Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 at 11 Picardy Place, Scotland, his father, Charles Altamont Doyle, was born in England, of Irish Catholic descent, his mother, was Irish Catholic. His parents married in 1855. In 1864 the family dispersed because of Charles's growing alcoholism, the children were temporarily housed across Edinburgh. In 1867, the family lived in squalid tenement flats at 3 Sciennes Place. Doyle's father died in 1893, in the Crichton Royal, after many years of psychiatric illness. Supported by wealthy uncles, Doyle was sent to England, at the Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst in Lancashire at the age of nine, he went on to Stonyhurst College until 1875. While Doyle was not unhappy at Stonyhurst, he did not have any fond memories since the school was run on medieval principles, with subjects covering rudiments, Euclidean geometry and the classics.
Doyle commented in his life that the academic system could only be excused "on the plea that any exercise, however stupid in itself, forms a sort of mental dumbbell by which one can improve one's mind." He found it harsh, citing that instead of compassion and warmth, it favoured the threat of corporal punishment and ritual humiliation. From 1875 to 1876, he was educated at the Jesuit school Stella Matutina in Austria, his family decided that he would spend a year there with the objective of perfecting his German and broadening his academic horizons. He rejected the Catholic faith and became an agnostic. A source attributed his drift away from religion to the time spent in the less strict Austrian school, he later became a spiritualist mystic. From 1876 to 1881, Doyle studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, including periods working in Aston and Ruyton-XI-Towns, Shropshire. During that time, he studied practical botany at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. While studying, Doyle began writing short stories.
His earliest extant fiction, "The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe", was unsuccessfully submitted to Blackwood's Magazine. His first published piece, "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley", a story set in South Africa, was printed in Chambers's Edinburgh Journal on 6 September 1879. On 20 September 1879, he published his first academic article, "Gelsemium as a Poison" in the British Medical Journal, a study which The Daily Telegraph regarded as useful in a 21st-century murder investigation. Doyle was the doctor on the Greenland whaler Hope of Peterhead in 1880. On July 11, 1880 John Gray's Hope and David Gray's Eclipse met up with the Leigh Smith. Photographer W. J. A. Grant took a photograph aboard the Eira of Doyle along with Smith, the Gray brothers, ships surgeon William Neale; this was the Smith exploration of Franz Josef Land that on August 18th resulted in the naming of Cape Flora, Bell Island, Nightingale Sound, Gratton Island, Mabel Island. As M. B. C. M. after his graduation from university in 1881, he was ship's surgeon on the SS Mayumba during a voyage to the West African coast.
He completed his Doctor of Medicine degree on the subject of tabes dorsalis in 1885. In 1882, Doyle joined former classmate George Turnavine Budd as his partner at a medical practice in Plymouth, but their relationship proved difficult, Doyle soon left to set up an independent practice. Arriving in Portsmouth in June 1882, with less than £10 to his name, he set up a medical practice at 1 Bush Villas in Elm Grove, Southsea; the practice was not successful. While waiting for patients, Doyle returned to writing fiction. Doyle was a staunch supporter of compulsory vaccination and wrote several articles advocating for the practice and denouncing the views of anti-vaccinators. In early 1891, Doyle attempted the study of ophthalmology in Vienna, he had studied at the Portsmouth Eye Hospital to qualify to perform eye tests and prescribe glasses. Vienna was suggested by his friend Vernon Morris as a place to spend six months and train to be an eye surgeon. Doyle found it too difficult to understand the German medica
The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
"The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is the eleventh of the twelve stories collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. The story was first published in Strand Magazine in May 1892. A banker, Mr. Alexander Holder of Streatham, makes a loan of £50,000 to a prominent client, who leaves a beryl coronet — one of the most valuable public possessions in existence — as collateral. Holder feels that he must not leave this rare and precious piece of jewellery in his personal safe at the bank, so he takes it home with him to lock it up there, he is awakened in the night by a noise, enters his dressing room, is horrified to see his son Arthur with the coronet in his hands trying to bend it. Holder's niece Mary comes at the sound of all the shouting and, seeing the damaged coronet, faints dead away. Three beryls are missing from it. In a panic, Mr. Holder travels to see Holmes; the case against Arthur seems rather damning. Why is Arthur refusing to give a statement of any kind?
