First digi-prompt

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This photo shows Barbara Steele operating the first news digi-prompt machine at Pebble Mill, circa 1990.

This photo was originally posted on the Pebble Mill Engineers’ Facebook page, thanks to Stuart Gandy for allowing it to be shared here.

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

Keith Warrender: Autocue prior to this was generally known as the loo roll. It was manually typed with approximately three or four words per line and was hand cranked along to the speed the presenter needed to speak. They saw a magnified monitor below the camera. It was exciting if an item was dropped due to time or for a more important news story and frantic scrolling was required to go to the next news item. Corrections to Autocue were made with sellotape and scissors!

Mary Sanchez: Yes lovely Barbara… saw her recently and she’s still looking the same! So glamorous! She does not age! On the digi front – I worked on it in the 80’s when first started at Pebble Mill ( Daytime Live-Pamela Armstrong show)and yes indeed we typed about 2 words to a line in some loo roll looking paper and while on air if there were any changes we wrote them in manually and if there were any major cuts we literally cut out the paragraph and stuck it back together with sellotape during a VT!!! Hilarious! Happy manic memories! It’s very different these days in our Midlands Today newsroom!

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