Relaxation on location – photos by Ian Collins

Photos by Ian Collins, no reproduction without permission.

These photos were taken in July 1987.  The ones on the boat are probably from a day off on location from ‘Vanity Fair’, and the others are possibly from the journey to or from the location in Norfolk.

Included in the photos are cameraman Paul Woolston, and electrician Chris Glover, amongst others.

‘Gardens by Design’ – photos by Gail Herbert

Photos by Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

‘Gardens by Design’ was a garden design series presented by designer, David Stevens.  It was recorded in the spring and summer of 1990, being transmitted January/ February 1991, in the Friday night ‘Gardeners’ World’ slot on BBC 2, whilst GW was on its winter break.  Nick Patten produced and directed the series, Helen Faulkner, on attachment from Radio 3, was the assistant producer and Gail Herbert the production assistant.

The series concentrated on making the most of your outside room, including both front and back gardens.

Chelsea Flower Show 1990 – photos by Gail Herbert

Photos by Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

In 1990 BBC Pebble Mill produced a Chelsea Special programme which went out on BBC 2 on the Wednesday night of Chelsea week, as well as a ‘Gardeners’ World’ from Chelsea on the Friday, presented by Geoff Hamilton.

The first photo shows presenter Anne Swithinbank, with cameraman Mike Shelton and director Nick Bamford; the second, director Annette Martin, with researcher Helen Faulkner, and presenter Geoff Hamilton; the third photo is of P.A. Jacqui Pratt, camerman Keith Froggatt and sound Alex Christison; the fourth photo is of presenter and garden designer David Stevens; photo five is of David Stevens with Mike Shelton and director Nick Patten; photo six is of researcher Helen Faulkner and Mike Shelton; photo seven is of David Stevens with Nick Patten.

Nick Patten was also shooting a gardening series called ‘Gardens by Design’ in 1990, presented by garden designer, David Stevens, and recorded some of the show at the Chelsea Flower Show.  These photos are a combination of the Chelsea coverage, and ‘Gardens by Design’.

The Sleepers – photos by Ian Collins

Photos by Ian Collins, no reproduction without permission.

Television is tiring work, as you can tell from these photos, involving long days and lots of travelling!  Annoyingly there always seems to be someone around with a camera when you’re just resting your eyes for a few minutes!

The first photo is of ‘Clothes Show’ producer, Clare Stride, who sadly died of cancer several years ago, then P.A. Jane Mclean, followed by a vision engineer called John Bradley, then Chris Glover from VT, but the last is of Nick Patten, now the Head of Vision Productions at BBC Birmingham and BBC Manchester. Sat next to Nick is Sam Cox (sound), and behind him pointing is Nigel Evans (editor).

Points of View – blog by Sue Watson

My main claim to fame while working at Pebble Mill was renting a hotel room by the hour with Sir Terry Wogan. Every Thursday afternoon we would meet in the hallowed portals of Lady Astor’s former home, Cliveden and as the twinkling eyed Sir Terry entered the bedroom I would greet him from the four poster bed, ready and waiting for our time together. Lying with the ghosts of the sixties Profumo scandal (and under the firm hands of Nick Patten), I would tell Sir Terry exactly what I wanted him to do.

This of course was in my capacity as the Producer of ‘Points of View,’ and for about twelve months the programme was filmed at Cliveden on Thursday afternoons. Far from being the Christine Keeler of my day, I was merely producing a weekly TV programme albeit with a wonderful team and one of the best presenters I’ve ever worked with.

Once the crew (and catering) had arrived, there wasn’t much room for the producer, so the best place for me to see Terry and be out of shot was on the elaborately dressed bed. This became my regular position; the cameraman would place the monitor at the bottom of the bed and I would take my place. Imagining I looked ‘Pre Raphaelite,’ (in reality more ‘Beryl Cook!’) I would drape myself seductively across the counterpane and for several hours I would ‘produce,’ Sir Terry until he couldn’t take any more.

Hard times at Pebble Mill… a tough job, but someone had to do it!

Sue Watson


Sue is involved in the online auction, Authors for Japan; To make a bid log on to

Sue’s first novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes out on July 8th is a humorous and heartbreaking tale TV, love, revenge – and cake.

Sue Watson