How could Arthur have broken the coronet and without making any noise? Could any other people in the household be involved, such as the servants, or Mary? Could some visitor, such as the maid's wooden-legged boyfriend, or Arthur's rakish friend Sir George Burnwell, have something to do with what happened to the coronet? The failure to resolve the case will result in Mr. Holder's dishonour, a national scandal. Holmes sets about not only reviewing the details that he learns from Holder, but by examining the footprints in the snow outside. Holmes solves the mystery, Holder is flabbergasted to find that his niece was in league with a notorious criminal, although she is unaware of his character; the two of them escape justice. Arthur's motive in allowing his father to think he was the thief was that he was in love with his cousin Mary and saw her passing the coronet to a confederate outside the window. Holmes regains the coronet after threatening Sir George at gunpoint; the story was adapted for an episode of the 1965 television series Sherlock Holmes with Douglas Wilmer as Holmes, Nigel Stock as Watson, Leonard Sachs as Holder and Suzan Farmer as Mary.
It featured David Burke as Sir George Burnwell. Burke would play Watson opposite Jeremy Brett in the first two seasons of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes; the story was used in part in the Elementary episode'How the Sausage Is Made.'"The Beryl Coronet" was dramatised for the BBC Light Programme in 1959, broadcast on the 30th of June as part of the Thirty Minute Theatre series, starring Carleton Hobbs as Sherlock Holmes, with Norman Shelley as Doctor Watson, Hilda Schroder as Miss Parker and Lucy Parr, Frederick Treves as Arthur Holder, Robert Sansom as Alexander Holder, Ronald Baddiley as Roberts, Godfrey Kenton as His Grace and Eva Huszar as Mary Holder. It was adapted by Michael Hardwick. Another version was made, this time for BBC Radio 4 in 1991 as part of Bert Coules' complete radio adaptation of the canon, starring Clive Merrison as Holmes and Michael Williams as Watson, featuring Anthony Newlands as Holder, Angus Wright as Arthur, Petra Markham as Mary, Timothy Carlton as Sir George Burnwell.
The novel The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Improbable Prisoner by Stuart Douglas, is a subtle'sequel' to this story. The full text of The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet at Wikisource Media related to The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet at Wikimedia Commons
June Wyndham Davies
June Wyndham Davies is a British television producer and director. For her work as Co-Producer of the film August starring, directed by Sir Anthony Hopkins, she won the BAFTA Wales award for Best Drama in 1997, she is a writer, having written several short stories and plays, including ‘Green Shutters’. June Wyndham Davies was born in Cardiff in 1929 to Despina Wyndham Davies of Llandaff, her father served as an officer in WW2, her mother, eldest daughter of the engineer and inventor James Wyndham, had been a ballet dancer. She attended Elm Tree House convent before moving to London to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Wyndham Davies entered the industry as a BBC Director in 1965, when most television drama was transmitted live from the studio, she directed 30 Minute Theatre, Sunday Afternoon Theatre, Out of Town Theatre, as well as single plays such as The House Mouse, Why Me? The Heart Grows The Lariat, she devised and directed the 6-part documentary series Why Would You Believe It? based on the idea of truth being stranger than fiction.
