Feasts for a Fiver

Alan Duxbury recording Feasts for a Fiver, Andy Morton sound recordist to the left of Alan, Sue Watson on the left

Alan Duxbury recording

Sophie Grigson location shoot

Micci Bamford with Sophie Grigson

Sophie Grigson and Micci Bamford, Alan Duxbury in back of shot




























































These photos were taken in a shoot for Feasts for a Fiver, a cookery series starring Sophie Grigson.

The series was transmitted in 1999 on BBC2. This episode may be the one shot in Kent. Here is the entry from the Radio Times:

“Sophie Grigson prepares battered plaice and herb sandwich with griddled potato, tomato and red-onion salad, plus a vegetarian supper that includes beetroot curry and cucumber sambal, and a cut-price picnic for five. Directors Micci Billinger. Lynda Maher ; Producer Sara Kozak.”

During one episode the crew stayed in the coastal Devon village of Appledore. The location inspired producer Sue Watson, who is now a novelist. Appledore is the setting for Sue’s latest novel, Ella’s Ice Cream Summer.

Here is the link to Ella’s Ice Cream Summer: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ellas-Ice-Cream-Summer-romantic-sprinkles-ebook/dp/B06XK5PLYF%3FSubscriptionId%3D0V4JT1H35KWYMF0SKQR2%26tag%3Dnovelrank-21%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB06XK5PLYF










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

Andy Frizzell: ‘Bumped into Sophie Grigson a couple of times over the last couple of years. Ran a café in the Story museum, Oxford then a frozen food shop in Summertown, Oxford’




Sue Watson reflects on Appledore

Sue relaxing on location in Appledore on ‘Feasts for a Fiver’. Photo by Alan Duxbury













In this blog, Pebble Mill producer, and now prolific writer, Sue Watson, talks about how the location for the show Feasts for a Fiver, inspired her latest novels.

“I first went to Appledore in 1998 to film a BBC cookery programme with TV cook Sophie Grigson called ‘Feasts for a Fiver.’ I was a TV producer and had worked on several programmes in various different UK towns and cities but the tiny fishing village of Appledore in North Devon was special. It was an unspoilt little place, old cottages painted in pastel colours, winding cobbled streets, bunting blowing in the wind, and shops selling buckets and spades and postcards.

The nearest big town to Appledore is Barnstaple, a wonderful mix of new and old, offering all the usual chain stores and restaurants, but some lovely unique shops and features too. One of the main elements of our TV programme was a visit to the famous pannier market, one of the best local markets in the country. Here we discovered local cheeses, wines, fresh breads all in an enormous, beautiful airy building built mostly of wood. Much of the produce for Sophie’s recipes was bought here and we filmed in people’s homes, moving around the area, and turning local ingredients into affordable feasts. From the fabulous seafood to the obligatory home made scones with clotted cream and jam, we found it all – and ate it!

I loved it there, and during our time in Appledore I discovered to my joy, that I was pregnant. I was delighted and surprised and spent my free time just looking out to sea where the Taw and Torridge rivers meet before they flow into the Atlantic, thinking about my baby.

Roll on almost nineteen years, and the pregnancy I’d discovered in lovely Appledore is now an 18 year old. She’s clever and beautiful (yes, I know, I would say that being her mum!) and as she prepares to fly the nest and leave for university I have found myself being drawn back to the place where, for me, it all began. Since my last Summer in Appledore I’ve also become a novelist, swapping a busy career in TV for a life sitting at home making things up – which I love! This year I’ve written two summer books, both set in an ice cream café by the seaside, and when I decided on the subject matter, I knew exactly where the café was going to be. Appledore.

I’d always planned to return one day, but our busy lives kicked in, and this lovely old fishing village became a faded memory. Sometimes I’d take it out like a postcard from the past and look at it, remembering the beach, the sea and all the wonderful people I met there. If I’m honest I think I wanted to keep Appledore as my secret, and I was reluctant to return because I thought it might have changed, and become a bustling seaside town with Kiss me Quick hats and fish and chip papers flying along the pavements.

So as both Ella’s ice Cream Summer, and Curves, Kisses and Chocolate ice Cream are set here, I decided to go back and see for myself what had happened to her since we last met. I took my husband along, and just walking along the front in those first few hours in the winter sunshine. He fell immediately under her spell too as we walked along the front, and drank red wine in the Seagate Hotel on the front, where my characters meet up in Ella’s Ice Cream Summer.

Appledore and I are both older now, but I was relieved and delighted to see this lady of a certain age has kept her freshness and innocence. Apart from a makeover of the seafront pub, and a new chocolate shop (which caused my heart to miss a beat!) little has changed here. And despite our visit being in November and apparently cold everywhere else in the UK, she’d brought out her sunshine that day, just for us. It was warm enough to sit and eat cake and ice cream under a bright blue sky and take it all in.

So, shall we move here one day?’ my husband said, as he ate carrot cake and contemplated our long drive back to the Midlands.

‘Yes,’ I said, and wondered if I was being foolish writing a book and revealing the secret about this wonderful place. But I felt so mellow, the cake and ice cream was good and I decided it was only fair that I should write about this lovely place – so come on down, the water’s lovely, just don’t tell everyone, we’ll keep the secret of Appledore, just between ourselves.”

