Alastair Yates on Midlands News

Alistair Yates 1979

Our tribute to Alistair Yates continues with a full BBC Midlands, News, Whats On and Closedown from 1979. All 9 minutes worth. RIP Alistair.

Posted by TVARK on Friday, 28 July 2017

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

A Midlands News broadcast, presented by Alastair Yates, from 1979. Alastair left Pebble Mill for Grampian in 1980. The broadcast had been recorded by Chris Howles on a Philips N1700 format tape, and donated to TVArk.

The prompter seems not to be working at the beginning of the broadcast, with Alastair doing a wonderful job of reading off the script, whilst looking up from time to time. The cartoon over the weather seems very odd, and then the prompter seems to be working properly after that. The news seems to consist of a litany of crime, followed by a list of what’s on in every single theatre in the region! This was one of the last ‘closedown’ broadcasts to be done from the Midlands, due to an economy drive! Nothing new about BBC cut-backs!

Thanks to Chris Howles for bringing the clip to my attention.

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

Bryan Sharpe: ‘Alastair gave me my first insight into radio.. when he used to be AL KAY at BBC Radio Derby… in 1974… I was 12ish and later went on to work at Radio Derby then onto work at Pebble Mill and eventually as senior director at BBC Nottingham… thanks AL!!’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘Haven’t I seen Alastair on BBC World?’

Jonathan Dick: ‘Alastair was indeed a presenter on BBC World, where I had the pleasure of directing him on many occasions.’

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Midlands News 1992

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This page from the internal newspaper, Midlands News from 1992, shows what a vibrant place Pebble Mill was at this time, with both radio and television programmes winning all kinds of accolades, and even the restaurant winning an award for healthy food! Jeremy Clarkson is looking very youthful in the top right-hand corner, but down at the bottom the photographs for Countryfile‘s day out and Sarah Rowlands and Mark Decker’s digital editing session seem to have been swapped over – oops!

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Producer Choice Explained

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This article was published in the Midlands News, the internal newsletter, in June 1992. Roger Waugh, the Head of Resources sets out to explain the principles behind, Director General, John Birt’s ‘Producer Choice’.

‘Producer Choice’ split off the Resource departments from Production, and resulted in mass redundancies in Resources. Redundancies are hinted at in this article, but the position wasn’t clear in 1992.

Thanks for Stuart Gandy for sharing this edition of Midlands News.

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

Carolyn Davies: ‘Still commonly used in inverted commas to mean ‘complete disaster’…’

Malcolm Hickman: ‘I remember I had to establish each business units’ asset size so they could be charged. A mammoth task.’

Mark Holdstock: ‘I couldn’t decide who was the worse DG. Birt or Mark Thompson producer choice was a completely stupid idea. When they started charging for record loans, we quickly worked out that it was much cheaper to pop into town to HMV and buy the disc.’

Steve Peacock: ‘Idiotic and divisive policy. Decimated the craft base and did us producers no favours at all.’

Caroline Feldon Parsons: ‘Producer Choice. Leading to much less actual sensible choice than a producer had before it was implemented. Lovely.’

Julia Versluis: ‘Until you had to pay for a service and discover it was three times more expensive this way.’

Julie Hill: ‘I jumped ship before that hideous “initiative” was enforced. Lost out on any redundancy though!’

Vicky King: ‘I remember it well, working in HR, one of the biggest change programmes I’ve worked on.’

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Midlands News 1992

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

These pages are taken from the Midlands News 1992 (regional internal BBC newsletter).

This two page spread is about the expansion of Pebble Mill’s, Radio 2, Popular Music Department. ¬†Also included is how Pebble Mill’s Radio 3, Serious Music Department, has escaped the cut backs faced by other departments in the regions.

Thanks to Marie Phillips for making this newsletter available.