Going freelance in 1969, Wyndham Davies continued her career with BBC, Anglia and Yorkshire Television, directing Boy Meets Girl, Love Story, The Dolly Spike, The Folly, Don’t Shoot the Cook. She moved into directing episodes for long-running television series and serials, such as Coronation Street, Castle Haven, Crown Court, children’s television adaptations of classics, such as Pollyanna and Johanna Spyri’s Heidi, which received an EMMY nomination in the United States for best television serial in 1975. From 1976 onwards, Wyndham Davies worked exclusively for Granada Television, producing dark and thought-provoking dramas dealing with the supernatural as with the series Shades of Darkness, as well as Victorian crime themes, such as the ground-breaking Sergeant Cribb series with Alan Dobie in the title role. With a knack for spotting talent, Wyndham Davies gave the young Michael Caine his first chance in theatre, along with early opportunities for Rhys Ifans and Hugh Grant, her inspired casting ideas whilst working for the Drama department at Granada included the suggestion of the late Jeremy Brett for the part of Sherlock Holmes in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
To this day, Brett is still considered to have given the definitive portrayal of Conan Doyle’s detective. Wyndham Davies went on to produce the second series: The Return of Sherlock Holmes, as well as The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes in 1994, several feature-length television films including: Sherlock Holmes – The Sign of Four starring Jenny Seagrove. BAFTA Cymru - Best Drama:‘August’ 1997 Chicago International Film Festival – Silver Plaque: ‘The Lady’s Maid’s Bell’ 1985 Send in the Girls The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Cribb Crown Court Heidi Pollyanna 1963-1964 - Compact -Radiographer / Mrs. Stenton 1964 - On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen! - Mrs. Stenton 1963 - Shock Tactics - Radiographer 1963 - On the Edge - Radiographer 1964 - Curtain of Fear Secretary 1964 - The Linton Compact - Secretary 1958 - Saturday Playhouse - Secretary to Mrs. Wentross 1958 – Trespass - Secretary to Mrs. Wentross 1986 - Shades of Darkness Agatha Christie's The Last Seance1980-1981 - Cribb Mad Hatter's Holiday Swing, Swing Together Waxwork 1981 - Christmas Spirits 1979 - Screenplay 1973-1977 - Crown Court One for the Road: Part 1 The Personator: Part 1 A Case of Murder: Part 1 Traffic Warden's Daughter: Part 1 A Message to Ireland: Part 3 1975-1976 - Coronation Street Episode #1.1655 Episode #1.1481 1974 - Heidi 1973 - Pollyanna 1970-1972 - Kate Back to Square One A Nice Rest Accidents Will Happen The Woman Behind the Man I Belong to Somebody 1969 - Who-Dun-It Don't Shoot the Cook1967 - Boy Meets Girl Love with a Few Hairs 1998 -The Cater Street Hangman 1996 - August 1994 -The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes The Cardboard Box The Mazarin Stone The Red Circle The Golden Pince-Nez The Dying Detective 1992-1993 - The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes The Eligible Bachelor The Last Vampyre The Master Blackmailer 1990 - Made in Heaven A Fair Mix Up The Big Match Falling for Love Best of Enemies1989 - The Heat of the Day 1988 - The Hound of the Baskervilles 1986-1988 - The Return of Sherlock Holmes The Bruce Partington Plans Wisteria Lodge Silver Blaze The Devil's Foot The Six Napoleons 1987 - The Sign of Four 1987 - The Death of the Heart 1983-1986 - Shades of Darkness Agatha Christie's The Last Seance The Demon Lover Bewitched Seaton's Aunt The Maze 1981 - The Member for Chelsea Episode #1.3 Episode #1.2 Episode #1.11980-1981 - Cribb Invitation to a Dynamite Party Murder Old Boy?
The Choir That Wouldn't Sing The Hand That Rocks the Cradle The Last Trumpet 1981 - Christmas Spirits 1978 - Send in the Girls Goosepimples Chickabiddy Beware the Gentle People Away All Boats A Hardy Bre
Professor James Moriarty is a fictional character in some of the Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Moriarty is a machiavellian criminal mastermind whom Holmes describes as the "Napoleon of crime". Doyle lifted the phrase from a Scotland Yard inspector, referring to Adam Worth, a real-life criminal mastermind and one of the individuals upon whom the character of Moriarty was based; the character was introduced as a narrative device to enable Doyle to kill Sherlock Holmes, only featured in two of the Sherlock Holmes stories. However, in adaptations, he has been given a greater prominence and treated as Sherlock Holmes' archenemy. Professor Moriarty's first and only appearance occurred in "The Adventure of the Final Problem", in which Holmes, on the verge of delivering a fatal blow to Moriarty's criminal organization, is forced to flee to continental Europe to escape Moriarty's retribution; the criminal mastermind follows, the pursuit ends on top of the Reichenbach Falls, an encounter that ends with both Holmes and Moriarty falling to their deaths.
