Radio WM, Paul Franks

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Paul Franks had a career as an executive with Ford, before winning a competition at Radio WM and beginning a whole new career as a Sports front man for the station.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for making this photocard available.


Gyn Freeman, Radio WM photocard

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

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for making this photocard available.

Gyn Freeman was a presenter on Radio WM at BBC Pebble Mill; she was part of the 206 team with the late Stuart Roper.

Here are some comments from people who worked with Gyn:

Pete Simpkin: “Gyn and I had at first a ‘love-hate’ relationship…she worked in London supplying tapes of items to all the local stations and we both regarded this as a chore …….when she arrived in Birmingham to work with the late Stuart Roper we got on very well and I still treasure a recording of a live show from a Birmingahm canal where I was being instructed how to operate a canoe and was scared witless on air with only her cooling words from the bank to keep me going!”

Marie Phillips: “Gyn is my very best friend. We met when I was Children in Need Co-ordinator and she was co-producing it. We came to realise that her job was to report the projects we funded and mine was to protect the “good stories” from being exploited. We came to a very happy compromise and worked so well together.There are so many stories from the various CIN programmes – when we got stuck in the lift, “Dicky Heart and the Pacemakers” and so on … We forged a close friendship which continues and long may it. She has a formidable intellect and such a wealth of stories and we are never short of a laugh. Gyn is simply unique.”

Viv Ellis: “I loved working with her – she made me get sawn in half (by a magician) on Children In Need one year!”

Ed Doolan – Radio WM photo card

Ed Doolan

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

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for making this Radio WM photo card of Ed Doolan available.

Ed Doolan was born in Sydney, Australia, and spent ten years working as a school teacher, before taking up broadcasting, originally in German.  He started with Radio WM at BBC Pebble Mill in 1982, and began his consumer show in 1988.  He was awarded an MBE in 1998, and was the first person to be awarded Honorary Degrees by Birmingham City University, University of Birmingham and Aston University!

Andrew Langstone makes the following comment about working for Radio WM:

“I did some stints of work experience during university vacations with BBC Radio WM (as it was then) assisting on the mid-morning ‘206 Team’ with Gyn Freeman and Stuart Roper. Production team was Phil Horner, and Bill Morris who went on to big things at Broadcasting House in London – I think he’s now left the BBC and is involved in the opening of The Olympics next year. The 206 team shared an office with Ed and also Malc and Rosie of ‘The Barmaids Arms’! Happy memories indeed!”

Tim Manning makes the following comment:

“I was Ed’s first producer when he joined BBC Radio WM from BRMB. It was an important and slightly nervous moment for the then senior management (Manager John Pickles and Programme Organiser Jeremy Robinson) as it was important both for the future of the re-launched station and morale that Ed’s show worked. Some longer-term members of staff weren’t entirely comfortable about his high-profile arrival from commercial radio and the new emphasis on personalities. Ed was nervous too, as moving was a risk for him and he needed to convince an audience which wasn’t just Birmingham, but we spent a few weeks before he went live settling ourselves in and recording some shows, and when he did hit the airwaves, we had a great time. I moved on to very different things, but the years have since proved that Radio WM turned out to be the perfect home for Ed.”

Engineering and Comms Quarterly Report 1982

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This document from 1982 might not appear to be the most exciting, but includes some really interesting details about things like the installation of the third gallery. A fascinating snapshot of the Comms side of the Pebble Mill operation.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for making the report available.

Pebble Mill Open Day – brochure from Stuart Gandy

Copyright resides with the original holder. No reproduction without permission.

This brochure was produced for a Pebble Mill Open Day, probably from the late 1980s or 1990.  The building would open its doors to the public, and showcase the productions made there.  Live studio shows would be staged throughout the day, and in fact proved a great training opportunity for staff to try out new skills like multi camera directing.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for keeping this brochure safe over the years, and for making it available – and it’s been signed by Ed Doolan!