Late Night Line-Up (1968)

Concept and creative process

‘Late Night Line-Up’ was launched in 1964 on BBC2 as a talk show with guests hosted by presenters Denis Tuohy, Michael Dean, Nicholas Tresilian and later Joan Bakewell. The nightly live show broadcast a review of the day’s events, including a round-up of the day’s News headlines, in an irregular post 11pm slot. The show ran without a break until 1972. The titles required a low-key, mellow mood. It was also an early opportunity to create a programme title sequence in colour. Film opticals were expensive in those days and so Sid Sutton decided to capture the sequence entirely in-camera. He had a special hourglass made, through which the sand ran in precisely 30 seconds. Rostrum cameraman Terry Handley shot the sunset footage, which Sid Sutton then back projected on a screen behind the hourglass on a stage at Ealing studios and shot the effect with a live action crew. It was Sid Sutton’s first experience of directing a film crew as he had not yet done the BBC Director’s Course. He recalled that there were a few awkward moments while everyone waited for him to tell them what to do! Once this difficulty was overcome, with help from the seasoned cameraman, the crew got wholly behind the project and did a number of takes until the synchronisation of the sand revealing the title was perfect.

The weekly ‘Late Night Sunday’ was first broadcast in 1967 as a spin-off, informal look back over the week’s television programmes presented by Michael Dean, Tony Bilbow and Joan Bakewell. The titles were the same as the regular ‘Late Night Line-Up’ with the addition of the word ‘Sunday’ in an informal cursive type-style.

Late Night Sunday storyboards