Children in Need with Alan Towers

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

These stills are from Children in Need from the early 1980s. These would have been from the Midlands contribution into the national Children in Need show. The presenter was Alan Towers, who was one of the Midlands Today presenter. The first still shows the volunteers taking the pledges of money on the phones.

Thanks to Stuart Allen for sharing the photos.

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

Ann Gumbley Williams: ‘Worked with Alan as assistant on the very first Children in Need. I was in the Gallery on my own when London said they were coming to Birmingham in 30 seconds. Had to run around to the newsroom and grab Alan and all those involve. Just about got there in time! Such memories, the first one was so crazy and laid back and hairy! If you can be both.’

Gary Hudson: ‘I knew Alan before I worked for the BBC, and on my first day he took me to one side:”Staff job, eh? Find yourself an empty office on the fifth floor and stay there till you collect your pension.”
Variously called everything from Beckenbauer to Uncle Barmy, he was a great character, loyal friend and I miss him. His wicked sense of humour wasn’t confined to the infamous farewell speech. Who remembers the Christmas studio decorations sign-off? As I recall, it was something like: ‘Do you like our Christmas tree? The fairies put it up in the middle of the night. Thanks, boys!”

Vote for Them – aircraft shots

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

These publicity photos were almost certainly taken by Willoughby Gullachsen, and were used to publicise the three part drama serial: Vote for Them, written by David Edgar and Neil Grant.  The show was transmitted in June 1989. Carol Parks was the producer, Michael Wearing the executive producer, and James Ormerod was the director.

This link to the BBC Genome project gives more information about the drama from the original Radio Times:

Thanks to costume designer, Janice Rider, for sharing the photos.

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

Neil Grant: ‘The aircraft is a Supermarine Spitfire, though not one of the earliest Marks as it has a four bladed propeller. Simon Adams is on the left – he played Aircraftsman “Nobby” Clarke – together with, I think, Peter Llewellyn Williams, who played Aircraftsman Bill Beatty.’

Diane Lester: ‘An early example of a supermarine spitfire. ..we filmed these scenes at an airfield just north of Salisbury, and had a hurricane and other planes there, including an American one. All the planes flew in, and on the last day we filmed with them,the spitfire and hurricane took off and did a victory roll over the airfield ….very spectacular.’

Mary Sanchez: ‘This was my first drama I worked on as a floor assistant (runner) . Having to identify about 100 extras and main characters all in uniform was quite a tall order! A really lovely bunch though.’

Gary Hudson: ‘I’m guessing a Mk IX Spitfire, but experts will know. In 1989 hardly any of the Battle of Britain-era ones were still flying, and I’m assuming this one is authentic (not a replica) and was airworthy, or else how did it get there? Mary, Diana? There were only a couple of Hurricanes flying then, I believe, but again someone will know.’


Children in Need walk through Birmingham

Photos from ‘Children in Need’ organiser, Marie Phillips.

The photos are from the  1996 ‘Children in Need’ Toddle through Centenary Square in Birmingham, outside the Hyatt hotel.  Included are ‘Midlands Today’ presenters Sue Beardsmore, David Davies, Shefali Oza and Gary Hudson, as well as director Merrick Simmonds, and cameraman Jamie Knights.

Marie Phillips is pictured with Aston Villa player, Shaun Teale, in the third photo.  Apparently she had her photo taken with Shaun to make her Villa supporting son, jealous!