Working in Television – David Weir

copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Directors: Chris Wright, David Weir, Mark Kershaw, from Tom O’Connor Roadshow


































This is an excerpt from an interview with David Weir, from a book called Working in Television written in 1980 by Jan Leeming, who worked at Pebble Mill for a time. The aim was to encourage young people to think about careers in television. David went on to become a successful multi-camera director.

Thanks to Jonathan Dick for sharing the photo, who has sadly died since sharing the excerpts.

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

Gordon Astley: ‘I first met David in the ‘60s when he came into my dad’s petrol station In Hall Green . As I filled up his sports car we got chatting and he told me about the T.O. Course at Wood Norton. That was the start of my 40 year broadcasting career. We met a few times over the years and I only once committed the cardinal sin of calling him ‘Dave’.’

Tom O’Connor Roadshow – Port Talbot

Photos by Raymond Lee, no reproduction without permission






















The top photo is of SCV6 (possibly with Roger Guest operating), on the OB for the Tom O’Connor Roadshow in Port Talbot in March 1987. CM1 was also needed on the OB, because of the sound requirements. The lunchtime entertainment show toured the country with an OB unit, broadcasting a week’s worth of shows from each location. Unfortunately, although popular, it proved too expensive in the long term.

The lower photo includes soundman Tim Green on the left, and Mark Botfield with the blond hair, Kenton Allen in the demin jacket.

These photos were originally shared on the Pebble Mill Engineers’ Facebook group.

The following comments were made on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Raymond Lee: ‘SCV6 was an articulated trailer, of a similar length to to the Type 5 CM1. It had an SSL Desk, some specially shaped LS5/8s and a 24 track Otari Multitrack tape machine. It also had 2 or 3 1/4″ tape machines, a cart machine, and record deck. It was quite tight for space which is why the jackfields used Bantam Jacks, unfortunately, they proved fairly unreliable in O.B. conditions.’

Colin Campbell

Photos by Jane Mclean, no reproduction without permission

Colin Campbell, with Jo Dewar and Terry Cartwright









































Virtuoso pianist Colin Campbell has passed away aged 77 (Oct 2017). Colin was a keyboard player and played in the Midland Radio Orchestra at Pebble Mill. He often played on Pebble Mill At One, and is shown here on the Tom O’Connor Roadshow, in 1987.

Thanks to Jane Mclean for sharing these photos.

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

Sarah Ashton: ‘My father, John Kingdon, formed the Midland Radio Orchestra along side Norrie Paramor, their conductor. I remember going to work with dad and listening to the orchestra play on many occasions. I do remember the name Colin Campbell but was too young to put a face to the name.’

Jane Ward: ‘Loads of happy memories of Colin…fantastic musician and all-round lovely guy…. Very sad to hear this news…
And of course he was one half of Pianorama, with the inimitable Harold Rich….’





Tom O’Connor Roadshow – Liverpool

TOR Liverpool Eleanor Rigby, John Couzens Melvyn Bragg JM After show TOR JM








































Photos by Jane Mclean, no reproduction without permission.

These photos are from the Tom O’Connor Roadshow winter/spring 1987. The roadshow was staged in each location for one week, these photos were taken in Liverpool, which was the last location on the run, in April 1987. The second photo is of cameraman John Couzens, seated on the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby bench. The bottom two photos are from the after show party, which was obviously attended by Melvyn Bragg. Series producer, Steve Weddle, can just be seen popping up behind Melvyn Bragg.

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

Mary Sanchez: ‘Ok I was there and the girl on piano was Louise someone( can’t remember surname – producer ) and in first pic is a graphics girl (Liz?)( on the right ) and on the left is it Pam Creed? Sorry this is all I can offer! I have LOADS of pics , must dig them out!’

Steve Weddle: ‘The warm-up chap alongside Melvyn Bragg, weirdly enough, is called Bobby Bragg (no relation!) In fact Bobby became a bit of an on screen celebrity as Roadshow Reg, the pretend scene shifter, who’s catchphrase was, I’m not feeling very well Mr. O’Connor. We’d send him on stage whenever we were under running, which happened quite frequently. And as the series progressed his cameos with Tom became increasingly popular, so much so, that when I appeared on Open Air to discuss the Series the following week, it was Reg who joined me on the sofa there! Melvyn Bragg just happened to be in the vicinity of our end of series party in the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool – unsurprisingly, he had nothing to do with the Show – but we invited him along anyway, and he graciously joined us for our knees up. I seem to remember I was dressed as a giant chicken at the time! I think that’s Pam by the old Roadshow Relay scoreboard, and Louise Stellakis is the researcher by the piano.’

Jane Mclean: ‘Just come to me! The audio supervisor Louise married was Paul Cunliffe.’

Tom O’Connor Roadshow – Wonder Woman

Tom O'Connor, Wonder Women











Photo by Jane Mclean, no reproduction without permission.

The photo is of a Wonder Woman look-a-like performing from Newcastle on the Tom O’Connor Roadshow 1987.

Note the camera crane in the foreground.