Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission



















These screen grabs are from the documentary Islamophobia, it went out on BBC 2, 18th August 2001 at 19.25. Here is the entry from the Radio Times, courtesy of the BBC Genome project:

“Concluding the week-long season of programmes reflecting contemporary life for Muslims in the UK.
Jeremy Bowen investigates, by means of personal testimony, secret filming and a nationwide survey, the extent to which racism affects the lives of Muslims in Britain. Specific examples which may point to a deep-seated historical prejudice in the west towards Islam include an arson attack on an east London Islamic centre, a British National Party statement referring to a “Muslim problem” rather than an Asian one, and the detention and humiliation of an innocent Muslim man in the USA in the wake of the Oklahoma bombing. Producer John Das : Editor Ruth Pitt.”

Thanks to Ian Collins for sharing these stills.

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

Fiona Stennett: ‘I was the dubbing assistant on this, with Ben Peissel mixing. I remember it being a very tense day!’

Adam Trotman: ‘I cut it… if I rememeber it was Tx’d just weeks before 9/11

What the documentary showed at that time was Britain wasn’t actually Islamaphobic…just ignorant about the religon really… Then Two Buildings fall in USA ….

John and I and the amazing researcher of the show often talked of doing a sequel to it alas never came to pass.’

Fellow Traveller poster and script front page


Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission






























Thanks to Ann Chancellor-Davies for sharing this promotional film poster, and the front page of the rehearsal script, (Ann’s huband Gavin, was the production designer on the film). It never ceases to surprise and delight me, how many script front pages have been kept by people – they are such a mine of useful information!

Fellow Traveller was the only cinematic feature film to be made at Pebble Mill, it was transmitted on 10th February, 1991 on BBC2.

Below is the entry from the Radio Times, courtesy of the BBC Genome project:

“Starring Ron Silver, Imogen Stubbs, Daniel J Travanti, Hart Bochner
1950s Hollywood: the McCarthy senate committee is conducting a witch-hunt for supposed communists in the entertainment industry and betrayal is in the air. For three friends this proves to be a disaster – for the writer who must work incognito for the emerging ITV in England; for the musician now living in England, a painful renewal of old wounds; and for the star a final performance.
Producer Michael Wearing, Director Philip Saville”

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

Roger Slater: ‘I was Sound Mixer, ably assisted by the late great Tim Everett as Boom Operator and Benedict Peissel as Sound Assistant. Shot in Bray Studios and on location in the UK and Miami.’

Lesley Weaver: ‘I was the Hair & Make Up Designer, a privilege to work on this artistically challenging film as it covered historically wonderful periods for make & up and hair.

It took me to New York for photo shoots, Miami, The Keys glorious sea shore and numerous UK locations including Bray Film studios.

The fun recreation of 1950’s Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Sheriff of Nottingham and all the Merry (Stunt) Men.
Fighting scenes shot in Gavin Davies’s amazing huge forest built at Bray Film Studios.

Sue O’Neill was my lovely able Senior Assistant in the UK, amongst a team of talented make up girls and the late Peter Shepherd in the US.

We did 20’s 40’s & 50’s wigs, cut throats, pumping wounds and black blood for early 1950’s black & white TV make up… I remember Sue O’Neill baking her prosthetics around the country in various hotel ovens over night! Such dedication!
From Art Deco offices to post war austere London bedsits and disagreeable landladies. Then over to the warmth & glow of Hollywood party life with dazzling costumes glamorous film stars & cars, the McCarthy Committee cloud over Hollywood and suicide in coral swimming pools. It had it all for make up & costume!
Always a great laugh to work with Al Barnett Costume Designer extraordinaire and all the other talent technicians on the production ….. And let us not forget costume design assistant, Amin Hassan who we sadly lost a few week ago!

Writer Micheal Eaton was enthusiastically on set everyday and excited to be ‘wigged up’ for his Hitchcockesque cameo scenes! …

….. it was always a pleasure to find yourself working on one of Micheal Wearing’s productions as you knew all your hard work would contribute to something worthwhile.

How lucky was I?

Oh Happy Happy Days !!’











A Blue Plaque for Pebble Mill?

Copyright Ben Peissel, no reproduction without permission

Copyright Ben Peissel, no reproduction without permission













Let’s have a plaque for Pebble Mill.

If you walk down Pebble Mill Road today you won’t find any evidence this iconic Broadcasting Centre ever existed. It’s like it has been airbrushed from history. Now Gisela Stuart MP has promised to back our campaign to mark this once groundbreaking building with a blue plaque in the Road which bore its name. Standby for more campaign updates.

