John Kenyon

(Jim Dumighan has shared the information below about John Kenyon)

John Kenyon has died, at his home near Skipton, Yorkshire.  He was 83.

John headed the Farming Unit at BBC Midlands for two decades before Gardeners’ World was added to his CV.  His stewardship of the weekly Farming programme over such a long period was testing, given that his output was always closely scrutinised by the powerful farming lobby, led by most rural M.P.s.

In 1978, John took over Gardeners’ World, but still retained responsibility for Farming  Eventually, he opted for the single post of Executive Producer, Gardening Programmes, and remained there until retirement.

Away from farming and gardening, John enjoyed a lengthy attachment in London with the Horizon programme.

A Tynesider, John joined the BBC in Birmingham after graduating in agriculture at King’s College – which later became Newcastle University.  He will be remembered as an energetic and resourceful producer, as well as being a loyal and supportive colleague.

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

Andy Frizzell: ‘A lovely man with a wicked sense of humour. Worked on GW during his tenure and always a joy to work with.’

Ray Sperry

I have received news that Ray Sperry, one of Pebble Mill’s vision crew, has died. Ray started working for the BBC in Birmingham back in the Gosta Green / Broad Street days and during the Pebble Mill period; working both on O.B.s and in the studios.  He rose to become Vision Supervisor on CM1 and CM2, and like everyone else in OBs, lost his job when Outside Broadcasts in the Midlands closed down, in 1992.

A much loved member of the crew, Ray was always convivial, professional and knowledgeable.

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

Robin Sunderland: ‘Ray was a lovely man’

Andy Frizzell: ‘I Remember Ray, as Robin says, lovely man, always a pleasant and knowledgable man. People like him are a breed that’s getting thinner on the ground in the TV industry and we’ll be all the poorer for it. ‘

Malcolm Hickman: ‘As Andy says, Ray was a great bloke. Very helpful when you were trying to put a rig in on OBs. Another good bloke gone.’

 

Christmas show in Studio A

Photo by Malcolm Hickman, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can anyone identify this Christmas entertainment show in Studio A?

Thanks to Malcolm Hickman for sharing the photo.

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

Malcolm Hickman: ‘I have a vague recollection that it was a L.E. Show featuring 5th Dimension, but as it was over 40 years ago, I might be mistaken.’

Andy Frizzell: ‘Not that long ago Malcolm. I think it might have been an ‘Ebony’ spin off. I remember working on it and I only joined the Beeb in 1980. I remember it being a pig to light inside that tent though.’

James French: ‘Yes definitely an ethnic minority programme. I would say about 1985.’

Slade on Pebble Mill

https://www.facebook.com/Sladeforlife/videos/1992287810811937/?fref=mentions

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

This clip of Slade’s Christmas classic is from the lunchtime entertainment show, Pebble Mill, presented by Alan Titchmarsh. It dates from 1991, which was Slade’s final year.

Thanks to Roy Thompson for finding the link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Kate Boston-Williams: ‘Remember it well. We were hauled out of the office to make some noise.’

Rachel Ridge: ‘I met Noddy once at the RTSs… think he was guest of honour as the Greatest Living Midlander and my gosh he lived up to the title. One of the nicest people I’ve ever met and a total gent. Highlight of my telly career.’

Andy Frizzell: ‘Met Noddy Holder couple of months ago for a show on Sky soon. Hasn’t changed much, what a lovely bloke. No airs and graces and very easy to work with.’

Noddy Holder on Sky shoot, photo by Andy Frizzell, no reproduction without permission

Studio A Lighting Grid

Photo by Malcolm Hickman, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo shows the lighting grid for Studio A at Pebble Mill. It probably dates from the 1970s.

Thanks to Malcolm Hickman for sharing the photo.

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

Andy Frizzell: ‘The Lighting ‘barrels’ were on hoists that lowered to the studio floor, there were generally 2 ‘twisters’ per bar. Twisters were dual source lights ‘hard’ fresnel at one end soft ‘fill’ at the other. There were three 5Kw channels on each bar. 10Kw channels were available from the grid above.
On the barrels each lamp had additional ‘pantographs’ to fine tune the height above sets etc.
Towards the end we added DMX moving light connectivity. If memory serves, this was considered a ‘saturation’ rig studio as opposed to the monopole system preferred by the itv companies. No doubt Dave Bushell can elaborate/correct me on the details as he was my NVQ tutor/examiner.’

Dave Bushell: ‘You have given a very succinct description. I worked with monopole systems after leaving the Mill and I can’t say I liked the lack of flexibility they gave. I suppose it’s what you got used to.’