Pot Black

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo is of Jim Dumighan and producer Reg Perrin on the popular snooker series, Pot Black, which was made at Pebble Mill. It looks like the programme planning blackboard in the background.

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

Julian Hitchcock: ‘We recorded it just after Christmas. Wonderful convivial days.’

Gordon Astley: ‘Pot Black was my first job when I joined the Beeb. On the first episode it was my responsibility to press ‘play’ on the tape machine for the iconic theme tune !’

Dawn and Kevin Hudson, with their Pot Black T-shirts

Sophia and Constance at Black Country Museum

Photos from Dawn and Kevin Hudson, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photos show the crew and crafts people setting up for the shooting of the 1988 six part drama series: Sophia and Constance at the Black Country Museum. The series was recorded on the outside broadcast truck CM3.

Thanks for Dawn and Kevin Hudson for sharing the photos.

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Albert Sheard: ‘Second photo, left to right Stan Morgan/ Kevin Lakin /Frank Crow in the cap / Dave Bushall aka Gonzo /Kevin Hudson / and Peter Potter kneeling. All great lads, 3 of them no longer with us.’

A Sort of Innocence – James French

Behind the Scenes; A Sort of Innocence from pebblemill on Vimeo.

Video copyright, James French, no reproduction without permission.

James French has provided the following information about this behind the scenes footage which he recorded on location for A Sort of Innoncence, known as ‘The Hereford Project’ at the time. The first sequence is by the river in Hereford and the other involves a low-loader being rigged at Chateau Impney in Droitwich Spa:

This was a two camera shoot using CM2 and I (James French) was second camera, Keith Salmon camera. The cameras were Philips LDK 514s with Angenieux lenses for the techie-types.

The Director was John Gorrie. You hear him but don’t see him in the first sequence. The 1st AD is Peter Rose, who went on to direct several soaps including Crossroads, Eastenders and Coronation Street. Main actor: Kenneth Cranham. Boy: Neil Jeffery, LD: Barry Chatfield, Sparks: Dave Walter, Sound: Tony Wass, Tim Everett.

It was in 1986 I think.

I am embarrassed that I can’t remember the grip’s name and I think the cable basher is rigger, Barry but can’t remember his surname.

Second clip

EM: Dave Robinson, Spark: Roger Hynes (can’t remember the other guy), Director: John Gorrie seen sitting on the kerb in the early panning shot, Engineer: Peter Eggleston, Vision Mixer: Roger Sutton, Rigger: George Stephenson, Editor: Mike Bloore.

Here is the Radio Times entry from the first episode courtesy of the BBC Genome project:

A six-part serial by ALICK ROWE Episode 1 starring
Kenneth Cranham Cheryl Campbell Michael Byrne
Introducing Neil Jeffery Elizabeth Fellowes seems well suited to life in a small cathedral town. Her husband, Mark, teaches at the cathedral school where her son, Tim, is a chorister. Unknown to the family, boardroom battles are taking place elsewhere. These are to have a dramatic effect on their future lives together.
Music composed by RICHARD HARVEY Script editor JENNY SHERIDAN Designers
MYLES LANG. AMANDA ATKINSON Producer RUTH BOSWELL Director JOHN GORRIE

genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/56046536e8054c6fb2167b2d10c5920f

 

behind the scenes on A Sort of Innocence

behind the scenes on A Sort of Innocence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Diana Lester: ‘Thanks James, I cannot believe that was over 30 years ago. …lovely to see faces from the past, many who unfortunately are no longer with us ….and we all look so young !!’

Karen Lamb: ‘Hearing Keith’s voice again was so special saying “don’t point it at the sun” such wonderful memories working on crew 5.’

Dawn/Kevin Hudson: ‘Great memories,the grip was Ronnie Fleet, and the fella brushing the path was affectionately known as Gonzo.’

Richard Stevenson: ‘Great clip. Is Tim booming wearing a tie?! Those were the days.’

