A now forgotten alternative to the commercial break in the early days of British commercial television was the Advertising Magazine (or ‘Admag’) in which performers were allowed to extol the virtues of various products during the course of a generally vapid quarter-hour of chat.
Jim’s Inn was the best-known example. The show featured Jimmy Hanley and his real-life wife Maggie (Margaret Avery) running a cosy pub in the (fictitious) village of Wembleham, providing the perfect opportunity for visitors to the pub to discuss a variety of products over a pint or two.
Each 15-minute episode went out live, once a week, at 10:45 pm and the series became almost something of a soap opera.
Pub regulars were played by played by Roma Cresswell, John Sherlock, Jack Edwardes, Diane Watts, Dennis Bowen, Ken Howard and Victor Platt. Jim’s Inn ran from 1957 until 1963, and Jimmy Hanley ended up on the children’s television series The Five O’ Clock Club.
Other Admags included About Homes and Gardens (1956) with Noele Gordon, Bazaar (1957 – 1959), Flair, Girl With a Date, In Store (with Kenneth Horne and Tommy Trinder), Over the Hills (1956), Send for Saunders, Shop on the Corner, What’s in Store? (1956), What’s New? (1957) and Where Shall We Go? (1956).
The facility was withdrawn by the Independent Television Authority in 1963 when Parliament outlawed Admags.