PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

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Mr_Wolf
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PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Mr_Wolf »

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BBC Four and stars say goodbye to Television Centre

Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four, today announces the star-filled commission of Goodbye Television Centre, a 1x120 mins programme to celebrate 53 years of history behind the iconic building. Some of the biggest BBC stars of all time will gather together for one last time to bid the old building a fond farewell.

To tx in March 2013, former BBC Chairman Michael Grade will invite an exciting array of people from the worlds of sport, acting, journalism, music and entertainment to assemble in the BBC’s Studio One in front of a studio audience, where they will talk about their favourite Television Centre memories.

Richard Klein, Controller of BBC Four, says: "TVC is quite simply the greatest television stage on Earth and BBC Four is going to celebrate all that is wonderful about it in a whole night of programming in March. What was made at TVC – the dramas, the sit-coms, the music shows, the glitzy dance and entertainment extravaganzas, the comedies, the news – everything – form part of Britain’s collective history. These shows, from The Two Ronnies to The Old Grey Whistle Test, from Newsnight to Grandstand, from Strictly Come Dancing to Morecambe and Wise – are lodged in our memories and Four intends to salute the passing of this era with a fond and uplifting farewell night."

The BBC guest stars will recount stories as they reminisce about the times they spent at the BBC’s flagship studios. What did they do when there was a power cut on the launch night of BBC Two, and why did everyone blame Michael Bentine for the 1965 armed robbery? All of them will be giving us a personal insight into their experiences at TVC.

Viewers will gain an exciting vision into some of our most loved BBC shows, all produced in the great Television Centre. Roving reporter Victoria Coren will also take the viewers on a special tour of the BBC - from the studios that housed Monty Python’s Parrot sketch, Del Boy’s Living Room and Miranda’s shop, to the path Alan Partridge took while running through the building with some stolen Stilton!

Joining him on the sofa will be a whole host of legendary faces:

Sir David Attenborough
Penelope Keith
Ronnie Corbett
Sir Michael Parkinson
Jeremy Paxman
Noel Edmonds
Sir Terry Wogan
Mark Lawson
Richard Briers
Sir David Jason
Zoe Ball
Philip Schofield
Gary Lineker
Chris Hollins
Bob Harris
Fiona Bruce

VT Guests confirmed:

Barry Cryer
Brian Blessed
Alan Yentob

The famed building has brought us decades of programming and has created treasured household names. Goodbye Television Centre will look at the nostalgic history created by the stars of the small screen, both on and off camera, since the 1960s. Comedy shows, talk shows, entertainment shows, children’s television, music and drama – they were all born from the famous Television Centre.

London’s TVC has been a hub of creativity from the moment it opened its doors on 29 June 1960, to the moment it will close them on 31 March 2013. So joins us to say, Goodbye Television Centre.

Goodbye Television Centre is Executive Produced by Caroline Wright and Produced by Lucy Kenwright and Genevieve Dolittle.
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Bernie
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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Bernie »

None of us, of course

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Post by Roll ACR »

So many goodbyes... Paxo is being interviewed for the Granada one too. Always good to have a foot in both camps.

Gary C
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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Gary C »

...........were any of those people listed actual staff?

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Bernie
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Post by Bernie »

Well, one stands out, as he's the only one, and that's Alan Yentob.

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Simon36 »

Hang on, what was wrong with Richard Marson's doc last year?

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Peter Neill »

It concentrated too much on Children's' TV. I had hoped that there would be more emphasis on Drama and Music in this one, but it looks to be very LE heavy. Mind you, they were going to feature the Generation Game quite heavily until I pointed out that it was recorded at the television Theatre!

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Post by GarethR »

As somebody said after the broadcast of Tales from Television Centre, the definitive documentary about the building itself is yet to be made. Problem is such a programme, at least done the way I'd like it to be done, wouldn't be of much interest to a general audience. Commissioning editors will usually want these sorts of shows to go heavy on celebs telling celeb-style anecdotes that can be illustrated with programme clips, rather than the behind-the-camera staff talking about the everyday experiences of actually working in the place. That's the main reason I couldn't help feeling that TfTC fell somewhat short of what I hoped it would be.