In this story, Moriarty is introduced as a criminal mastermind who protects nearly all of the criminals of England in exchange for their obedience and a share in their profits. Holmes, by his own account, was led to Moriarty by his perception that many of the crimes he investigated were not isolated incidents, but instead the machinations of a vast and subtle criminal organization. Moriarty plays a direct role in only one other Holmes story, The Valley of Fear, set before "The Final Problem" but written afterwards. In The Valley of Fear, Holmes attempts to prevent Moriarty's agents from committing a murder. In an episode in which Moriarty is being interviewed by a policeman, a painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze is described as hanging on the wall; the work referred to is La jeune fille à l'agneau. Holmes mentions Moriarty reminiscently in five other stories: "The Adventure of the Empty House", "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder", "The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter", "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client", "His Last Bow".
More obliquely, a 1908 mystery by Doyle, named "The Lost Special" features a criminal genius who could be Moriarty and a detective who could be Holmes, although neither is mentioned by name. Doctor Watson when narrating, never meets Moriarty, relies upon Holmes to relate accounts of the detective's feud with the criminal. Doyle is inconsistent on Watson's familiarity with Moriarty. In "The Final Problem", Watson tells Holmes he has never heard of Moriarty, while in The Valley of Fear, set earlier on, Watson knows of him as "the famous scientific criminal". In "The Empty House", Holmes states that Moriarty had commissioned a powerful air gun from a blind German mechanic surnamed von Herder, used by Moriarty's employee/acolyte Colonel Moran, it resembled a cane, allowing for easy concealment, was capable of firing revolver bullets at long range, made little noise when fired, making it ideal for sniping. Moriarty has a marked preference for organizing "accidents", his attempts to kill Holmes include a speeding horse-drawn vehicle.
He is responsible for stage-managing the death of Birdy Edwards, making it appear that he was lost overboard while sailing to South Africa. Moriarty is ruthless, shown by his steadfast vow to Sherlock Holmes that "if you are clever enough to bring destruction upon me, rest assured that I shall do as much to you". Moriarty is categorised by Holmes as an powerful criminal mastermind, purely adept at committing any atrocity to perfection without losing any sleep over it, it is stated in The Final Problem that Moriarty does not directly participate in the activities he plans, but only orchestrates the events. As Holmes states below, what makes Moriarty so dangerous is his cunning intellect: Holmes described Moriarty as follows: He is a man of good birth and excellent education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty. At the age of twenty-one he wrote a treatise upon the binomial theorem which has had a European vogue. On the strength of it, he won the mathematical chair at one of our smaller universities, had, to all appearances, a most brilliant career before him.
But the man had hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. A criminal strain ran in his blood, instead of being modified, was increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers. Dark rumours gathered round him in the University town, he was compelled to resign his chair and come down to London, he is the Napoleon of Watson. He is the organiser of half, evil and of nearly all, undetected in this great city... Holmes echoes and expounds this sentiment in The Valley of Fear stating: But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law—and there lie the glory and the wonder of it! The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every devilry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that's the man! But so aloof is he from general suspicion, so immune from criticism, so admirable in his management and self-effacement, that for those words that you have uttered he could hale you to a court and emerge with your y
Nigel Stock (actor)
Nigel Hector Munro Stock was an English actor of stage, screen and television, who played character roles in many films and television dramas. Stock was born in the son of an Army captain, he grew up in India before attending St Paul's School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he earned the Leverhulme Exhibition, Northcliffe Scholarship, the Principal's Medal. He made his stage debut in 1931, during his career achieved numerous classical and contemporary credits at various distinguished theatres, including the Old Vic and on Broadway, with productions of The Winter's Tale, She Stoops to Conquer, Uncle Vanya, his start in films came with uncredited bit parts in The Man Who Could Work Miracles and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. In 1937 he made his first credited film appearance in Lancashire Luck, his acting career was interrupted by wartime service between 1939 and 1945 with the London Irish Rifles and the Assam Regiment of the Indian Army in Burma and Kohima. He was honourably discharged with the rank of Major.
His film appearances included popular releases such as Brighton Rock, The Dam Busters, The Great Escape, The Lion in Winter and The Lost Continent, Russian Roulette. Between 1964 and 1968, Nigel Stock became a household name in the UK for his portrayal of Dr. Watson in a series of Sherlock Holmes dramas for BBC television. In life, he portrayed the mentor of Sherlock Holmes in Young Sherlock Holmes, his other numerous television credits included Danger Man, The Avengers, The Prisoner, The Doctors, Owen, M. D. Quiller, Van der Valk, the Doctor Who serial Time Flight, Yes Minister, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and for a BBC dramatisation of A Tale of Two Cities as well as The Pickwick Papers as Mr. Pickwick. Stock and his third wife, Richenda Carey, had just appeared together on stage in the world premiere of Mumbo Jumbo in May 1986, when, on 23 June 1986, he died in Camden, London of a heart attack, aged 66. Stock was married three times, he married his first wife, Catherine Hodnett, in 1943. His second marriage was to Sonia Williams in 1951.
