Alastair Yates obituary

alastair yates BBC Midlands TV news

Alastair Yates BBC Midlands TV News circa 1979

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following obituary for Alastair Yates, who died 26th July 2018,  is from his daughter Elspeth:

“Daddy. What do you say about a man who has graced our screens and our hearts for over 4 decades? Alastair (Yates) was a gentleman and a gentle man. Born in Burton upon Trent in 1952 he went on to be schooled at Manor House School, Ashby de la Zouch and the Burton Grammar School. His father instilled in him a love for ‘getting things done’ and a ‘lets have a go’ attitude, which permeated his whole life. He could often be found in the garden shed tinkering with broken equipment or making something. We often joked about his Heath Robinson contraptions and solutions.

Al didn’t enjoy school much but found his passion in DJ’ing for local clubs, and soon got himself a radio slot. His smooth tones and love for information however saw the newsroom make a beeline for him, and in 1978 he first appeared on television on the Midlands Today programme. He worked in regional news for 11 years before opening Sky News with Penny Smith in 1989. The BBC snapped him up in 1992 where he helped to launch the new BBC World Service before it changed ultimately to BBC News 24. With a sense of symmetry, Alastair finished his career back on the radio with Classic FM.

Alastair always enjoyed adventures and loved the outdoors. Family holidays were spent on activity breaks in Europe where he would wile away the days sailing and windsurfing while the children learnt to waterski, play tennis or explore local markets.

In his retirement Alastair could always be found on an evening with a glass of his favourite wine, Viognier or Stellenbosch. But he never really retired, he threw himself into charitable endeavours running communications for the Horse Rangers Association and later becoming Chair and communication lead of the ADHD Richmond charity. He spent all his retirement dedicated to expanding the knowledge and research around ADHD and ensuring parents had the tools they needed.

In the days since he has passed we have been in awe at the amount of people that have commented, tweeted and posted about him. There seem to be endless stories and amusing accounts from people around the world but the overriding sentiment is that he was a gentleman and a consummate professional that everyone loved to work with.

Alastair is survived by his long term partner Ginny, children Elspeth, James and Elyan and two grandchildren.”

Elspeth Yates

It’s amazing what can turn up in a charity shop. Luke Earle found this comp slip, which looks like it is from Radio WM presenter, John Taynton to someone called Roy who presumably won a competition, on a shelf in a Belper charity shop. I wonder how it got there?

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Gyn Freeman: ‘That is so good ….. but yes it would have been a book with an interview, but some review copy and Roy, won it …… so good to hear it was in a Charity shop though ….’

Copyright resides in the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen grabs from the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, in Knutsford, Cheshire. The flower show began in July 1999, with annual coverage by the BBC starting within a year or two.

I was the series producer of the two BBC2 programmes from Tatton Park in 2004. I can’t remember if these photos are from this year or not.

Thanks to editor, Ian Collins for sharing these grabs.

Vanessa Jackson

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen grabs shared by Stuart Allen, of the 1984 regional show, Keen Types, presented by Don Maclean. The series featured different enthusiasts from around the region.

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director and choreographer, Gillian Lynne, who died at the beginning of July 2018, taking a warm up with the crew.

This is from the production The Various Ends of Mrs F’s Friends, transmitted in December 1981.

Included in the photo are, Gillian Lynne, floor Assistant, Mick Murphy next to Gillian, then Pete Edwards, Jack Rooke, Phil Wilson, Keith Schofield, Phil Thickett, Robin Sunderland, Andy Miekle and Keith Froggatt, Jess Bhatti (studio attendant) in the background.

Thanks to Robin Sunderland for sharing the photo.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Mick Murphy: ‘Studio A, ‘The Various Ends Of Mrs F’s Friends’. Scenic services had laid a chequered floor canvas which was creased. Gillian had the idea to get the studio crew in a line to shuffle it smooth…in a dance style routine of course. I was her assistant floor manager, marking time. She was a lovely person. Great picture, happy times.’

Karen Bevins: ‘I was Costume Assistant on it & Al Barnett was Costume Designer ‘

Kate Rolfe: ‘I was the assistant on this production and we finished making it in July 1981 when I went on maternity leave. It was her first telly and she was great fun to work with’