Look! Hear!

'Look Hear' Badge

Look! Hear! was a regional television music and arts show produced at Pebble Mill in the early 1980s which went out in the Midlands on BBC 1.  The series featured genuinely live popular music performances with a studio audience.  It was presented by Toyah Wilcox plus local radio presenters Ann Butler, Liz Cotton, John Holmes and Chris Phipps, who sat around on odd-looking chairs talking about the arts.

Copies of many studio programmes in the 1970s and 80s were not kept by the BBC; they were seen as disposable. Three episodes of Look!Hear! had been lost, but fortunately presenter John Holmes had kept VHS copies of the shows, and so Paul Vanezis from the BBC was to transfer them, and create copies for the BBC programme library.

Thanks to Ian Collins, VT Editor, who worked on the series, for making the badge available.

Midlands Today – photos from Annie Gumbley

Copyright resides with the original photographer, no reproduction without permission.

Midlands Today presenters 1977

This photo shows the Midlands Today presenters from 1977, front row, left to right, Guy Thomas, Kay Alexander, Peter Windows, David Stevens, back row, Michael Hancock, Tom Coyne.

Midlands Today started broadcasting on 28 September 1964, from a studio in Broad Street, Birmingham, and moved to Pebble Mill when the building opened in 1971.

Pebble Mill newsroom 1978

The second photo shows the newsroom itself and includes: Paul Freeman (standing on left), Jo Dewar (on phone), Annie Gumbley (slightly bent over), Julia Gray (Simpkin).

I wonder if the hand bell (foreground) was for organising meetings!

Regional TV, ‘Day Out’ – photos by Gail Herbert

These photos are from the 1983 regional TV series Day Out produced at Pebble Mill.  The first three photos feature Derby; the next four Tewksbury; and the last two the Peak District.  The cameraman in the first photo is Chris Weaver,  in the Tewksbury photos the cameraman is Jim Knights, and soundman Keith Conlon, with Gail Herbert P.A.; the cameraman in the Peak District photos is Pete Smith, Trina Bond the P.A and Mike Derby the director.

Jim Knights & Gail Herbert

Midlands Today 25th Anniversary – Peter Poole

Photo from Peter Poole, copyright resides with the original photographer, no reproduction without permission.

This photo was taken after the 25th Anniversary edition of Midlands Today.  Included in the photo are Darren New, Brian Conway, Jane Patterson in red, Peter Poole, Ann Banks, David Davies, Sue beardsmore, Alan Towers, Howard dartnall, Lynda Maher, Nick Johnson (soundman) a very young Chris Nelson, and Jonathan Dick.  

Thanks to those who helped with identifying people!

Studio B – photos by Peter Poole

Here are a few photos of Studio B taken in 2003.  They include the Studio B production area, sound desk, vision and lighting desk, Calrec mixer, and Midlands Today Studio.  This was my final tour of Pebble Mill. The building looked quite run down. It seemed such a shame that Pebble Mill was being demolished.

Studio B was used for News and Current Affairs. Midlands Today was broadcast seven days a week from here. On Sundays The Midlands at Westminster broadcast live.

The Multicultural Programmes Unit also used Studio B for recording interviews and music.

Studio B gallery was open plan to enable easy communication between production and the technical crew.

I starting working for the Film Unit in 1976. Back then Film was used for most location shooting. The sound was recorded on a Nagra tape recorder. One of my jobs was to copy from the tape to 16mmSepmag film. The film editor then synchronised this with the picture. After editing the sound and picture it was taken to the Dubbing Theatre. The edited  Sepmag  would now be on 3 or 4 rolls. The Dubbing mixer would balance speech, sound effects and music to produce the final mix. My job also sent me on location to assist the sound recordist. After a few years I moved to Milton Keynes. I helped set up the Dubbing Theatre at the BBC Open University Production Centre. After 2 years I was missing Pebble Mill. I moved back to Birmingham and joined the Audio Unit. I worked on many TV and radio programmes. I spent much of my time working on Midlands Today. I left the BBC in 1997. Pebble Mill was a very special place to work.  I feel very privileged for working for the BBC at Pebble Mill.

Studio B Midlands Today Set