Are you familiar with Carole Hersee? For 30 years, she appeared on TV for a number of hours each day. She continues to hold the record for most television appearances in British history.
The BBC test card, referred to as Test Card F, which features Bubbles the clown surrounded by color scales and test images and Carole Hersee wearing a red blouse and hairband, was shown from 1967 to 1998.
It was created by Miss Hersee’s father, George Hersee, a BBC engineer, and is presently being rebroadcast on the BBC’s high definition (HD) channel for 90 seconds every two hours when no programming is airing to assist viewers with tuning their HD sets. To enable viewers to control the color, contrast, and sharpness on contemporary televisions, technicians rescanned the card in HD.
She told The Telegraph in 2009, “I think it [the record] is staggering, and now that it has been brought back, there is no hope for anyone else to get anywhere close to that record.” Because none of the other test cards had, “when we did it, nobody thought it would last for more than a few years.”
Test Card F, the most well-known test card of all, is still in use by the BBC and in 30 other nations. It debuted on BBC2 in 1967 and was created by George Hersee, starring his daughter Carole Hersee.
The image above the top is Test Card F, BBC2. Did you know that the X on the noughts and crosses board served as a rough guide to the card’s center? The labels for the frequency grating and the addition of a color bar at the top are the main modifications between the original and the current edition.
Test Card F had an electronic conversion in 1984. This sample, which is a curious hybrid from 1981, is older than that. The identifier is electronically superimposed over the slide’s “BBC2” text to create the Test Card, which is generated by a slide scanner. The color bars are introduced at the top and are unevenly superimposed in this example.
Since it debuted on BBC 2 in 1967, Test Card F has been broadcast for an estimated 70,000 hours, and Hersee is reputed to have made the most TV appearances of any one person. Although Gillian, Carole’s younger sister, was present for the shoot, she wasn’t included in the final image since she had recently lost two of her front teeth.
“My father was helping to design the color test card and took some photographs at the home of my sister and me to give them some ideas of how they could use it,” the woman remembered. The group ultimately chose to utilize a youngster to obtain the right facial hues for the television. And they chose to employ me!”
She continued, “I think I got irritable, apparently,” in reference to the photo shoot. I was munching a biscuit or whatever every time they wanted to take another picture, you see!”
Carole received £100 for the photo she appeared in, and she still has custody of Bubbles, the renowned clown who posed alongside her during the photo shoot.
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