Radio Birmingham trip on the river – photo by Annie Gumbley

Photograph by Annie Gumbley, no reproduction without permission.

The photo shows a Radio Birmingham trip on the river Severn at Worcester, featuring Geoff Meade and Andrew Thorman. Geoff Meade now works for Sky News, and Andrew Thorman is executive producer of ‘Countryfile’ and the farming output on Radio 4.

Countryfile – photo from Pam Relton

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

This is an early photo of the ‘Countryfile’ production team, and includes:
Back row l to r: Dan Cherrington, ?, Susie Lightfoot, Mark Jobst, ?, Julia Gillet, Caroline Smith, Anne Stevens.
next row: Mike Derby, Janice Wallace, Mike Fitzgerald, Patrick Flavelle, Jo Toye, Penny Searley, Mick Murphy
next row: John Clarke, Pam Relton, ?, Ruth Patterson, Yasmin Archer, Katharine Lapworth, Lynn Cullimore
Next row: ?, Ian Breach, Anne Brown, Chris Baines.

Apparently the photo was taken by the Press Office either as part of a publicity drive, or just before the Christmas Party.

The ‘Countryfile’ team did get together from time to time and had several epic Xmas parties hosted by Mike Fitzgerald. Long lunch and a return to the Club bar where revelry would include Mick Murphy playing the piano for a sing-song.

Countryfile’ began life in 1988.  The rural affairs magazine show was fronted by John Craven for the next twenty years.  It used to be transmitted on a Sunday morning, until the move to the 7pm Sunday evening slot in 2009.  It is still made by BBC Birmingham.

The photo was taken on the front lawn of Pebble Mill, with Reception behind.

Thanks to Patrick Flavelle and Mike Fitzgerald for the additional information.

Patrick makes the following comment about working on ‘Countryfile’:

“I remain convinced that while it was a Press Office pic….it was actually taken on the day of the first Xmas party….we’re all togged up esp Murph with his DJ….Janice’s hair-do etc….but no matter the circ’s it bringsback v fond memories of a lovely team of people…I still tease my dear friend John Craven about the fact I worked in Countryfile before he did!!! ( He joined about 1year in)
In fact my claim to fame (Fitz would put me right on this one)…I think I was the first person after Fitz himself to work on Countryfile on a rolling weekly contract in the crossover between Farming and CF…I was so happy to be involved….and ended up there for over 10 years…happy memories galore.”

Patrick Flavelle filming 1989 – photo by Gail Herbert

Photo by Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

This photo from 1989 is of Patrick Flavelle, on the left, (with the clipboard), directing on ‘Countryfile’.  The man with the rabbit is presenter Roger Tabor.

Patrick adds the following comment:

‘It was for a piece called ‘What’s British?’ about common animals and plants that you might imagine were native to Britain. Rabbits,not, Horse Chestnut, not etc Roger Tabor presenting and shot at Packington Estate who were really helpful. No facility fee as long as we didn’t say where we were. Very unlike the National Trust!
Nigel Davey on camera I think and my first solo shoot as Director. Clipboard, bouffant hair and pretending I know what I’m doing.’