The first Pebble Mill Nursery opened in 1974. It was the earliest BBC staff nursery to open. Unfortunately, it didn’t stay open very long. Nicola Silk (pictured in the middle), aged 4, daughter of Stephanie Silk, was one of the first children to attend the nursery. She stayed until summer 1975, when she started Infants School. Stephanie formed the N.A.G. (Nursery Action Group) to try and stop early closure of the nursery, and was supported by the Union.
This screen grab is from the series, Wrong Car, Right Car, which was transmitted in 2002-3. Here is the entry from the Radio Times, courtesy of the BBC Genome project:
“A six-part guide to buying the right car, presented by Top Gear’s Jason Barlow and used-car merchant Dominic Littlewood.
In the first programme the duo advise a man on finding the perfect replacement for his ageing sports car.
Director Nicola Silk ; Series producer Abigail Harvey”
Oliver Clark was the assistant producer and Russell Peers was the researcher.
Thanks to Ian Collins for making the screen grab available.
The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Paul Vanezis: ‘I believe it was originally called ‘Carjacked’. But then several more sensible people pointed out the folly of such a name, especially after a very recent and fatal carjacking.’
Nicola Silk: ‘yes originally the misjudged, but snappier Carjack as Paul says. Dominic Littlewood’s big break alongside Jason Barlow (Top Gear) Involved secret filming, earpieces and lots of chat about buying cars. Think there were two series? I directed on the first.’
Oliver Clark: ‘I went to meet Dom on his car lot in Essex to persuade him to shoot a taster with us for the series – he regaled me with all sorts of dodgy dealing in the car industry. In addition to me, the other AP was a guy called Steve. We both were sent on advanced driving courses by the Beeb. Subsequently I wrote off an Impreza (ended up backwards in a hedge driving it to location (sorry Nicola) but more spectacularly Steve drove a Lambo of some type out of a carpark and straight into the central barrier of Park Lane – caused at 3 hour traffic jam. Made the national news.’
Fiona Stennett: ‘Thats was a brill little programme. A resultant phase of car purchases asking for a full tank of fuel and mats and flaps thrown in to seal the deal.’
Quite a few former Pebble Mill employees have received this brochure about the new Pebble Mill Care Home, which now occupies part of the Pebble Mill site. Looks like a place where we might all end up!
Thanks to Nicola Silk for sharing the photo.
It was encouraging to see at last night’s (3rd Nov 2016) Midlands Royal Television Society Awards, that several of the accolades were awarded to previous BBC Pebble Mill programme makers, as well as existing BBC Birmingham ones.
Director, Chris Richards picked up the award for Best Factual Programme, for Channel 4’s Travel Man. The show is produced by ‘North One Television’, which includes ex Pebble Mill/BBC Birmingham staff, Richard Pearson, Nicola Silk, and editor Brian Charles, in addition to Chris.
The BBC Birmingham Drama Village picked up awards for Best Acting Performance, for Claire Goose, in The Coroner, with Father Brown winning Best Fictional Programme.
The Terrace was transmitted on BBC1 in the autumn of 1996 at 3pm in the afternoon.
Here is the Radio Times entry for the first episode of the DIY series, courtesy of the BBC Genome project http://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/4825eb4df786444886a38f8c60168826:
“First of a new twice-weekly DIY and interior design series presented by ex-EastEnders star Mike Reid. Leaving the fictional dramas of Albert Square behind him, Reid experiences the real-life troubles of families living in a row of terraced houses in urgent need of repair in the heart of Birmingham. With Simon Biagi and Brenda Emmanus.”
The presenting team included Simon Biagi, who later presented Real Rooms, and Brenda Emmanus, who had presented on The Clothes Show.
Jane Lomas was probably the producer of this series.
Thanks to Ian Collins for sharing this titles grab, and to Nicola Silk for adding information.
Mark Westcott left the following message on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
‘Jane Lomas did produce this, I worked on this show. Out of Roger Casstles’ department, exec’d by Mark Kershaw. My first network Director credit. Sharon Fisher, Paul Venezis, Sarah Marshall too I think were all involved.’