Alan Towers and the Golden Eagle

 

Presenter Alan Towers with contributor and Golden Eagle. Photos by Bhasker Solanki, no reproduction without permission

 

Alan Towers presenting an episode of Midlands Today from Studio B at BBC Pebble Mill, accompanied by a handler and Golden Eagle.

 

Jonathan Dick

Jonathan Dick (centre) at the 2016 Midlands Today reunion. Thanks to Jane Green for sharing the photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Dick, who was an RSA on Midlands Today, died very suddenly overnight on 17/18th April. David Croxson worked with him at BBC World News. He writes that Jonathan was always calm, collected, very witty and thoroughly professional, and that we are all in complete shock at this desperately sad news.

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

Jane Green: ‘Jonathan and I were RSAs together in the 80s on Midlands Today. He was the intellectual on the team, a brilliant vision mixer (the master of E-Flex and Charisma too), was unflappable in a tense gallery, and had a fantastic sense of humour.

Together, he and I took responsibility for saving all the regional TX and rushes bloopers onto a compilation tape, and when we saw each other the past few years, we recalled things like David Stevens’ forecasting the weather as ‘matchy pists’ and the BBC logo falling off the wall during Brian Conway’s breakfast bulletin. Jonathan’s hands were once seen dancing in shot in the pres studio as he tried to help the poor presenter who was failing on the self opt desk whilst reading the news. Most mishaps seemed to happen in the self-opt pres studio. Neither of us knew where that tape ended up after we left Midlands Today.

We had some fun times out in Brum in the 80s too, and last time I spent the day with Jonathan at BBC Parliament, I gave him some of the photos of him that I’d found, from a very boozy lunch a group of us had at ‘Jonathan’s’ restaurant about 1988. I never heard Jonathan say a bad word about anyone. He was a gentleman and so very kind. I’m still in shock from the awful news that we’ve lost him.”

Lynda Maher: ‘Such sad and shocking news. I worked with Jonathan as an RSA and when I moved onto studio directing he was by my side as VM, always helpful and encouraging and also great fun. He always stayed calm when things went wrong and I learned a lot from him.’

Gary Hudson: ‘I worked with Jonathan in the late 80s on Midlands Today, and I’d been in touch again on Facebook for the last three or four years. A very funny chap, who’ll be greatly missed. This is a photo he posted from Ariel when we won the RTS award.’

Darren New: ‘Very sad to hear this. I worked with Jonathan as a RSA in the Pebble Mill newsroom. I’m in the photo that Gary posted. The one thing I remember his his dry sense of humour and he would say it as it is. And he was a very good vision mixer.’

Maria Needle: ‘I worked with Jonathan and he was one of the nicest guys in telly. If ever I went into a show after him, I used to steal his DVE moves and copy them on to my disk! He was such a technical genius.’

Mary Sanchez: ‘I worked with Jonathan at Pebble Mill . He was a whizz kid on our vision mixing desk on Midlands Today and a lovely colleague too.More recently caught up with him at a reunion where we swapped funny memories and pottery tips on F/B…’

Jonathan Dick in N8 TVC. Photo from David Croxson

Midlands Today – Best Regional Programme, RTS 1989


Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission. L-R back-row: Brian Conway, David Waine, Steve Lee, Gary Hudson, Sue Beardsmore. L-R front-row: Kay Alexander, Roy Saatchi, Rick Thompson, the late Alan Towers.

Thanks to Jonathan Dick for sharing this article from the internal BBC newspaper, Ariel, featuring Midlands Today winning the Royal Television Society award for Best Regional Programme in 1989.

Regional Station Assistant challenge

Photograph from Rosin Elder, no reproduction without permission. Left to right, Christine Palmer, Roisin Elder, Fiona Barton, Maureen Carter, with Peter Poole behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My memories of being a Midlands Today Regional Station Assistant include playing sound effects on the grams at the back of this pic to cover the mute films. My fellow RSAs and I would run a competition each evening whereby we would choose a totally inappropriate sound effect that had to be played-in without anyone noticing. The most challenging night for me was when I was charged with playing the effect of a nuclear bomb exploding into a story about a new golf course.

Nick Patten

Charlie Moody cameraman

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Moody news cameraman died on Monday (3rd Dec 2018) after a long illness. Charlie started in Manchester in late 50s, moved to Birmingham in 1960,and started at BBC soon after in Broad St later working full time for Midlands Today retiring in 1993.

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

Pat Fenelon: ‘Charlie was one of two news crews working for BBC Midlands when I started at ITVCentral (1984/85) he was always a nice man and helpful when our paths crossed.’

Geoff Ward: ‘I remember Charlie really well. Top bloke and cameraman. I’ll always remember his advice. “Keep your head down, and keep sending in the bills”’

Steve Lee: ‘I am truly sad to hear this news about Charlie. Like his partner in crime Derek Johnson, he was a legend in Midlands broadcasting.’

Lisa Manning: ‘Charlie was the first cameraman I ever worked with; interviews and voxpops at the Bull Ring. I probably learnt more in that hour than in any other single hour at PM.’

David Nelson: ‘Charlie was one of the great cameramen unencumbered by sound. I spent countless hours in his company on filming assignments. He was a true gentleman, even when his car was back-ended by Tony Butler coming back from Ludlow to Birmingham! Nobody was hurt!’