1 9 6 5 – 1 9 7 2 (UK)
1,695 x 30/35/40 minute episodes
Following the demise of the long-running BBC show Tonight, Cliff Michelmore and a number of that show’s cast reappeared in 24 Hours, a new nightly current affairs magazine programme, premiering on 4 October 1965.
This time though – as the title suggested – the news of the day dominated proceedings, and the new show was altogether a more serious affair, with much of the scepticism, irreverence and experimentation of Tonight abandoned.
Five film crews travelled the world to film short in-depth behind-the-news documentary segments, with reporters including Robin Day, Fyfe Robertson, Michael Parkinson, Michael Aspel, Julian Pettifer (unenviably titled “the war reporter” when reporting from Vietnam), Bernard Falk, David Jessel, James Hogg, Max Hastings, David Lomax, Philip Tibenham and Tom Mangold.
The show also featured in-studio panel discussions and debates, usually with an invited “expert” audience.
The final edition of 24 Hours was transmitted on Friday 14 July 1972. The cancellation was part of the BBC’s new pattern of current affairs programmes, with Nationwide transmitted five nights a week, Panorama keeping its Monday slot, a new late-night mid-week programme airing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and a discussion programme being transmitted on Thursdays and Fridays.