Steve Weddle


Sam Coley interviews Ben Peissel

Benedict Peissel is a Dubbing Mixer who specialises in post production audio for television across a wide range of genres (Factual, Drama, Animation & Documentary).
Between January 1985 – 1994 he was an Audio Assistant at BBC Pebble Mill and then from 1994 – 1996 he progressed to the position of Audio Supervisor and from 1996 to the present day as Dubbing Mixer (latterly as a freelancer).

In the following transcription, he looks back on his time at Pebble Mill and how it prepared him for a career in audio production…

(Sam Coley – Birmingham City University)

Ben Peissel, with mixer. Photo by Sam Coley, no reproduction without permission

Ben Peissel, with mixing desk. Photo by Sam Coley, no reproduction without permission











“I started at the BBC 30 years ago as a trainee audio assistant completing a three year apprenticeship. During that time, I worked in radio and television studios, radio and television outside broadcasts, location sound recording and TV post production. So, wherever there was a need for sound in a production, as a trainee, I would work on it – and that gave me a fantastic grounding to appreciate sound in all its diverse wonders!”

“Pebble Mill in Birmingham was pretty much unique amongst all the BBC bases, in that the Audio department serviced both radio and TV, whereas in most other parts of the BBC you were compartmentalised into television, radio, location or OBs. That notion of being tied to one element, whether it was radio or TV, seemed far too restrictive. At Pebble Mill the idea was that if you worked across all of the craft areas, your spread of experience meant you could be more flexibly deployed.”

“Some people would say you ended up as a ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’! I actually think the opposite, it was handled very well in the sense that, at a junior level you ended up with a really good grounding across all the genres, but as you progressed, you might start to specialise in two or three areas.  In my case, TV and radio outside broadcasts and post production sound, became my forte. For other people, perhaps they would specialise purely in radio drama work, or documentary work, or light entertainment TV work. There was enough scope for people to have specialisms, but also, if the need arose, to jump in and still do the basics, like clip a microphone, on somebody.”

“I think I was very fortunate to have landed up in a job like that, in a culture that fostered innovation and collaboration across the board.   Pebble Mill, the people and the place, thrived on the cross-fertilisation between radio and TV, and vice versa – and in fact neither radio or TV was seen as better than the other, they were just seen as interlocking parts of a bigger jigsaw puzzle.

(Benedict Peissel – Dubbing Mixer)

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

Carolyn Davies: ‘I’m proud to have been a member of Pebble Mill’s Audio Unit, best training ground and best variety of work in the country…..sentiments echoed completely here…hope you are well Ben!’

Pete Simpkin: ‘I agree that the wider the early experience the better the basic training. I was lucky in the 1960s to be a member of one of the early ‘sub-region’ units…we were the original multi-taskers. We were engineers by definition but handled all aspects of audio and video from studio camera ops to OBs, area VHF news broadcasts, telecine to audio mixing,film processing and at the start even changing the toilet rolls in the loos! Didn’t get far with the last one there but I enjoyed every minute and with all the knowledge was able to transfer eventually to Local Radio Production where the multi tasking went on!’

1/4″ audiotape – Charles White

quarter inch recorded on location, transferred to 16mm mag, then cut to bits. CW













Copyright, Charles White, no reproduction without permission.

A stack of 1/4″ audiotapes recorded on location, transferred to 16mm magnetic tape, and then cut to bits in the edit. The items here include Top Gear inserts, and Pebble Mill at One inserts on midwifery.

These were the master 1/4″ tape recordings from location, made from progs about 1986. The sound recordist locked sync on a Nagra using Crystal sync, and they matched the 16mm film, when it was transferred back in Sound transfer, by messrs Poole, Peissel, et al. We as assistant editors then locked the Mag and film on a 6-way Acmade using the Clapper board frame to synchronise. This could be done using the ‘front’ or ‘end’ board.

Thanks to editor Charles White for sharing the photo, adding the information – and for keeping the audio!

Sharon Pemberton using the Acmade. Photo by Peter Poole

Sharon Pemberton using the Acmade. Photo by Peter Poole













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

Peter Poole: ‘The transfer suite often worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week at busy times. Not the most exciting job but very good overtime!’

Alan Miller: ‘In Scotland we synced up using a device known as a Pic Sync, Does that mean it was probably actually an Acmade?’

Dawn Trotman: ‘We called them pic syncs too.. goodness that takes me back to chinagraphs keeping your hair up and splicers with your initials carved on them .. people also tried to steal a good one … Happy days when you had time to think!’