Terrance Dicks at the Forgotten Dramas Conference

Royal Holloway, part of the University of London, held a conference from 23-25 April, 2015, entitled: Television Drama: the Forgotten, the Lost and the Neglected. The conference brought together academics and former programme makers, and several of the sessions had a relevance to BBC Pebble Mill.

The final session of the conference was an interview with producer Terrance Dicks by academic, Billy Smart. Dicks is well known for his work on Dr Who, but here he was talking about his role on the Classic Serial 1981-8, first as a script editor, and then as producer. The Classic Serial went out on BBC1 on a Sunday afternoon, and was designed to be family viewing. It was part of the Series and Serials department, and always involved the adaptation of a classic novel, Dickens being a favourite author. It was an expensive strand to produce because of all the design costs. Dicks pointed out the similarities between Dr Who and The Classic Serial, in that both are a series of serials.

Great Expectations, BBC1,1981, was an early production when Terrance Dicks was a script editor. The novel was adapted for television by James Andrew Hall and was a significant success. Dicks described the role of the script editor as planning the production with the producer, choosing the writer and talking through the show with them, followed by liaising with the writer and making sure that the scripts were in on time.

Jane Eyre, photo by Neil Wigley, no reproduction without permission

Jane Eyre, photo by Neil Wigley, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another notable production was Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre, BBC1,1983, adapted by Alexander Baron, with Timothy Dalton as Rochester. This drama, like many other Classic Serials, was recorded at BBC Pebble Mill, as a hosted London production. I asked Terrance about why Birmingham studios were chosen. He replied that London crews behaved like they were doing you a favour in working on your shows, whereas Birmingham managers were much more supportive, and the crews were more co-operative and grateful – if not quite as good! I’m sure that the crews in Birmingham would dispute his judgement that they weren’t as skilled, whilst being pleased that they were considered better to work with!

The Invisible Man, BBC1, 1984, was a significant 6 part serial, which had to have an evening transmission due to its inherent violence. After this production, Dicks became a producer, which he described as doing proper grown up work, something which he’d tried to avoid all his life!

Oliver Twist, photo by Neil Wigley, no reproduction without permission

Oliver Twist, photo by Neil Wigley, no reproduction without permission

Vanity Fair, photo by Neil Wigley, no reproduction without permission

Vanity Fair, photo by Neil Wigley, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two further serials were discussed, both of which were recorded in Studio A at Pebble Mill: Oliver Twist, BBC1, 1985, and Vanity Fair, BBC1,1987. Oliver Twist was a fantastic success, and the viewing figures were so good that they enabled Jonathan Powell (then Head of Series and Serials) to convince Michael Grade (Controller BBC1,1984-6), not to cancel The Classic Serial. Vanity Fair, was a less successful production, being in Dick’s opinion too big and expensive a production, with problems with viewer engagement, due to the ambiguity of Becky Sharp’s character

Drama on television has certainly developed as a genre since the 1970s and ‘80s, and in the main 30’ series, like The Classic Serial, are no longer made, although adaptations of classic novels are still made, albeit in longer format.

Vanessa Jackson

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

Terry Powell: ‘I worked on both productions. And worked at TVC London let me say we were streets ahead in professional and talent and. Attitude xxx’

Anne-Marie Palmer: ‘Some of us worked for BBC London before moving to BBC Birmingham, and visa versa, where does that place us?’

Jean Palmer: ‘If they weren’t good why did they keep coming back.’

Kevin Hudson: ‘We were every bit as good. Real reason we were cheaper!!!’

Keith Brook (Scouse): ‘They were much better than the London crews who used bullshit and fancy accents to cover up their failings.’

Wally Aspey’s retirement do

Wally Aspey retirement 2

Wally Aspey retirement do 1

Wally Aspey retirement 3

Wally Aspey Retirement 4

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

These photos are of Wally Aspey’s retirement do. It was held at the BBC Club, with Mick Murphy playing the piano. Also in the piano photo are Kevin Hudson (blonde curly hair), next to Dave Ackrill (blonde hair).

Wally is seen tucking into his ‘BBC’ cake, behind him is designer Miles Laing.

Thanks to Dawn and Kevin Hudson for sharing the photos.