Ironside (1967 TV series)
Ironside is an American television crime drama that aired on NBC over 8 seasons from 1967 to 1975. The show starred Raymond Burr as Robert T. Ironside, a consultant for the San Francisco police, paralyzed from the waist down after being shot while on vacation; the character debuted on March 1967, in a TV movie titled Ironside. When the series was broadcast in the United Kingdom, in the 1970s, it was broadcast under the title A Man Called Ironside; the show earned Burr six two Golden Globe nominations. Ironside was a production of Burr's Harbour Productions Unlimited in association with Universal Television; the series revolved around former San Francisco Police Department Chief of Detectives Robert T. Ironside, a veteran of more than 20 years of police service, forced to retire from the department after a sniper's bullet to the spine paralyzed him from the waist down, resulting in him having to use a wheelchair. In the pilot episode, a TV movie, Ironside shows his strength of character and gets himself appointed a "special department consultant" by his good friend, Police Commissioner Dennis Randall.
He does this by calling a press conference and tricking Commissioner Randall into meeting his terms. In the pilot, Ironside solves the mystery of the ambush, he requests Ed Eve Whitfield be assigned to him. Ironside uses a fourth-floor room in the old San Francisco Hall of Justice building, which housed the city's police headquarters, he recruits the angst-filled black ex-con Mark Sanger to be his personal assistant after Sanger is brought in as a suspect who wanted to kill Ironside. Ironside acquires a specially equipped, former fleet-modified 1940 1 1/2 - ton patrol wagon; this is replaced in the episode titled "Poole's Paradise" after the van is destroyed by Sergeant Brown as part of a way to trick a corrupt sheriff. At the end of the episode the patrol wagon is replaced by a one-off custom modified 1969 1-ton Ford Econoline Window Van; the show became a success. Although Ironside was good-hearted and honest, he maintained a gruff persona. Supporting characters on Ironside included Det. Sgt. Edward "Ed" Brown and a young socialite-turned-plainclothes officer, Eve Whitfield.
In addition there was delinquent-turned assistant Mark Sanger, who subsequently attends and graduates from law school married late in the run of the series. Commissioner Randall was played by Gene Lyons who died in 1974. After the program's fourth season, Anderson left for personal reasons and her character was replaced by another young policewoman Fran Belding, who filled much the same role for four more years; the series enjoyed a seven and a half-season run on NBC, drawing respectable, if not always high, ratings. As the shortened eighth and final season began, Universal released a syndicated rerun package of episodes from earlier seasons under the title The Raymond Burr Show, reflecting the practice of that time to differentiate original network episodes from syndicated reruns whenever possible. After NBC's mid-season cancellation, the syndicated episodes reverted to the Ironside title. Raymond Burr as Chief Robert T. Ironside Don Galloway as Detective Sergeant Ed Brown Barbara Anderson as Officer Eve Whitfield Don Mitchell as Mark Sanger Elizabeth Baur as Fran Belding The show was filmed in a mixture of locations, sometimes in San Francisco but with a large number of studio scenes.
The shows contained stock footage of San Francisco, with pan shots of Coit Tower or clips of traffic scenes. Ironside and his team used a rather large open space on the fourth floor of the Old Hall of Justice in San Francisco at 750 Kearny Street between Washington and Merchant Streets; the Old Hall had been demolished while Ironside was still in production. It had been abandoned in 1961 and demolished in late 1967; the SFPD had begun using their new home by January 1962. In December 1967 demolition began, it took five months with wrecking bulldozers to raze the building. The opening theme music was composed by Quincy Jones and was the first synthesizer-based television theme song, though in 1971, Jones recorded a fuller four-minute band version for the album Smackwater Jack; this recording was edited and used for the opening credits of the fifth through eighth seasons. The iconic theme music has since been sampled in numerous recordings and soundtracks to recent television commercials and shows.
