Photo by Maggy Whitehouse, no reproduction without permission.
The photo is of the production office of the ‘Pamela Armstrong Show’, seated at the desk are Peta Newbold and Jane McLuskey. The series went out in 1986/7, after the end of ‘Pebble Mill at One’ in 1986.
The series producer was Juliet May, with Vanessa Whitburn (now the editor of the Archers) one of the producers.
Pamela Armstrong was an ITN news presenter between 1983-6, before joining the BBC, and presenting the breakfast news and ‘Pamela Armstrong’ from Pebble Mill. The show was a chat show with celebrity guests, going out on BBC 2 in the afternoons. It lasted about a year. Pamela Armstrong went on to present ‘Daytime Live’ in 1987, a lunchtime studio magazine show, from Studio C.
Stuart Gandy adds the following information: ‘This was the show that effectively replaced Pebble Mill at One, which had been very successful for over 15 years and a lot of people were sad to see it end. I seem to remember that at the time there was a general feeling that this new show was an attempt to ‘de Birminghamise’ the output from Pebble Mill. (allegedly to fit in with ideas from London). The show had blacked out windows that made the foyer like an inside studio so that the familiar view outside could not be seen. This together with the afternoon slot pulled in far less viewers. The daytime live show that followed it was a complete turn around going back to more like the Pebble Mill format and using every bit of the building to make the programme from. Us engineers had to come up with some novel ideas when the request came in to get facilities into the parts of Pebble Mill that were far from the studios!’
‘Pamela Armstrong’ was one of the first shows Mary Sanchez worked on in the production office, ‘ operating autocue on what looked like wide toilet paper on a magnifying glass. I remember making changes while on the air by cutting out/ tippexing/writing and cellotaping it back together onto the roll !! We went on the air at 4pm and due to v generous hospitality at lunchtime, alot of the guests were a bit worse for wear by the time they went on! Remember the Keith Floyd cookery slots and Fanny Craddock??!’