With those words [surely one of the best ever cues over talkback!] John Smith, the Director, began yet another “first” for the Pebble Mill @ One team with a live broadcast from a nuclear submarine, HMS Dreadnought, near Faslane off the west coast of Scotland on the 14th February, 1980. The submarine took it’s cue, broke through the surface of the choppy Firth of the Clyde and appeared in all it’s glory to the music of the opening title sequence. What happened next – I will never forget.
John Smith was an inspirational Producer/Director and not exactly known for taking “No” or “It can’t be done” for an answer. He was the driving force behind many of Pebble Mill’s ambitious live programmes – particularly those involving the military.
Here is a photo from Keith Warrender of the landing of the Harrier in 1982, during an episode of Pebble Mill at One. It was one of director John Smith’s episodes. You’ll see the new club building visible on the right of the picture, which hadn’t been open long. Keith thinks he must have popped in to the Club for a lunchtime drink after taking this picture on an off-shift day from TAR (Technical Apparatus Room).
Today [8th April 2020] is Steve Weddle’s funeral and from a distance I mourn the shocking devastating loss of a lifetime friend. In 1976 we were both new researchers, desk to desk in the hairy scary Dobson days of PM@1. All the producers and directors were male and all the researchers except Steve were female – that’s what it was like in those days. Never macho, Steve quickly became one of the girls to the extent that his name was on the office PMT wall-chart.
First and foremost, Steve was fun. He was of course talented and creative, wacky and wonderful and super sociable but he also had great empathy and kindness and was friends with one and all. He gave my daughter her TV break and passed on his Spurs programmes to my grandson.
Recently we had two lovely holidays at the Exotic Marigold Hotel in Menorca. Steve, a great holiday companion, suggested that we should travel as Hinge and Bracket.
Post Beeb we met up every month with our fellow Sagalouts to wine and dine down Memory Lane. In January we celebrated his 70th birthday. In February Steve talked about his latest book, not an autobiography exactly but drawing on his life in television.
That would have been a good read.
Included in this photo of the Pebble Mill at One team are: John Smith, Peter Seabrook, Judy Hill, Clara Hewitt, Chris Wright, Angela Lee, Margaret Walne, Steve N Weddle, Dave Williams, Jane Clement, Clare Stride, Richard Pearson, Fran Groves, Pat Holmes, Trudy Stanton, Tony Wolfe, Pam Creed, Jim Dumighan, Marian Foster, Peter Hercombe, Jane Mclean, Jonathan Fulford, Mary Clyne, Annie Morris, Ellie Lacey, Tony Rayner.
The occasion was Lis Walker’s leaving do.
Thanks to Jane Mclean for sharing the photo.