In addition to the opening theme music, Quincy Jones composed the entire score for the first eight episodes. Oliver Nelson took over those duties up to the end of the winter to spring 1972 episodes. Nelson was replaced by Marty Paich for all the episodes from the beginning of the fall of that year up until the last episode, produced in late 1974; the song "Even When You Cry," with music composed by Jones and lyrics written by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman, was performed by James Farentino in the episode "Something for Nothing," while Marcia Strassman had sung it off-screen in the earlier episode "The Man Who Believed. * The last three episodes of the series were not broadcast on NBC, but seen in syndication. Burr and the main cast
Planet of the Apes (TV series)
Planet of the Apes is an American science fiction television series that aired on CBS in 1974. The series stars Ron Harper, James Naughton, Mark Lenard and Booth Colman, it is based on the 1968 Planet of the Apes film and its sequels, which were inspired by the novel Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle. The series begins with the crash of an Earth spaceship that encountered a time warp while approaching Alpha Centauri on August 19, 1980; the spaceship is manned by three astronauts. The other two astronauts, Colonel Alan Virdon and Major Peter J. Burke, are unconscious but are rescued by a human who carries them to an old bomb shelter. After the human opens a book containing historical text and pictures of Earth circa 2500, the two astronauts are convinced that they are indeed on a future Earth; the crash is witnessed by a young chimpanzee who tells his father, a village official who alerts the authorities. Ape councilor Zaius, notes that another such incident occurred ten years earlier, he orders Security Chief Urko, to find the humans and bring them back alive.
Zaius wants to find out as much as he can about the humans before they are killed. Zaius doesn't trust Urko to follow his orders and bring back any surviving humans, so he sends along his newly hired chimpanzee assistant, Galen. Both Virdon and Burke go back to their ship to check the ship's chronometer, they are more than 1000 years in the future from. Virdon insists on retrieving the ship's flight log in the hopes that they will be able to analyze it and be able to return to their own time period, but while they are at the ship, they are captured, the old man is subsequently killed by a group of apes. Galen finds the human book, he reads parts of the book and begins to doubt the history that he has been told: apes have always been dominant, humans have always been inferior and subservient. When Galen finds out that Urko has arranged for the two astronauts to escape and be killed in the attempt, he stops the shooter and helps the humans escape. During the escape, a guard is killed, Galen is found standing over him with a gun in his hand.
Galen discusses the book that he found with Zaius, who accuses him of heresy. Galen is sentenced to death for his crime. Virdon and Burke find out about his sentence and rescue Galen, they are all declared enemies of the state and become fugitives. The three fugitives wander around the territory that used to be the western United States having various encounters with apes and old human civilization ruins. Roddy McDowall as Galen, a young chimpanzee, sent by Zaius with Urko to ensure the safety of two humans that have survived a crash landing on Earth. McDowall played Cornelius and Caesar throughout the various film versions. Ron Harper as Colonel Alan Virdon, the captain of the crash-landed ship that left Earth in 1980. James Naughton as Major Peter J. Burke, an astronaut major from ANSA that survived the crash. Mark Lenard as Security Chief Urko, a violent gorilla and the series' main antagonist. Booth Colman as Councillor Zaius, the highest-ranking member of the High Council of Central City in the year 3085.
John Hoyt as Barlow, a chimpanzee prefect of Kaymak who had introduced gladiatorial fights between the humans in The Gladiators, whose horse competes against Urko's in The Horse Race. Jacqueline Scott, as chimpanzee farmer's daughter Zantes in The Good Seeds as Kira, Galen's chimpanzee ex-fianceé and surgeon in The Surgeon. Discussions for a Planet of the Apes television series were made by producer Arthur P. Jacobs as early as 1971; because of the success of the films, the idea of a television series was put on hold until after the completion of Battle for the Planet of the Apes in the first half of 1973. However, shortly after the premiere of Battle, Jacobs died, his production company APJAC Productions sold all Planet of the Apes rights and privileges to 20th Century Fox. Subsequently, television rights for the first three Planet of the Apes films were sold to CBS and aired in September 1973. Based on high viewership of "movie-of-the-week" TV broadcasts of the first few films, CBS began to focus away from other contenders for a new science-fiction series, including Gene Roddenberry's Genesis II and look at the prospects for an Apes TV series.
