My window faces the South: Part 1

Coming into the BBC from New Zealand television in 1973, I quickly realised that my training and experience as a TV producer / director there did not fit well into the quasi civil service BBC job hierarchy, so at the time I had no choice but to settle for the assistant producer “rank” when I was hired to work as a network director (transmission controller) at the TV Centre in London, on a series of short-term contracts. The job was a means to an end; I wanted get back to making programmes as soon as possible.

In those days BBC Television didn’t normally hire programme directors. Instead they called them assistant producers. A fairly meaningless title really, as almost everyone on a production assists a producer. Also an insulting title, especially on live programmes, where the split second decisions of the programme director translate instantaneously into actions which dictate what the viewer sees and hears, independently of a producer. Continue reading

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Twinning is alive – at least where I live.

According to some in the media, twinning is doomed. Sadly there is some evidence to support that view, internationally, but the twinned villages of Woodhall Spa and Roëzé are bucking the alleged trend. Earlier this year a doughty band of Woodhall Spa and district families once again crossed the Channel to spend a long weekend with their French hosts en famille, and plans are now being drawn up for the next return visit in 2017.

As yet, dates have not been set, but  a recent survey of current WSTA members indicates continued willingness to offer slices of English life once again next year. It does seem likely that demand will exceed supply, so the association is once again on the lookout for new families. Continue reading