Sue Watson

Here is the link to Ella’s Ice Cream Summer: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ellas-Ice-Cream-Summer-romantic-sprinkles-ebook/dp/B06XK5PLYF%3FSubscriptionId%3D0V4JT1H35KWYMF0SKQR2%26tag%3Dnovelrank-21%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB06XK5PLYF



Enterprising former BBC colleagues

Emma Clarke

Emma Clarke, copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission














(This article is from the Bromsgrove Advertiser: http://www.bromsgroveadvertiser.co.uk/news/14321710.)

Five former staff from the BBC who were made redundant from the company, and moved on to try out new interests and careers are organising a spring market in Bournheath Village Hall to show off some of their wares.

Emma Clarke studied for a bachelor’s degree in Podiatric Medicine after leaving the BBC, and now has clinics all over Bromsgrove and the surrounding area. She plans on bringing some tempting treats for feet to the market, along with foot care advice.

Michelle Doidge moved on to run a business specialising in aloe vera health, nutrition and skin care products, while Ruth Barretto, who still works in television as a freelancer, also makes home-made cupcakes which she’ll be bringing along.

Lyn Flavell now runs ‘Lin’s Bakeaways’ a successful catering business, which supplies tea-shops, butchers and delicatessens in Worcestershire.

Finally ex-BBC producer, Veronica Butt, now runs her own cards and stationery business.

She said: “A number of former BBC staff have pursued other interests and careers since leaving the BBC including local Bromsgrove author, Sue Watson, as well as people becoming life coaches, running their own mobile spa, running an interior design business, a catering business and a wedding photography business – we even have a vicar.

“We hope that many more of us who are exploring new careers will be available for an event in the future so people can see that it’s never too late to try something new.”

Between them the five had more than 100 years of experience at the company before moving on to their new lives, and they will be showing f a range of products in Bournheath Village Hall in Claypit Lane on Sunday, March 20 from 2-4pm.

Entrance to the fair is free, and there will be free tea, coffee and biscuits on offer, as well as the chance to buy homemade pies, quiches, cupcakes; greetings cards, giftwrap, stationery; aloe vera health and beauty products and professional foot care emollients and ointments.


Good Morning with Anne and Nick 1996

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

This photos is of the ‘Good Morning with Anne and Nick’ production team in 1996, around the end of the series.

The photo includes: Sarah Jayne Phillips, vision mixer (pink top), Sue Robinson, director (black top, glasses), Marco, floor manager behind Sue R. Sue Watson, researcher (white jacket over black top), Steph Silk, Editor Daytime, (seated, black jacket), Jo Gray, PA (seated on floor, black top), Jane Lomas, Producer (seated on floor, grey waistcoat), Sue Walton, AP (black top, behind Jane Lomas), Natasha Wood, PA (turquoise top, next to Sue), Katie Wright, Deputy Editor Good Morning (pink suit), Tessa Finch, Editor Good Morning (black suit, next to Katie), Guy, Producer, Rosemary Edwards, Producer (blonde hair, black top, rt handside), Jen Phillips, AP (dark hair, stripey top next to Rosemary). Back row right handside, Jane McLean, PA (blue top), Merrick Simmonds, director (black jumper next to Jane), Sharon Fisher, researcher, (white shirt, next to Merrick).  Back row left handside, Derek Hallworth, director.  Central – Jackie Deitrich, Producer (blue jumper, glass raised), next to Jackie, Julie Tanner, AP, next to her, Jean (can’t remember surname) who was in charge of finances (pink jacket).

Thanks to Jane McLean for making the photo available.

Points of View – blog by Sue Watson

My main claim to fame while working at Pebble Mill was renting a hotel room by the hour with Sir Terry Wogan. Every Thursday afternoon we would meet in the hallowed portals of Lady Astor’s former home, Cliveden and as the twinkling eyed Sir Terry entered the bedroom I would greet him from the four poster bed, ready and waiting for our time together. Lying with the ghosts of the sixties Profumo scandal (and under the firm hands of Nick Patten), I would tell Sir Terry exactly what I wanted him to do.

This of course was in my capacity as the Producer of ‘Points of View,’ and for about twelve months the programme was filmed at Cliveden on Thursday afternoons. Far from being the Christine Keeler of my day, I was merely producing a weekly TV programme albeit with a wonderful team and one of the best presenters I’ve ever worked with.

Once the crew (and catering) had arrived, there wasn’t much room for the producer, so the best place for me to see Terry and be out of shot was on the elaborately dressed bed. This became my regular position; the cameraman would place the monitor at the bottom of the bed and I would take my place. Imagining I looked ‘Pre Raphaelite,’ (in reality more ‘Beryl Cook!’) I would drape myself seductively across the counterpane and for several hours I would ‘produce,’ Sir Terry until he couldn’t take any more.

Hard times at Pebble Mill… a tough job, but someone had to do it!

Sue Watson


Sue is involved in the online auction, Authors for Japan; To make a bid log on to  http://authorsforjapan.wordpress.com/tag/sue-watson/

Sue’s first novel, Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes out on July 8th is a humorous and heartbreaking tale TV, love, revenge – and cake.


Sue Watson