Hot Line 1965

"Hot Line", hosted by David Jacobs, was a phone-in show on BBC1 television and was transmitted in late 1965. Production was 'concerned' about the language of callers, let alone their comments, and so a tape delay was constructed to allow time to censor the phone calls. The actual censoring was achieved in the studio's sound gallery using a selector box developed by studio engineering. The late Pete Dunkley was involved with this before he came to VT later in the year.
There is currently much debate as to the actual setup in the basement. Our collective memories are fading somewhat(!!) and, in order to try and sort out exactly what was used, I have put down the two options that have so far come to mind(s). Keep scrolling down to see Option 2.
Additionally, can anyone out there recall the members of the panel (we do know it was 'chaired' by David Jacobs), and any of the production team?
Recently, thanks to Geoff Taylor and Phil Southby, we have found some information about the show itself. It was produced by one Stewart Morris and we have a summary of the edition of May 15th 1965.
"Live programme compered by David Jacobs in which viewers can discuss any subject they like with panel members via the live Hot Line telephone. This weeks panel, Pietro Annigoni, Randolph Churchill, Ginette Spanier, Peter Ustinov
Viewers were requested to send in questions on a post card, the 'best' questions were chosen and the questioners contacted by Hot Line so that they could be put to the panel members live on air. Throughout the programme there were problems with the telephones; viewers were requested not to phone into the BBC as the local switchboard was becoming jammed and interfering with essential services.
QUESTIONS; Mr Aucock of Northwich to Chrchill, Q. Is there any hope of East & West Germany being re-united? A. Churchill said it was better to keep East & West disunited and weak, a view shared by other panel members. Q. Mrs Askdale-Hudson from Harrogate, to Annigoni, re painting ugly women......... "
(that's all we've got!!)

A delay of seventeen seconds was achieved by using two VR1000s as shown below in my rough drawing. VTs 6 and 8 were the record machines and VTs 5 and 7 the transmission machines. Remote start leads were used to avoid the 'tape everywhere' syndrome, and judicious use of the capstan override established a gentle loop.
Because of the unusual tape setup, it was thought best to have a backup pair of machines in case something whent wrong on run-up. In the case I (sort of) remember VT's 5 & 6 were the transmission master with 7 & 8 acting as backing. Again, digging in the depths of my memory, the whole system was run up a minute of so before actual transmission to get the tape loop properly tensioned.
One unforeseen problem was that the opening titles had several quick cuts from peak white to black and back which upset VT6's modulator - at least network had a seventeen second warning of picture disturbances!
Transmission cueing was a challenge as the studio went on air seventeen seconds before network cut to their delayed output!
Unfortunately, the programme was an embarrassing and unmitigated  disaster. Despite continual admonitions by David Jacobs for the callers to turn off their TVs while they were on air, they steadfastly refused to do so - perhaps they thought somehow they'd see themselves on TV. The result was total confusion with the callers responding to comments they heard over the phone, then again seventeen seconds later to the same comment coming out of the TV sets, the whole interspersed with long periods of confused silence.  David Jacobs must have felt that his career was fading away before him, and the programme was taken off after only two editions.
No photographs of the rig were, to my knowledge, ever taken, but evidence is available - see the photograph below the drawing! I can recall working on one of the programmes - I think I was record machine.

This photograph of VT 6, taken in January 1966 by the late Pete Dunkley, clearly shows the two holes in the machine console where the feed roller was bolted to take the tape away towards VT5.

A delay of seventeen seconds was achieved by using two VR1000s as shown below in my second rough drawing. VT 5 was the record machine and VT 6 the transmission machine. Remote start leads were used to avoid the 'tape everywhere' syndrome, and judicious use of the capstan override established a gentle loop.
Guides were used to persuade the tape to rotate through 90 degrees and run 'on its back' between the machines.
Brian Jenkinson, the mastermind behind the project, recalls the setup as in the drawing below, with only one pair of machines. This layout raises another question - what were the holes in VT6's console for?
if anyone else has memories of this event, please get in touch and let me know what you can remember - it was nearly 41 years ago........., but it would be nice to pull together a definitive version for posterity!

Other broadcasting organisations did things 'their way' (see below)
ABC tape delay
I have very little information about this picture (investigations under way), but it seems to be two RCA TR22 machines with a tape delay of about ten seconds between them. I have no idea where or what show used this facility, but, from experience of TR22 tension arms, "Run VT" must have been an exciting experience!