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In the mid-1970s, the Bridlington Free Press changed its format from broadsheet to tabloid. At around the same time newspapers were casting aside traditional hot-metal composition in favour of computerised typesetting, before the final change-over to page make-up on computer monitors.
At the same time, Emmerdale Farm, one of ITV's popular soaps, was to introduce a local newspaper. The TV company approached publishers in the region and eventually the Bridlington Free Press was chosen as the model for the Hotten Courier.

Above: Actor Ronald Magill (right), who played Amos Brearly in the programme, visited the town and is seen with the then Free Press editor Arthur Porter (holding newspaper) and members of the TV company. The Bridlington Free Press had just changed from broadsheet to tabloid and the TV company were present for the launch of the new-style paper. The press is printing copies of the Driffield Times.

Above: The Bridlington Free Press and the Hotten Courier are compared on the harbour, where John Gibson, chief executive of the local council (second left), joins Arthur Porter and Ronald Magill. It's a relief to see that a fictitious paper can also make spelling mistakes on their front page. The heading "Farmer bids for license" should read "Farmer bids for licence."

Article By Mike Wilson 


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