Fox and CBS went on to continue Jacob's plans of a series the following year. CBS ordered 14 episodes of Planet of the Apes to be produced; the series was filmed for the most part on location at what is now Malibu Creek State Park, with a budget of about $250,000 for each episode. Slated to air during CBS's Tuesday night family hour, the first regular episode of the series aired on Friday, September 13, 1974 from 8:00-9:00 PM; the remainder of the series aired in this same time slot until December 27, 1974, when its 14th and final broadcast was shown as a result of a premature cancellation of the series due to low ratings. The series' main theme was composed by Lalo Schifrin. Earle Hagen composed the scores for "The Legacy" and "Tomorrow's Tide," while Richard LaSalle wrote an original score for "The Trap." In addition, three episodes received partial scores - Hagen composed one for "The Surgeon," LaSalle handled "The Deception," and music supervisor Lionel Newman composed his only music for the series with "The Interrogation" (those last three, like the other episodes, were otherwise tracked wit
Tenko (TV series)
Tenko is a television drama, co-produced by the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, broadcast between 1981 and 1984. The series dealt with the experiences of British and Dutch women who were captured after the Fall of Singapore in February 1942, after the Japanese invasion, held in a fictional Japanese internment camp on a Japanese-occupied island between Singapore and Australia. Having been separated from their husbands, herded into makeshift holding camps and forgotten by the British War Office, the women have to learn to cope with appalling living conditions, disease and death. Tenko was created by Lavinia Warner after she had conducted research into the internment of nursing corps officer Margot Turner for an edition of This Is Your Life and was convinced of the dramatic potential of the stories of women prisoners of the Japanese. Aside from the first two episodes, set in Singapore, which were written by Paul Wheeler, the series was written by Jill Hyem and Anne Valery. War hero and prisoner of war Dr Margaret Thomson was consulted about the series but she did not like to talk about her experiences and never watched the programmes.
Owing to high production costs, only the first two episodes of the first series were filmed on location in Singapore, together with the post series reunion extended episode. For the majority of series 1 and 2, set in the camp, the programme was filmed in a specially constructed set in Dorset. Hankley Common was used; the series takes its name from the Japanese word "tenko" which means "roll-call". POWs and internees in Japanese-run camps had regular roll-calls, where they had to line up and number off or were counted in Japanese. A total of thirty episodes were produced over three series between 1981 and 1984, followed by a one-off special, Tenko Reunion, in 1985. Only Ann Bell, Stephanie Cole and Claire Oberman appeared in all thirty episodes plus the reunion. Ten fifty-minute episodes broadcast between 22 October-24 December 1981; the first series depicts the fall of Singapore to the invading Japanese forces in 1942, the abortive evacuation of civilians from the city. A group of British and Dutch women find themselves forced to cope with captivity in a Japanese internment camp.
They must find a way to live together as a community, breaking down the barriers of class and race between them, if they are to survive. Ten fifty-minute episodes broadcast between 21 October-23 December 1982; the second series sees the women being marched through the jungle to a new camp, an old mission school. They arrive on New Year's Day 1943, find the new regime a major culture shock after their first year in captivity; as new friends – and enemies – are made, the women realise that they must make the adjustment to internment all over again. Ten fifty-minute episodes broadcast between 7 October-16 December 1984; the third series is set during 1945. The Second World War is over – the Japanese have surrendered; the survivors of the camps are liberated by Allied troops and travel to Singapore. Billeted at Raffles, the women are free. However, peacetime only brings further dilemmas for the women as they struggle to forge new futures in an uncertain new world. A double-length special was broadcast on 26 December 1985.
Set in 1950, the women reunite in Singapore five years after their liberation from the camp. All three series plus the Reunion Special were released in one DVD box-set in 2011 through Acorn Media UK. Three paperback books were published in the 1980s. One covering the first series, titled Tenko, while a second called Last Tenko, covered the second and final series; the third book, written by Anne Valery, covered the Reunion. A book about the making of Tenko called Remembering Tenko by Andy Priestner was published in October 2012. Tenko a website authorised by creator Lavinia Warner Tenko at the BFI's Screenonline Tenko at BBC Programmes Tenko on IMDb Complete cast list and episode guide Lavinia Warner's page on Tenko RealPlayer version of the opening titles, at the BBC Cult homepage A brief essay on the series, an episode guide
Touched by an Angel
Touched by an Angel is an American supernatural drama television series that premiered on CBS on September 21, 1994, ran for 211 episodes and nine seasons until its conclusion on April 27, 2003. Created by John Masius and executive produced by Martha Williamson, the series stars Roma Downey, as an angel named Monica, Della Reese, as her supervisor Tess. Throughout the series, Monica is tasked with bringing guidance and messages from God to various people who are at a crossroads in their lives. From Season Three onward, they are joined by Andrew, the angel of death; the series went into syndication in 1998, has been shown on Ion Television, Hallmark Channel, CBS Drama, Up, Disney Channel UK, Me-TV and Start TV. The episodes of the series revolved around the "cases" of Monica, a young angel promoted from the "search and rescue" division, who works under the guidance of Tess, a sarcastic boss who showed greater respect as an authority figure of her employee, is more of a surrogate mother, than a mentor.
