Top Gear GTi












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

Thanks to Ian Collins for making this titles still from the Top Gear GTi series, which went out on the UKTV, UK Horizons channel.

Here is the entry from Wikipedia which explains the series,

“Top Gear GTi was a series of programmes broadcast by the BBC covering a variety of features such as car reviews, special features such as attending a driving school and motor shows. Essentially, GTi is an expansion on the main programme. The series was mainly presented by Vicki Butler-Henderson, although Steve Berry and Jason Bradbury appeared on the show at times. The show was the last of the spin-off series’ of Top Gear to be broadcast, airing between September 1999 and May 2001, with more than 100 episodes in its name. Unlike any other spin-off, Top Gear GTi was broadcast on a near daily timeslot on the UK Horizons channel.”

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

Sarah Wilkin Hodgson: ‘Did we even have a budget?!! It was fab fun though…..apart from when I blew the tyre on the tracking mondeo car…..can you remember the weeing incident Michelle in the Honda Jazz when we were stuck in traffic in Madrid?…..and how ill I was in Barcelona….!!!! ‘

Michelle Davies: ‘Yes I remember Madrid!! That was a crazy 24 hrs smile emoticon and yes I remember Barcelona, you were so poorly. Do you remember me fixing the minicam to the Audi TT (you were presenting) and it fell off and smashed to pieces on the A345?! Managed to save the rushes though – sorry Alan Miller! So many memories .’

Alan Miller: ‘The show was by UKTV standards quite well funded but BBC overheads certainly ate into that budget big time. We cut costs by shooting and editing everything ourselves. Everyone did their bit,. Driving tracking cars, rigging in car cameras, writing running orders and even supervising the final compile were all shared by the entire team including the PA. It was a very flat hierarchy I think. The directors and producer of course shot and edited their own items. With very little lead time before the first TX we had to generate 23 minutes per week ourselves towards the 46 minute long programme, which had of course commercial breaks. Despite the pressures it was great fun to work on and I was and still am proud of what the fantastic team achieved, sometimes beating the BBC1 Top Gear to be first to test new cars!’

Joolz Richards: ‘It was one of the most fun programmes I ever worked on, certainly. Plus, we got to travel and stay in some excellent hotels. I particularly remember Branson’s place in Mallorca with Mark Scott and Steve Berry – I directed one piece and actually got Steve to recite Shakespeare (not well admittedly, remember that northern accent????) as this hotel had a proper Juliet balcony. There was also one occasion in Barcelona where the other journos thought I was Steve’s wife… Jeez…We were looked down on massively by the main programme which I think we really loved!!!!! However, it gave all of us the opportunity to learn lots of skills we would never have been able to otherwise – writing scripts, driving filming vehicles, sound boom, second camera, directing, the list is endless. An excellent training ground. Fab memories.’

Tracey Bagley: ‘May I add … Yes you all did a great job and quite frankly at times I know it proved challenging. Alan Miller, I recall going through that budget with you and you then taking me through all the technical aspects of the self shooting / self editing ! The innovation …. Happy days .’

Alan Miller: ‘Hi Tracey. We certainly played around with the budget to get the most out of it. I am sure I could not have done the various “deals” which allowed us to work the way we did without your inestimable help. I always thought of you as a crucial part of the team.’

Giorgio Locatelli: Pure Italian

Giorgio 1

Giorgio 2

Giorgio 3

Giorgio 4












































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

Article, about chef Giorgio Locatelli – I can’t remember the magazine, but possibly the Observer.

In 2001/2 BBC Pebble Mill made a 15 part cookery series, which was Giorgio Locatelli’s first TV cookery. I was lucky enough to be the series producer. Even though we had a tiny budget, of around £22,500 per half hour – I seem to remember, we loved making this series. The self shooting directors were Paul Vanezis and Paul Newman, who recorded the show on the Sony DSR 200. We used a professional sound recordist. Julie Richards was the researcher, and it was the first series that Ant Smith edited. We hired a terraced house with a beautiful kitchen in Kentish Town (fortunately the owner was abroad, as we rather took over the whole place), and recorded one show a day for three weeks. Giorgio was great to work with, and there was always good food to eat! Giorgio seemed to know everyone who was worth knowing – and even lived next door to Kate Winslet!

The motorbike, shown in the photo, was a mixed blessing. During the production period Giorgio had a bit of an accident on his motorbike – fortunately he was ok, but it shook us all up.

Vanessa Jackson

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

Joolz Richards: ‘It was, by far, the best programme I ever worked on. Hard work, very short turnaround time, great fun and incredible opportunities. Vanessa had to go into the edit after the first week of filming leaving me to direct Giorgio which was a challenge!!! Plus Federico, lovely Federico who made us lunch every day. Great memories.’

BigScreen Birmingham (Paul Newman): .’….and Steve who prepped the food and ate everything afterwards. I still make a couple of Giorgio’s recipes – the shoot was quite relentless but great fun – and our visits to markets and restaurant kitchens were unforgettable.’