16 AUGUST 1957, Page 7

I WAS AMUSED last week to see, deftly included in

the correspondence columns of The Times, a Commercial' from Mr. Val Parnell. The Times, Mr. Parnell was complaining, had 'minimised the credit due to ATV for having been the first of the commercial television companies to show a Profit.' Credit? Nobody ever doubted that ATV, with the tremendous show business resources of Mr. Parnell and his colleagues behind it, would be the first to get into the black, provided it was allowed enough rope by' the Independent Tele- vision Authority. It was, and is. This week's TV Times reveals that apart from 'About Re- ligion' on Sunday at 7 (for which, I understand, the ITA asked) and the Epilogue at 11.25, ATV is putting out no serious weekend programme to Provided the 'balance' promised by the TV Act, though it is broadcasting nine American, or crypto-American, films; four variety shows; and two advertising magazines. I am aware that ATV occasionally puts out 'balance' programmes dur- ing the week; their latest experiment being to allow Mr. A. J. P. Taylor to lecture straight, with- out prop or gimmick—a courageous idea. But why should the ITA allow the Act's instructions about 'balance' to be ignored at weekends?