Director Mick Murphy, in blue shirt, with Countryfile presenter, Roger Tabor. Possibly Keith Schofield on camera. PA on the ground is Carolyn Smith. The woman in yellow shirt is the researcher.
Countryfile shoot at the Duncan Fearnley cricket bat factory in Worcester.
In the first photo, Jim Knights on camera, in a Magpie crew. Mick Murphy, who directed this film, has his back to the camera and PA Caroline Smith can be glimpsed in the back of shot. The film followed the journey of a cricket bat from willow wood, from Essex to Duncan Fearnley’s factory, to be turned into the final product.
In the second photo, Matt Gray on camera, Keith Conlon on sound, on his knees, Duncan Fearnley (cricket bat maker) in the red jumper.
The following comments were posted on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Alan Miller died on 16th March 2021. He was 69. Alan worked on a whole range of factual shows at Pebble Mill, but particularly Top Gear GTi and Countryfile. I worked with him on a couple of films when I was a researcher on Gardeners’ World in 1991. He was originally a sound recordist who then moved into directing. He will be remembered as a kind, funny and generous man, who taught a lot of us an awful lot. (Vanessa Jackson)
Annette Martin: ‘I first met Alan when I was on attachment to Glasgow as a Vision Mixer and he was in the Sound Dept. He was a generous and friendly colleague and even lent me his tent so I could enjoy the wonderful Scottish countryside. Then we met up again at PM and worked on many programmes together. He was a pleasure to work with and I’m so sad he’s passed on.’
Columbo Street: ‘This is so so sad. Alan’s generosity with his knowledge and experience was the bedrock of my (& many others) early tv life. Such happy memories as a new researcher of filming with Alan and John Craven – from every corner of the UK to Oz, Mauritius and the US … The TV industry in the Midlands and beyond is richer for being lucky enough to have Alan Miller as a part of it.’
Julie Mason: ‘This is very sad news. I worked with Alan a lot, shooting various things but Top Gear Gti in particular. We shared a lot of laughs. Went up and down the M6 – he drove like a lunatic – working with a small, bijou team who shot the items for the UK Horizons spin off. Fun times.’
Jim Knights: ‘Such sad news on the passing of a friend and colleague. Always a pleasure to be his cameraman on shoots. And most importantly always ensured a 1 hour lunch break, excluding travel. Good and generous guy. The likes of which we will never see again.’
David Waine, who has died at the age of 76, had a career with the BBC spanning 30 years ending as Head of Broadcasting at BBC Pebble Mill in Birmingham.
Really sorry to hear of John’s death. He was one of the youngest Exec Producers in the BBC and ran the half-hour Sunday farming programmes 52 weeks of the year. He had a very small staff just two directors, I think 3 Pas, plus two well respected farming presenters, John Cherrington, later his son Dan, and David Richardson. Later, he was joined by Ken Pollock.
It was specifically aimed at farmers and took a look at food production across Britain and Europe including the Common Market. One crew a week would be allocated, which took us around the country and it opened my eyes to the wonders of food production from the abattoir, to growing watercress and our Christmas dinner, be that turkey or goose!
Later on in my career I would often talk with him about broadening the programme, but it never happened although in my mind his programme was the forerunner of the now very successful Countryfile programme that goes out Sunday nights.
John regularly gave me the chance to direct, by offering attachments; one I remember especially was on Dutch-Elm disease, a disease that has devastated the country of these fine trees. He was a good friend.
The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Andrew Thorman: ‘I never knew him but would like to think that those of us who followed in his path were walking a well trodden way.’