50 Years of Gardeners’ World

Joe Godwin, Sharon Fisher, Louise Hampden, Claire Johnson

Joe Godwin, Sharon Fisher

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In June 2017, Gardeners’ World will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee. A special 50th anniversary edition is being planned. Today (5th May 2017) a Gardeners’ World masterclass was held in the BBC Birmingham, Mailbox building, for students, and BBC staff. The event took the form of a conversation between Joe Godwin, Director of the BBC Academy (the training arm of the BBC), and three of the production team: Sharon Fisher, series producer; Louise Hampden, producer; and Dr Claire Johnson, horticultural researcher. It was interesting to hear from the team about some of the challenges of making the programme, and we found out that presenter, Monty Don’s dogs, Nigel and Nellie, have a huge mailbag, and even their own Twitter accounts – although the production team don’t know who it is that writes on their behalf!

Gardeners’ World was a Birmingham programme from its start in January 1968, until it was moved to Bristol in 2012. Sharon, Louise and Claire, used to work on gardening output in Birmingham, but moved to work in Bristol when production was moved there. Gardeners’ World has been a BBC production, except for a period of 10 years in the 1990s, when it was produced by Independent production company, Catalyst. This was when Alan Titchmarsh was presenting the programme.

Gardeners’ World was one of the first shows on the BBC to be recorded in colour. It was preceded by an earlier BBC Birmingham series, Gardening Club, presented by Percy Thrower from his greenhouse in the Gosta Green studio, Birmingham.

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Bryan Comley: ‘Edited one of the episodes in the mid 80’s on CM2, made using the roll back & mix method of linear production, even the captions were as live. A very pleasurable & satisfying way of making tv.’

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The Terrace

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.’

 

Trading Up in the Sun

Jo Kenyon, Colin McAllister, Justin Ryan, Sharon Fisher

Jo Kenyon, Colin McAllister, Justin Ryan, Sharon Fisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The team bump in to Danny La Rue in a bar

The team bump in to Danny La Rue in a bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colin, Justin, Craig Phillips, ?, Tom Slee, ?

Colin, Justin, Craig Phillips, Robbie Williams, Tom Slee, ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin with Sharon, Tom Slee in the background

Justin with Sharon, Tom Slee in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin, with Colin in the background

Justin, with Colin in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from Joanne Kenyon, no reproduction without permission.

The photos are from the BBC1 Daytime production, Trading Up in the Sun circa 2002. The series was presented by interior designer duo, Justin Ryan and Colin McAllister, with Craig Phillips (the Big Brother winner), doing some of the DIY. These photos are from the first series, which was filmed in the Costa del Sol.

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Ruth Barretto: “I was the PC on that production back at base . Wasn’t it the EL PInar hotel that you stayed in. Which you all renamed. Amanda Lowe was the SP! The good old days!”

Good Morning with Anne and Nick – D-Day

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today it is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of the end of WWII.

I remember the 50th Anniversary of D-Day in 1994. I was an assistant producer on Good Morning with Anne and Nick. The D-Day Anniversary was an important topic for Good Morning, and one that we wanted to cover with a live outside broadcast from Normandy. I think that we were going to borrow an existing BBC Events OB unit which was going to be covering some of the events later in the day. They initially said that that was going to be fine, and then decided a day or two before D-Day that they would be too busy to help us out, so we had to organise our own OB!

My job was to be the producer back in Birmingham, in case anything went wrong. We had a whole parallel script made up of links and short films, to go to, if the OB link went down. I think that Will Hanrahan was one of the standby presenters, and I can’t remember who else joined him on the sofa. I was ever so slightly terrified, as I had never produced a live show in the gallery before – but all was well, and the OB signal behaved itself, and I just sat in Gallery C, and followed the dummy running order and script I’d spent days perfecting, alongside the live OB.

Vanessa Jackson

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

Sharon Fisher: ‘I remember! My first OB. Vidal Sassoon was being interviewed and I was busy doing specially printed red white and blue viewer response cards.’

Caroline Feldon: ‘My first OB was for Radio 3 at the Cheltenham Festival. A week or so of fab concerts at the Town Hall and Pittville Pump Room with legends such as Mark Decker, Tony Wass, Steve Portnoi and anyone remember Alan Ward?’

Paul Hunt: ‘Tom Horsfield and I were there in 1994 by Southsea castle looking out across the Solent with Tony Wadsworth and Julie Mayer to do a live OB for WM. We had a very early start to do our rig – once done we had some time to take in the immense scale of what we part of and what we were remembering. Tom then took some photos of the flotilla of ships including the Canberra, the QE2 and the George Washington aircraft carrier. The OB went without a hitch. As we de-rigged we discovered that Tom’s camera had been stolen from the OB van – which put a sad end to such a memorable event.’

Katie Wright: ‘I think you’re thinking of the Dunkirk anniversary Vanessa Jackson. We were on board HMS Alacrity, escorting the little ships across from Dover to Calais…. Phil Thickett was with me.. And Helena Taylor. My father was on the beaches and it was a real honour to remember him and all the others and the many who risked their own lives to rescue them. We had to get Alacrity to sail at a strange angle to keep ‘line of sight’ to our vehicle on the white cliffs, which would explain why you were on standby throughout. ‘

Good Morning Summer 1995

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‘Good Morning Summer’ was presented by Sarah Greene, and Will Hanrahan.

As the name suggests, the series was a summer version of ‘Good Morning with Anne and Nick’, but without Anne Diamond and Nick Owen. ┬áThe production team was pretty much the same.

The photo includes: Katie Wright (deputy editor), Sue Walton (producer), Natasha Wood (PA), Tessa Finch (editor), Sue Robinson (director), Merrick Simmonds (director), Belinda Essex (researcher), Jane McLean (PA), Vanessa Jackson (producer), Sarah Greene (presenter), Will Hanrahan (presenter), Rosemary Edwards (producer), Sarah Jayne Phillips (vision mixer), Jane Lomas (producer), Claire Popplewell (PA), Julie Tanner (AP), Slavka (researcher), Sharon Fisher (researcher), Marco (FM), Jackie Deitrich (producer).

Thanks to Jane McLean for making the photo available.