Monica in one episode outlines that she started in the choir annunciations, followed by search and rescue and case work. Most cases involve a single person or a group of people who are at a crossroad in their lives and facing a large problem or tough decision. Monica and Tess bring them messages of hope from God and help give them guidance towards making their decision. During their first episode, the pair receive a red 1972 Cadillac Eldorado convertible as a gift; as the series progresses, Monica continues gaining experience as a case worker and, during some cases having to learn lessons of her own. During the series pilot, an angel of death named. In the season two premiere, "Interview with an Angel", the Angel of Death is introduced as Henry. In the season two episode entitled, "The One That Got Away" Andrew is introduced as the Angel of Death. During season seven, a new angel, Gloria, is sent by God during one of Monica's assignments, who becomes a regular character for seasons eight and nine, as a trainee under Monica and Tess's guidance.
In the series finale, Monica is up for promotion to supervisor, pending the outcome of a difficult case in which she must defend Zack, an innocent drifter accused of causing a boiler explosion at a school two years ago in the small town of Ascension, Colorado. The explosion killed most of the children. During the case, Monica sees many familiar faces, including Joey Machulis, one of Monica's previous assignments, a witness to the events, his brother Wayne, now sheriff, Sophie, a homeless acquaintance, Mike, a lawyer Monica saved during her search and rescue days, now the Mayor. An out of town developer claims Zack is the perpetrator and despite the lack of evidence, Zack is put on trial. Monica does all she can to help him, including asking Mike to represent him, but the prosecutor in the case, Jones, is Satan in disguise, Zack is convicted. After the trial, Monica is able to help the citizens realize their mistake and to see that Zack's return to the town had helped them start living again.
They begin going back to church, welcomed by the pastor. Their change of heart, cannot free Zack, so Monica visits him in jail and reveals that she is an angel, she promises him that she will become his guardian angel, forgoing all future assignments and the coveted promotion, to protect him from harm in prison. When she returns in the morning, the cell is empty; the citizens decide not to search for him, it is revealed that Joey inadvertently caused the explosion after the devil tricked him into turning the boiler too high to warm some kittens he'd found. The perplexed Monica returns to the desert to find Zack. There, she learns that Zack was God, that her defending him was a test, which she passed by being willing to sacrifice herself for him. Monica is promoted to supervisor; as she leaves, she says her goodbyes to Gloria, to Andrew, who gives her a pocket watch to remember their friendship by. Before parting, Tess gives Monica the keys to the Cadillac, as she is leaving her job to sit at God's feet.
Monica is last shown driving away. Roma Downey as Monica, Tess's young, soft kind-hearted angel, sent town-to-town to encourage people. She's the show's main protagonist, she appears in all but two episodes. Della Reese as Tess, a tough and sarcastic, but loving supervisor who plays a key role in every one of Monica's cases. She's the show's main protagonist, she appears in all but three episodes. John Dye as Andrew, known as "the Angel of Death". Appeared in 185 episodes. Valerie Bertinelli as Gloria, an accident prone intelligent angel made to understand the way of life in the 21st century. Appeared in 45 episodes. Alexis Cruz as Rafael, an angel Paul Winfield as Sam, an archangel Charles Rocket as Adam, an angel of death Randy Travis as Wayne Machulis and as Jed Winslow Wendy Phillips as Claire Greene and as Ruth Ann Russell Gerald McRaney as Russell Greene and as Dr. Joe Patcherik Celeste Holm as Hattie Greene Eddie Karr as Nathaniel Greene Paul Wittenburg as Joey Machuli
The Persuaders! is an action/adventure/comedy series starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore, produced by ITC Entertainment, broadcast on ITV and ABC in 1971. The show has been called "the last major entry in the cycle of adventure series that began 11 years earlier with Danger Man in 1960", as well as "the most ambitious and most expensive of Sir Lew Grade's international action adventure series"; the Persuaders! was filmed in Britain and Italy between May 1970 and June 1971. The series is remembered for its distinctive, synth-laden theme music, by John Barry. Despite its focus on the British and American markets, the show became more successful in other international markets, it won its highest awards in Australia and Spain, Roger Moore and Tony Curtis were decorated in Germany and France for their acting. It persists in the memory of European film-makers and audiences, having been casually referenced in 21st-century productions made in Sweden, France and Germany; the show used many of the resources of The Saint.
