Rally Report














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Rally Report was a BBC 2 series dating from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s, consisting of coverage of the Lombard RAC Rally of Great Britain, which was held annually in the autumn. The show went out each evening, and was quick turnaround. It was presented by Top Gear’s, William Woollard, from Rally headquarters with previews, live stages and twice nightly reports. It was shot on location, edited and transmitted from site. It was often a challenging production logistically. Tony Mason, presented the Rally stage reports. Rally Report was unusual as a sports programme, not made by BBC Sport. In later years it was renamed Top Gear Rally Report, to emphasise the fact that it wasn’t made by Sport, and that a lot of the Top Gear team were involved.

The producers included Phil Franklin, Brian Strachan (until 1986) and Tony Rayner with the executive producers including Derek Smith, Dennis Adams and Tom Ross.

The Car’s The Star














Image copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without pemission.

The Car’s The Star was a series about classic cars, presented by Quentin Willson. It began in 1994. Quentin would tell the story of a particular car, which was interspersed with interviews from its various owners. Jon Bentley was the series producer, with Dennis Adams as executive producer. David Lowe wrote the theme music. Brian Watkiss and Peter Shannon were editors on the early episodes, Gary Vollans did the graphics, and the cameramen included Keith Schofield, John Couzens, Nigel Davey, and Keith Froggatt.

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

Andrew Chorlton: ‘I recorded at least two episodes, Citroen DS and Land Rover, messrs Couzens and Foster on camera respectively. Highlights? Taking a DS down the runway at RAF Wroughton with one wheel removed and checking into a hotel down south with John Wilcox who’s room had been booked in the name of Sir John Wilcox.’

‘Reaching for the Skies’ – photos from Maggie Humphries

Photos from Maggie Humphries (Film Unit).

‘Reaching for the Skies’ was a 12 part documentary series for BBC 2 about the history of aviation, produced at Pebble Mill.  It was transmitted in autumn 1988.  The series was a co-production with CBS TV, John Gau Productions and the BBC.  The producers were Tony Salmon, and Dennis Adams, executive producer: John Gau, series producer: Ivan Rendall, and Anthony Quayle the narrator.  Peter Gower, Gregg Miller and Michael Duxbury edited the series. John Bland cut a small part of episode 1 before Peter Gower took over from him.  Peter cut ‘Pioneers’, ‘Rivals over the Atlantic’, ‘Giants of the Air and ‘The Adventure of Flight’. Because all the Pebble Mill cutting rooms were full, temporary ones were set up at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, along with a production office.  The rooms used at the cricket ground, like Pebble Mill, have since been demolished!

The photos include the F15, from the ‘Fighter’ episode, the Harrier, from ‘Vertical Flight’, the F18, also from ‘Fighter’.  The fourth photo is the P82 Twin Mustang, based on the P51 Mustang (thanks to Paul Hunt for the identification).

The episodes were:

  • Pioneers
  • The Aeroplanes Goes to War
  • Trailbazers
  • Lighter than Air
  • Bombers
  • Quest for Speed
  • Giants of the Air
  • Rivals over the Atlantic
  • Fighters
  • Vertical Flight
  • Victory over the Sea
  • The Adventure of Flight

Harrier: Vertical Flight