Top Gear – Gail Herbert’s photos

Photos copyright of Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

Top Gear, now known as ‘old Top Gear’, was produced at BBC Pebble Mill from 1977-2001.  It was a 30 min magazine show about cars and motor transport.  The presenters included Noel Edmunds, Angela Rippon, Jeremy Clarkson, Tiff Needell, William Woollard, Michelle Newman, Chris Goffey, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Jason Barlow, Tony Mason and Quentin Willson.

When production of Top Gear moved to London in 2002 some of the Birmingham production team, and presenters (Vicki Butler-Henderson, Adrian Simpson, Tiff Needell) moved to Fifth Gear on Channel 5.

Thanks to Gail Herbert, who was a production assistant on Top Gear for making her photos available.  The photos date from around 1990 and include shots of presenters William Woollard and Tiff Needell, producer Ken Pollack, directors Dennis Jarvis and David Wheeler, cameraman John Williams, sound men Tony Wass and Alex Christison, and production assistants Gail Herbert and Sophie Marsh.

David Wheeler, who is featured in these photos, sitting on a donkey, makes the following comment:

 Tony Mason thought it would be amusing to do a PTC from a “4×4” for use on the sand at Weston-Super-Mere. But when I called his bluff he requested that I test drive the thoroughbred before he risked his rally-bred bottom on the beast! After some reassurance he delivered the PTC… ending: “… but I don’t think Nellie here is quite up to it, so I’ll have to find some better transport”. I seem to remember tracking from an open land rover and editing the piece to Echo Beach (Martha and the Muffins) which has a great intro and fab sax solo! Great memories.. enhanced by my trip home in the Astra 2litre, 16valve GTE… “space rocket” as I recall Gail called it!

Gail test driving a Porsche

Telly Addicts – photo from Ian Collins

Telly Addicts figure

Telly Addicts was a studio based game show presented by Noel Edmunds.  It was produced at Pebble Mill and recorded in Studio A.  Two teams, sat on sofas, were pitted against each other in a test of their TV knowledge.  The format mostly involved seeing clips of different TV shows and being asked questions afterwards.  The series began in 1985, with the final episode going out in 1998.  There were some celebrity specials (especially in the later years), but most of the early episodes involved families.  There were generally around 16 episodes a year.  The format changed a little over time.  The early years saw the winners of the previous week staying on and being challenged by a new family.  From 1987 there was a tournament style format involving 16 teams in 8 qualifying heats, the winners of which then went forward to quarter finals, then semi finals and concluding in a grand final.

There were a number of different producers and directors over the years.  Producers included Tim Manning, John G Smith, Richard Lewis and Helen Lott, and directors included Annette Martin, Nick Hurran and Sue Robinson.  John King was the executive producer.

Thanks to Ian Collins from Post Production for taking a photo of this Telly Addicts figure!