These included locations and the idea of reusing many of the visible vehicles from episode to episode. The Persuaders are two equally-matched men from different backgrounds who reluctantly team together to solve cases that the police and the courts cannot. Danny Wilde is a rough diamond and moulded in the slums of New York City, who escaped by enlisting in the US Navy, he became a millionaire in the oil business. Curtis himself suffered a tough childhood in the Bronx, served in the US Navy, he was 46 when he made The Persuaders. Lord Brett Rupert George Robert Andrew Sinclair is a polished British nobleman, educated at Harrow and Oxford, a former British Army officer and an ex-racing car driver, who addresses his colleague as "Daniel"; as a pair of globe-trotting millionaire playboys, the men meet on holiday in the French Riviera disliking each other and destroying a hotel bar during a fist-fight. They are arrested and delivered to retired Judge Fulton, who offers them the choice of spending 90 days in jail or helping him to right errors of impunity.
Grudgingly and Sinclair agree to help Fulton to solve a case. He releases them from any threat of jail; the men develop a sparing affection for each other and soon stumble into more adventures, sometimes by chance, sometimes on commission from Judge Fulton. Although the Judge recurs in the series, he has no formal relationship with his two agents. Eleven episodes depict his finding a way to convince Sinclair to act on his behalf. For instance, in "Angie, Angie" he convinces one of the pair. In "The Man in the Middle" he endangers his agents; when they are short of cash he lures them with money. In "Powerswitch" he manipulates events from the shadows, Sinclair and Wilde do not know that he is involved; some episodes rely on Danny being mistaken for other people by some bizarre coincidence. In "Element of Risk", he is mistaken for a criminal mastermind named Lomax, played by Shane Rimmer. In "Anyone Can Play", he is mistaken at a Brighton casino for a Russian spy paymaster. In episode 12, "That's Me Over There", it appears that Sinclair has had a longstanding interest in crime-fighting, as he has had a dedicated telephone line installed for an informer on a master criminal.
In episode 17, "Five Miles to Midnight", Sinclair tells Joan Collins's character that he is working for the judge because it has given him something worthwhile to do after his failed motor racing career. Wilde never explains his motives; the Persuaders! Titles and synthesiser theme, by John Barry, establish the background and current identities of the protagonists via split-screen narrative technique: two dossiers, one red, one blue, labelled Danny Wilde and Brett Sinclair depict their lives; the younger images of Tony Curtis are genuine, whereas the images of Roger Moore were mock-ups created for the credits. As the biographies approach their current ages, a series of four short sequences combine live footage with torn newspaper clippings, connoting their excitingly peripatetic lifestyles; the conclusion shows them together enjoying a life of sport, drink and gambling. The titles were designed so that neither actor would appear to have top billing, something both Moore and Curtis stipulated when they agreed to co-star.
The title sequence retains a certain cachet among professional film editors. In 1995, Peugeot released an advertisement for the 306 car, with the theme of the opening title sequence, the split-screen process and the voice of Michel Roux, who dubbed Tony Curtis in the French broadcast of the original series. In 2007, France 2 satirically used it to introduce a report about relations between the newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his first Prime Minister François Fillon; the protagonists drive signature cars. Danny Wilde drives a red left-hand-drive Dino 246 GT. Brett Sinclair drives a UK-registered Bahama Yellow right-hand-drive 6-cylinder Aston Martin DBS with V8 wheels and markings. Both cars were provided to the show's producers courtesy of the respective vehicle manufacturers; as with Simon Templar - Roger Moore's character in the television series The Saint - Sinclair's car has personalised number plates of his initials: Simon Templar's were "ST 1", Brett Sinclair's are "BS 1".
The true owner of the index number of Sinclair's car, Billy Smart, Jr. permitted its use in the series. The Aston Martin from the show was
Virgin Media Limited is a British company which provides telephone and internet services in the United Kingdom. Its headquarters are in Hampshire. Since 2013, Virgin Media has been a subsidiary of Liberty Global plc, an international television and telecommunications company; the company was listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and London Stock Exchange. Virgin Media is not a sister company of Virgin Mobile USA, owned by Sprint Corporation; the company was founded in March 2006 by the merger of Telewest, which created NTL: Telewest. In July 2006, the company purchased Virgin Mobile UK, creating the first "quadruple-play" media company in the United Kingdom, offering television, mobile phone and fixed-line telephone services. In November 2006, the company signed a deal with Sir Richard Branson to licence the Virgin brand for the combined business. All of the company's consumer services were rebranded under the Virgin Media name in February 2007. Virgin Media owns and operates its own fibre-optic cable network in the United Kingdom, although their optical fibre network does not reach the customer premises, rather they connect to a street cabinet.