They divorced in 1980 after having three children together. Stock's third and final marriage was to actress Richenda Carey in 1979, they remained married until his death in 1986. Space Force Magnus Carter Nigel Stock on IMDb Nigel Stock at Find a Grave
ITV (TV network)
ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London, it was launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to BBC Television, established in 1932. ITV is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name. ITV is a network of television channels that operate regional television services as well as sharing programmes between each other to be displayed on the entire network. In recent years, several of these companies have merged, so the fifteen franchises are in the hands of two companies; the ITV network is to be distinguished from ITV plc, the company that resulted from the merger of Granada plc and Carlton Communications in 2004 and which holds the Channel 3 broadcasting licences in England, southern Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland.
With the exception of Northern Ireland, the ITV brand is the brand used by ITV plc for the Channel 3 service in these areas. In Northern Ireland, ITV plc uses the brand name UTV. STV Group plc uses the STV brand for its two franchises of northern Scotland; the origins of ITV lie in the passing of the Television Act 1954, designed to break the monopoly on television held by the BBC Television Service. The act created the Independent Television Authority to regulate the industry and to award franchises; the first six franchises were awarded in 1954 for London, the Midlands and the North of England, with separate franchises for Weekdays and Weekends. The first ITV network to launch was London's Associated-Rediffusion on 22 September 1955, with the Midlands and North services launching in February 1956 and May 1956 respectively. Following these launches, the ITA awarded more franchises until the whole country was covered by fourteen regional stations, all launched by 1962; the network has been modified several times through franchise reviews that have taken place in 1963, 1967, 1974, 1980 and 1991, during which broadcast regions have changed and service operators have been replaced.
Only one service operator has been declared bankrupt, WWN in 1963, with all other operators leaving the network as a result of a franchise review. Separate weekend franchises were removed in 1968 and over the years more services were added; the Broadcasting Act 1990 changed the nature of ITV. This criticised part of the review saw four operators replaced, the operators facing different annual payments to the Treasury: Central Television, for example, paid only £2000—despite holding a lucrative and large region—because it was unopposed, while Yorkshire Television paid £37.7 million for a region of the same size and status, owing to heavy competition. Following the 1993 changes, ITV as a network began to consolidate with several companies doing so to save money by ceasing the duplication of services present when they were all separate companies. By 2004, ITV was owned by five companies, of which two and Granada had become major players by owning between them all the franchises in England, the Scottish borders and the Isle of Man.
That same year, the two merged to form ITV plc with the only subsequent acquisitions being the takeover of Channel Television, the Channel Islands franchise, in 2011. and UTV, the franchise for Northern Ireland, in 2015. The ITV network is not owned or operated by one company, but by a number of licensees, which provide regional services while broadcasting programmes across the network. Since 2016, the fifteen licences are held by two companies, with the majority held by ITV Broadcasting Limited, part of ITV plc; the network is regulated by the media regulator Ofcom, responsible for awarding the broadcast licences. The last major review of the Channel 3 franchises was in 1991, with all operators' licences having been renewed between 1999 and 2002 and again from 2014 without a further contest. While this has been the longest period that the ITV Network has gone without a major review of its licence holders, Ofcom announced that it would split the Wales and West licence from 1 January 2014, creating a national licence for Wales and joining the newly separated West region to Westcountry Television, to form a new licence for the enlarged South West of England region.
All companies holding a licence were part of the non-profit body ITV Network Limited, which commissioned and scheduled network programming, with compliance handled by ITV plc and Channel Television. However, due to amalgamation of several of these companies since the creation of ITV Network Limited, it has been replaced by an affiliation system. Approved by Ofcom, this results in ITV plc commissioning and funding the network schedule, with STV and UTV paying a fee to broadcast it. All licensees have the right to opt out of network programming (except fo