Welcome to Six-Five Special

In the early days of television in the UK, both BBC & ITV had observed what became known as “the toddlers’ truce” with a break in transmissions between 6 and 7 o’clock in the evenings. This was designed to enable parents to put their youngest children to bed without any “TV tantrums”, because, as far as these children knew, broadcasts had finished for the day at that point.

The truce ended suddenly on Saturday 16th February 1957, with the first edition of BBC TV’s Six-Five Special, which, in line with its title, commenced at five minutes past six. A couple of days later, the BBC began its long-running Tonight show, which was broadcast in the same slot from Monday to Friday, ITV followed suit with their own programmes, and the rest is now part of TV history.

The aim was to provide a music programme for the youth market, paying particular attention to the then current trends towards, jazz, skiffle and rock ‘n’ roll. To produce and introduce Six-Five Special, the BBC appointed new recruit Jack Good and Josephine Douglas, already something of a BBC stalwart. Initially they co-produced but later took it in turns.