As of 31 December 2012, it had a total of 4.8 million cable customers, of whom around 3.79 million were supplied with its television services, around 4.2 million with broadband internet services and around 4.1 million with fixed-line telephony services. At the same date, it had around 3 million mobile telephony customers. Virgin Media competes in broadband with Sky, BT Group and TalkTalk, in mobile with EE, O2, Vodafone and Three; the company's origins lie in both Telewest and NTL, which merged in March 2006. Telewest began in 1984 in Croydon under the name "Croydon Cable", was acquired by United Cable of Denver in 1988; the company expanded during the 1990s and adopted the Telewest name in 1992 following the merger of its then-parent TCI and US West. It expanded into cable television access in 1999 by purchasing the remaining 50% stake in Cable London, one of the first cable TV companies in the UK, from NTL, adding 400,000 homes in north London. In April 2000 Telewest merged with Flextech, in November extended its cable network with the acquisition of Eurobell, taking the total number of homes past 4.9 million.
NTL was established by Barclay Knapp and George Blumenthal in 1993 as "International CableTel", taking advantage of the deregulation of the UK cable market. Cabletel acquired local cable franchises covering Guildford, Northern Ireland and parts of Central Scotland and South Wales. In 1996 CableTel acquired National Transcommunications Limited, the privatised UK Independent Broadcasting Authority transmission network. In 1998 CableTel adopted "NTL" as its new name. NTL purchased the ISP Virgin.net in 2004, having operated it as a joint venture with Virgin Group since it launched in November 1996. It sold ADSL broadband services through BT landlines to those living outside areas served by NTL's cable network and offered subscription-based and subscription-free dial-up Internet access. Prior to acquiring Virgin.net, NTL offered. Telewest and NTL began discussions regarding a merger in late 2003. Thanks to their geographically distinct areas, NTL and Telewest had co-operated as in redirecting potential customers living outside their respective areas.
On 3 October 2005, NTL announced a US$16 billion purchase of Telewest, to form one of the largest media companies in the UK. The merger agreement as structured would have required NTL to negotiate with BBC Worldwide due to a change-of-ownership clause written into the agreement for UKTV, a joint venture with Telewest's Flextech content division. To prevent this, Telewest instead acquired NTL. In December 2005 NTL:Telewest and mobile virtual network operator Virgin Mobile UK announced that talks had taken place regarding a merger. Virgin Mobile's independent directors rejected the original bid of £817 million, taking the view that NTL's bid "undervalued the business". Sir Richard Branson expressed confidence that a restructured deal could go ahead, in January 2006 NTL increased its offer to £961 million. On 4 April 2006, NTL announced a £962.4 million recommended offer for Virgin Mobile. According to reports, Branson accepted a mix of shares and cash, making him a 10.7% shareholder of the combined company.
NTL and Telewest formally completed their merger on 3 March 2006, making the merged company the UK's largest cable provider, with more than 90% of the market. The combined company renamed itself NTL Incorporated, with ex-NTL shareholders controlling 75% of the stock and ex-Telewest shareholders 25%. Nine of the 11 directors of the new board came with two from Telewest. NTL:Telewest's takeover of Virgin Mobile completed on 4 July 2006, creating the UK's first'quadruple play' media company, bringing together television, mobile phone and fixed-line phone services; the deal included a 30-year exclusive branding agreement that saw NTL adopt the "Virgin" name after it completed its merger with Telewest. NTL:Telewest announced on 8 November 2006 it would change its name to "Virgin Media Inc". On 9 November 2006, NTL announced it had approached the commercial television broadcaster ITV plc about a proposed merger, after a similar announcement by ITV. BSkyB blocked the merger on 17 November 2006 by controversially buying a 17.9% stake in ITV plc, a move that attracted anger from NTL shareholder Richard Branson, an investigation from media and telecoms regulator Ofcom.