In one of his original calls for memories, Richard Marson mentioned something about "the room with the mysterious machine nobody knows anything about". This wasn't covered in TfTC, but I'm intrigued. Does anyone know any more?

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Bodie »

Mr_Wolf wrote: Joining him on the sofa will be a whole host of legendary faces:

Richard Briers
Sadly not to be.

Richardm
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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Richardm »

Must say this took me rather by surprise! But then I know there was something of a hoo-ha when entertainment didn't get the original commission for Tales - before I came on board. If at first...I'd love to know what budget they're working with! I was told a planned Christmas repeat for Tales on BBC2 was dropped as there were nerves about the jolly stories about sex on the premises in the wake of Savile.

I was surprised to read that Peter felt Tales was too children's heavy. Of course, I had my roots there but I also felt very many people's first experiences and perceptions of TVC would be bound up with these shows.

However, there was a lot of drama and music too - for the same reasons, these were such seminal viewing experiences - from Dr Who and Doomwatch to War and Peace, Bentine to Till Death, Top of the Pops to Late Night Line Up. We were guided by the geographical approach and the calibre of the various anecdotes (where clips existed to support them)

Oh well, you can't please all the people and this was certainly an 'up tempo' celebration rather than a social history doc (which would be fascinating)

I'll watch Goodbye with interest and I hope, not irritation!

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Mickey »

Your film was excellent, Richard. Could have been twice as long, mind. ;)

Nice to see that they've got Schofield for this new one though. I'd heard his ITV deal kept him away from the Beeb these days.

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Richardm »

Yes that's why he couldn't do Tales. Ditto Ant and Dec

Having Michael Grade as host may have helped - they share the same agent!

And thanks for the kind remarks about Tales! :-)

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Roll ACR »

Should be interesting but as with "Tales.." not going to be "anoraky" enough for us enthusiasts and people in the business. A proper in depth documentary would be fascinating. I'm quite disappointed that Grade is involved, for my money he's not even worthy of licking his Uncle's boots.

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Simon36 »

I echo that Richard, I adored your doc.

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Richardm »

Well, that's very kind. It was a love letter to a very special building

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by JezR »

Richardm wrote:I was told a planned Christmas repeat for Tales on BBC2 was dropped as there were nerves about the jolly stories about sex on the premises in the wake of Savile.
Wasn't there a 'No sex or drugs please we're before the watershed' version which should still be considered OK to show? Or did that still have some references now that make people nervous?

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Post by Richardm »

Yes, there was but that still contained the section about hanky panky on the premises!

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Peter Neill »

Richardm wrote: I was surprised to read that Peter felt Tales was too children's heavy. Of course, I had my roots there but I also felt very many people's first experiences and perceptions of TVC would be bound up with these shows

Oh well, you can't please all the people and this was certainly an 'up tempo' celebration rather than a social history doc (which would be fascinating)
Richard - I've just watched it again (I made myself an "extended repeat", combining both pre-and post-watershed versions) and think I owe you an apology. There was plenty of non-childrens stuff there. I suppose the reason that I don't really relate to that particular content is that I worked there from '64-89 so, apart from Sarah Greene I didn't know many of them.

As Gareth said, the documentary we would like won't be made, partly because the commissioners wouldn't think that the public would be interested, partly because half the people I would like to interview are now dead, and empty corridors and disused scenic workshops don't make good telly.

I think that if I have one criticism still it is that there were too many interviewees - I'd honestly forgotten that Paul Fox and Jim Moir were included because neither of them said much (though I'm sure that Jim actually said quite a lot).

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Charles Norton »

Just in case anyone's interested, the petition to keep TC8 open past 2013 has now reached 175 signatures (mostly from past and present BBC staff). You can find it here:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/tc8/signatures

And in case any of you are wondering about that Colin Baker signature - yes, it is that one.

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by groovy69 »

Richardm wrote:I'll watch Goodbye with interest and I hope, not irritation!
For some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I feel I will be highly irritated by this programme so I doubt I'm actually going to watch it.

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Razor Eddie »

BBC News - In pictures: An artist's vision of BBC Television Centre

Some nice images... Can anyone name the show the "portal into another world" mural came from?
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Bob Richardson
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Post by Bob Richardson »

The "portal to another world" (Fort Knox perhaps?) is painted on the wall outside of TC6 and I think it was done for one of the Saturday morning kids' shows - "Live & Kicking" or perhaps its successor. It has been there for years. I used to walk past it every day on my way into the Graphics entrance of TC5.

