Norman Collins

Norman Collins (1907-1982) was a British writer, and later a radio and television executive, who became one of the major figures behind the establishment of the Independent Television (ITV) network in the UK. This was the first organisation to break the BBC's broadcasting monopoly when it began transmitting in 1955.

While at the BBC he was appointed the Controller of the Light Programme where he created two of the most iconic programmes in the history of British radio broadcasting, the adventure series Dick Barton: Special Agent, which ran for 711 episodes between 1946 and 1951, and the incredibly long-lived Woman's Hour, first broadcast in 1946 and still running every weekday on BBC Radio 4.

Collins' huge success as Controller of the Light Programme led to his appointment in 1947 as Controller of the BBC Television Service but in 1950 left the BBC with a strong desire to see the establishment of a televisual competitor to the Corporation, which since the 1920s had held a complete monopoly on broadcasting in the UK, both radio and television. After the establishment of independant television he took on the role of Deputy Chairman of ATV, but was effectively sidelined by the force of personality of the company's other senior directors, Prince Littler and Lew Grade.

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Year  Book  Comment
1829 Black Ivory The story of Ralph Rudd, a cabin boy on the slaver Nero

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