Memories of working with Terry Wogan

Points of View team,  photo from Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission

Points of View team, photo from Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission












Looking through some of the many comments on Facebook about Terry Wogan, following his death yesterday, it was striking how positive everyone was about their memories of working with him at Pebble Mill. I’ve collected a few of those comments here.

Linda Flavell: So sad to hear of Sir Terry’s death. Such a funny man to work with, glad to be one of the lucky ones to have spent time with him.

Kate Hillman: All those lovely trips to Cliveden. Yes, a privilege to have worked with him.

Helena Taylor: He was such a gentleman, and always had time to have a word with his ‘fans’ in the audience of Call My Bluff. Indeed a privilege to have worked with him as Kate Hillman says. So so sad he has passed away.

Sangita Manandhar: Such sad news about Terry Wogan. Had the pleasure of working with him on Points of View many years ago…always so charming. So sad.

Paul Taylor: He was a joy to work with… So spontaneously witty, he had me fighting not to laugh out loud during recordings…..

Paul Richards – TK Operator












Photograph by Paul Scholes, no reproduction without permission.

The photo is of Paul Richards, TK operator (now deceased). It was probably taken in TK A.

TK, stood for Telecine, it was the area in post production that allowed for footage shot on film to be viewed on video equipment.

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

Stuart Gandy: ‘TK was the second department I rotated into as a TA back in 1980. I was at first astonished at the sheer speed that Paul Taylor and Jim Gregory could lace up the machine. But they had to be able to. When TK was used for Midlands Today, it was quite common for the news film to arrive sometimes only seconds before on air time. Many times I can remember Milton Hainsworth rushing around to TK with the reel ready for lacing. In those days the filmed stories were edited into a continuous piece of film.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘One of the great tragedies of the use of film on regional news,especially in the 50s and 60s is that the original negative film was processed,edited and transmitted from TK which means that after only a few showings there was no way of getting a good quality archive copy which is why news clips from that era are of such poor quality. Shame after all the frantic and skilled work which was expended on getting newsfilm ‘on air’.’

Peter Greenhalgh: ‘I spent a few months in TK with Paul, Jim, Gregory, Dave Scholden, and John Duckmanton when I was a trainee about the same time as Stuart (1981). I remember it being a close, friendly team, and Paul gave me lots of good advice. I wasn’t allowed vinegar on my chips in the canteen though… I too remember how fast those guys were. The Sondor bay got me every time. If you forgot to move the top arm out of the way, when you got halfway though lacing it, it would rip the sepmag out of your hand and spool it back onto the reel!’

Peter Poole: ‘I didn’t know negative film was used for news. How was audio recorded? I remember reversal film being used in the 1970s. The quality of commag audio was poor. The TV farming programme was also shoot on reversal film due to its topical content. I often worked on the live TX from Studio B on Sunday mornings. Back then TK and VT needed a 10 second run up. The directors and PAs needed to run TK and VTs on time. If not the presenter would have to ad-lib to fill the gap. No wonder programmes from that time look rather slow.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘The negative film was used in the black and white period of the 50s, when regional TV news was started, and into the 60s up to the point when colour was introduced using as you say reversal film system. Black and white film used commag stock for sound, recorded in the camera and, this was often cut under pressure and any voice over links added usually live. Later there was a system called SEPMAG which, when the original camera audio had been copied across to the separate reel of film, enabled independent editing of pictures and sound and hence the introduction of dubbing suites. Unfortunately for news purposes it wasn’t always possible to re-unite the audio and picture onto commag so the separate reel had to be ‘locked’ or synchronised with the picture projector….a very hazardous and hair raising experience not only for the operators in TK but the studio director who would be often waiting for the ‘all clear’ that the locking up had worked !!’

Alan Duxbury on horseback – Paul Taylor

Photo from Paul Taylor, no reproduction without permission.

I really can’t remember too much about the programme. I seem to think ‘The Long Ride’ was on the schedule, we followed two riders from the coast across the Kintyre Peninsular. Alan rode backwards at times when leading our contibutors…. I chose to walk alongside (eyelines don’t matter so much for sound !)

Paul Taylor (sound recordist)

(The photo from the mid 1990s is of cameraman Alan Duxbury, shooting on location in Scotland)

Gardenwise – photo by Vanessa Jackson

Copyright Vanessa Jackson, no reproduction without permission.

‘Gardenwise’ was a BBC 1 Daytime magazine series in production in 1992.  I think there were six episodes.  It was produced at Pebble Mill by Clare Stride.  I was a researcher and  was lucky enough to do some single camera directing on the show, setting up items and directing some of the location stories.

This photo was taken as we were finishing a shoot in Madeira, which was a pretty glamorous location for a Daytime series.  We recorded a couple of items about the gardens of Madeira, one about orchids, and one about the gardens of the Reid’s Hotel, where we stayed.  Reid’s Hotel is famous for its beautiful setting, fantastic restaurants and illustrious guests, like George Bernard Shaw and Winston Churchill.  We were extremely well looked after, and could choose which of the restaurants we chose to eat in – free of charge!  I remember being happy to go along with camerman, Keith Froggatt’s choice of the a la carte restaurant.  The rooms were sumptuous, and because I was the director, I had a suite (the first and last time whilst on location).  We made good use of the swimming pool as well!

The photo features, from left to right; cameraman, Keith Froggatt; P.A. Sarah Reddi; presenter, Lydia Thomas; sound-man, Paul Taylor.

Gardeners’ World – photos by Gail Herbert

Photos by Gail Herbert, no reproduction without permission.

The photos are of ‘Gardeners’ World’ shoots from around 1989.  This was just after the programme moved to single camera production, instead of a two camera outside broadcast.

The first includes (left to right) presenter Nigel Colborn, director Annette Martin, PA Gail Herbert, sound Paul Taylor.

The second photo is taken at Barnsdale, presenter Geoff Hamilton’s garden, and main location of the popular series in the 1980s.  It shows Geoff recording a piece to camera in the snow.