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The Avengers Declassified

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Avengers on the Radio designed, maintained and Copyright by Alan and Alys Hayes.

The Avengers is Copyright CANAL+IMAGE UK Ltd. No attempt to infringe this copyright is intended. 

7. THREE DECADES ON...

The Avengers ran non-stop, without repeats, until 28th December 1973. A few days later, on 1st January 1974, it was replaced by another famous Lever Brothers serial, The Mind of Tracy Dark, which ran until 1979. This in turn was replaced by The World of Dick Francis, which continued until 1985, when it was dropped from the Springbok Radio schedule. By this time, Springbok Radio had just been reduced to a mere six hours programming a day. It was the beginning of the end for the station, which had been the most popular of those run by the South African Broadcasting Corporation. And the end came pretty swiftly...

SABC Rebranded for the New Millennium

The Modern SABC...
Rebranded for the new Millennium.

The reason? Well, in the mid-Seventies, South Africa finally launched itself into the TV age with the introduction of the country's first television service on a single channel. Test transmissions started on May 5th 1975, and the official service was launched on January 5th 1976. This had serious repercussions for radio, which came under increasing pressure from the new service. Springbok Radio saw its audience steadily decline and, despite protests from many loyal listeners, the station was finally closed down at midnight on December 31st 1985. The SABC replaced it with Radio South Africa - later renamed SAFM. This new station effectively continued the work of the old 'English Service'.

SONOVISION AND THE AVENGERS TODAY...

Sonovision Studios still exists, though it has moved to new buildings at 40 Wessell Road in the Rivonia district of Sandton, a northern suburb of Johannesburg. The studio is now owned and run by John Culverwell and Louis Van Ass, a former colleague of the late David Gooden.

No production documentation relating to The Avengers is thought to have survived, either at the SABC, or at Sonovision.

Despite being a major success in South Africa, the fact that the great majority of these serials no longer exist leaves the Sonovision series as an oft-forgotten footnote to The Avengers. It could have been so much more.

TheAvengers.TV are delighted that this Internet tribute has revitalised interest in the series.

by Alan Hayes with Donald Monat and Frans Erasmus