The "transporter trolley" described in the slideshow is actually a battery powered "Teddy Car" - as they were almost universally know by scenic ops staff. (Every time I see one the phrase "and Pearl Johnson" springs to mind... Old viewers may get the drift of this peculiar spoonerism!)
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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by Roll ACR »

Bob Richardson wrote:The "portal to another world" (Fort Knox perhaps?) is painted on the wall outside of TC6 and I think it was done for one of the Saturday morning kids' shows - "Live & Kicking" or perhaps its successor. It has been there for years. I used to walk past it every day on my way into the Graphics entrance of TC5.

The "transporter trolley" described in the slideshow is actually a battery powered "Teddy Car" - as they were almost universally know by scenic ops staff. (Every time I see one the phrase "and Pearl Johnson" springs to mind... Old viewers may get the drift of this peculiar spoonerism!)
When I left the Beeb to go and work for an ITV company the first time I referred to them as "Teddy Car" I was greeted by absolutely blank expressions and "do you mean a Bagnall?"

As they were mostly made by Lansing Bagnall it kind of makes sense that they are referred to by their brand name and a bit like a Hoover even if it's not, it is.

I always wondered where the "Teddy Car" thing came from. It's peculiar to TVC in my experience and I never found anyone who knew the derivation of it.

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Post by Peter Neill »

I always knew them as Teddy Trucks rather than Cars. When we were given something to tow the tech equipment trolleys round the ring road we weren't trusted with anything as powerful as that. Ours only went at about half a mile an hour and we were forever an obstacle to the scene boys with their Teddies.

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Re: PR: Goodbye Television Centre [BBC]

Post by ray lomas »

According to Digiguide, this will air on Friday 22nd March at 8:30pm preceded by a commemorative concert by Madness and followed by a session by Richard Thompson from TC8.

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Post by Simon36 »

ray lomas wrote:According to Digiguide, this will air on Friday 22nd March at 8:30pm preceded by a commemorative concert by Madness and followed by a session by Richard Thompson from TC8.
A commemorative concert by Madness? Apart from it to me being madness to be doing this to TVC I can't see how they got that gig. It sounds like something Chris Morris would announce on The Day Today.

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Post by Koen »

Today's Ten O'Clock News (which happened to be preceded by a nostalgic plug for the iPlayer, full of snippets from things like Monty Python and Newsround, many of which will have been recorded at TVC) was apparently the last bulletin before the move to Broadcasting House. They did a short report about the end of BBC News at TVC, starting around 16 minutes in.

I think the link is http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007mplc but it's not online yet.

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Post by image45 »

Simon36 wrote:Hang on, what was wrong with Richard Marson's doc last year?
Yes I was think that too

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Post by Simon36 »

I enjoyed this and especially Danny Baker's comment about how it makes financial sense to close TVC in the same way it made financial sense to junk tapes in the old days. Shame he then pulled it back with a get out quip. One thing both this and Richard's excellent programme lacked to me was talk with the other people who worked there. It would just have been nice to have had a final word for a representation or too of all the 90% of the staff who weren't appearing in front of the cameras.

Goodbye TVC. I loved working for you.

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Post by Rory Clark »

Simon36 wrote: One thing both this and Richard's excellent programme lacked to me was talk with the other people who worked there. It would just have been nice to have had a final word for a representation or too of all the 90% of the staff who weren't appearing in front of the cameras.
Surely around 50% - possibly more - of the interviewees in Richard's programme were from behind the camera; apart from our own Bernie and Bob, there was Biddy Baxter, Edward Barnes, Harold Snoad, Roger Bunce, Paul Fox, Waris Hussein, Bob Warrans, June Hudson, Professor Jonathan Powell*, Greg Dyke, Clive Doig, Jim Moir, Jeremy Swan, Alan Russell, John Henshall and Graeme Harper. Additionally, there were people like Rantzen, Attenborough and Peters who appeared both sides of the camera.





*Is he a "Professor" in the same sense that Jimmy Edwards was?
... and a right looking ponce no one's ever heard of.

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