An amazing place to work – Andy Tylee

Original foyer At Pebble Mill

Original foyer At Pebble Mill

The Queen visiting the Pebble Mill at One foyer studio in 1981. Photo from Keith Brook.

The Queen visiting Pebble Mill at One foyer studio in 1981. Phil Sidey in front of the stepladder. Photo from Keith Brook.

 

I worked at Pebble Mill between 1979 and 1987. It didn’t actually feel like going to work – more like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It was supposed to have been the Midlands’ white elephant, but Phil Sidey in particular and the staff in general ensured that the place soared above that position. Phil was an unpredictable, iconoclastic genius and polymath who for me personified the very best of the BBC’s creative, risk taking spirit. His invention of daily live TV from the foyer, rather than a studio made the atmosphere in the building crackle with excitement and tension. It was a genuinely amazing place to work.

The BBC’s decision to shut and demolish was an act of insane vandalism. The Mailbox is risible by comparison.

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