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This page from the 1984 Pebble Mill News, includes an article about David Waine’s press briefing about Pebble Mill’s output: 500 hours of network TV, 1,000 hours of network radio, and 160 hours of regional television. Highlights include a new Saturday night light entertainment show, new series of Top Gear, Kick Start and Top Sailing, as well as Now Get Out of That, Gardeners’ World, Asian Magazine, and Gharbar. On the drama front there is mention of The Groundling and the Kite, Phoebe, The Amazing Miss Estelle, and Morte d’Arthur.
Network Radio was also busy, with a new Radio 4 series of Enterprise, and Rollercoaster, as well as hosting a Schools Radio Festival hosted by Sue Lawley, Rolf Harris and Duncan Goodhew.
In regional television there were new series of, Midlands Sound and Midlands Tonight, and a television version of Malcolm Stent’s Radio WM series, In the Barmaid’s Arms.
The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook group:
Peter Poole: ‘I worked on The Barmaid’s Arms in Studio A. They had a good band called The Nightriders. This was before producer choice. After that regional TV could never afford Studio A.’
Pete Simpkin: ‘As producer of the Radio version of the Barmaids it was quite pleasant to be a member of the audience with the real beer and not have to worry about anything! I do remember that someone had crafted a tiny hole in the chest of Malc’s shirt to take the cable for his personal mic.’
Lynn Cullimore: ‘Yes, Peter it was Mike Sheridan and the Nightriders…I was the PA and I loved it. Malc was wonderful to work with and i did many programmes with him. Malcolm is still going too..doing shows and things. Mary someone or other did a brilliant set for it…cannot remember her other name but she was very good.’
Peter Poole: ‘Hi Lynn, it was great when regional TV could do shows like this. Do you remember who the producer was? Malcolm often did warm up for PM at One. He always did a great job entertaining the audience.’
Lynn Cullimore: ‘The Producer was John Clarke whom I worked with for a long time. I did many Studio A programmes at one time – do you remember The Garden Game?’
Stuart Gandy: ‘I do remember The Garden Game. Wasn’t it on during the Friday night opt slot? In those days regional programmes had two opt slots per week.’
Peter Poole: ‘I remember John he was great producer and a very nice man. It’s amazing the programmes produced on such small budgets. I didn’t work on The Garden Game but do remember it. One of the many panel shows in Studio A. I always enjoyed working on regional TV programmes. The production teams were lovely people.’