On 6 December 2006 NTL announced that it had complained to the Office of Fair Trading about BSkyB's
BT Group plc is a British multinational telecommunications holding company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It has operations in around 180 countries and is the largest provider of fixed-line and mobile services in the UK, provides subscription television and IT services. BT's origins date back to the founding of the Electric Telegraph Company in 1846 which developed a nationwide communications network. In 1912, the General Post Office, a government department, became the monopoly telecoms supplier in the United Kingdom; the Post Office Act of 1969 led to the GPO becoming a public corporation. British Telecommunications, trading as British Telecom, was formed in 1980, became independent of the Post Office in 1981. British Telecommunications was privatised in 1984, becoming British Telecommunications plc, with some 50 percent of its shares sold to investors; the Government sold its remaining stake in further share sales in 1991 and 1993. BT is a Royal Warrant holder of the British Royal Family and has a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, a secondary listing on the New York Stock Exchange, is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
BT controls a number of large subsidiaries. BT Global Services division supplies telecoms services to corporate and government customers worldwide, its BT Consumer division supplies telephony and subscription television services in Great Britain to around 18 million customers. A number of owned telegraph companies operated in Britain from 1846 onwards. Among them were: The Electric Telegraph Company British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph Company British Telegraph Company London District Telegraph Company and the United Kingdom Telegraph CompanyThe Telegraph Act 1868 passed the control of all these to the newly formed GPO's Postal Telegraphs Department. With the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 the GPO began to provide telephone services from some of its telegraph exchanges. In 1882 the Postmaster-General, Henry Fawcett started to issue licences to operate a telephone service to private businesses and the telephone system grew under the GPO in some areas and private ownership in others.
The GPO's main competitor, the National Telephone Company, emerged in this market by absorbing other private telephone companies, prior to its absorption into the GPO in 1912. The trunk network was unified under GPO control in 1896 and the local distribution network in 1912. A few municipally owned services remained outside of GPO control; these were Kingston upon Hull and Guernsey. Hull still retains an independent operator, Kingston Communications, though it is no longer municipally controlled. In 1969 the GPO, a government department, became the Post Office, a nationalised industry separate from government. Post Office Telecommunications was one of the divisions; the British Telecom brand was introduced in 1980. On 1 October 1981, this became the official name of Post Office Telecommunications, which became a state-owned corporation independent of the Post Office under the provisions of the British Telecommunications Act 1981. In 1982 BT's monopoly on telecommunications was broken with the granting of a licence to Mercury Communications.
On 19 July 1982, the Government announced its intention to sell shares in British Telecom to the public. On 1 April 1984, British Telecommunications was incorporated as a public limited company in anticipation of the passing of the Telecommunications Bill; this Bill received Royal Assent on 12 April, the transfer to British Telecommunications plc from British Telecom as a statutory corporation of its business, its property, its rights and liabilities took place on 6 August 1984. All shares in the new plc were owned by the Government. In November 1984, 50.2 % of the new company was offered for sale to employees. Shares were listed in London, New York, Toronto and the first day of trading on was 3 December 1984; the Government sold half its remaining interest in December 1991 and the other half in July 1993. In July 1997, the new Labour Government relinquished its Special Share, retained at the time of the flotation, which had given it the power to block a takeover of the company, to appoint two non-executive directors to the Board.
The company changed its trading name to "BT" on 2 April 1991. In 1996 Peter Bonfield was appointed CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee, promising a "rollercoaster ride". In the 1990s, BT entered the Irish telecommunications market through a joint venture with the Electricity Supply Board, the Irish state owned power provider; this venture, entitled Ocean, found its main success through the launch of Ireland's first subscription-free dial-up ISP, oceanfree.net. As a telecoms company it found much less success targeting corporate customers. BT acquired 100% of this venture in 1999. In June 1994 BT and MCI Communications launched Concert Communications Services, a $1 billion joint venture between the two companies, its aim was to build a network which would provide easy global connectivity to multinational corporations. This alliance progressed further on 3 November 1996 when the two companies announced that they had agreed to a merger, creating a global telecommunications company called Concert plc.
The proposal gained approval from the European Commission, the US Department of Justice, the US Federal Communications Commission and looked set to proceed. However, in light of pressure from investors reacting to the slide in BT's share price on the London Stock Exchange, BT reduced its bid price for MCI, releasing MCI from its exclusivity clause and allowing it to speak to other interested parties. On 1 October 1997, Worldcom made a rival bid for MCI which wa