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ATV - Announcers and Trails

This text 04/05/2003:

In the 1960s, Alex Trelinski writes, "The brilliant broadcaster Ray Moore spent a year as an announcer at ATV in Birmingham around 1964/65, after a stint at Granada. In his autobiography he said that he didn't enjoy it all, especially having to force smiles, and so he turned to radio, eventually leading to his presentation of his outstanding Radio 2 Early Show which had he had to give up in the late eighties because of cancer.

"In the late sixties I remember the announcing team being Pat Astley, Mike Prince, Mike Speke (perhaps only as a relief but he was to appear on Anglia for many years and Joan Palmer.

"[Joan] came from New Zealand and was the face that ATV used to promote the introduction of colour in 1969, with the campaign featuring a sea-lion! She would take the sea-lion around the Midlands with her for promotions, and it also appeared on the screen in promos! I think [Joan] left the station [..] in the early seventies but it was fair to say that she was the most popular of the announcers in the eyes of the viewers."

Moving on to the 70s, Alex continues: "The big catch in the early seventies, and probably the replacement for Trevor Lucas/Pat Astley was Peter Tomlinson, who I noticed on another web-site had been one of the first announcers on Harlech Television. [Apparently, Peter's] father was the marvellous British comedy actor David Tomlinson who appeared in such films as Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

"There was no doubt that Peter had his father's humour, and he brought some great laughs into his continuity slots. The highlight of the week was on a Friday night when ATV would screen a horror film after News at Ten under the umbrella title of "Appointment with Fear". Everybody would have fun, with often the continuity suite lights being darkened, and Peter Tomlinson would appear clutching a teddy bear. I wouldn't bother with the film, but his intro was worth watching and would have me in stitches. I think he left the station in the late seventies [1979, according to], and went to run Beacon Radio in Wolverhampton and the Black Country. I've seen him appear on commercials, and he's managing director [and a presenter] now of Saga Radio's West Midlands station[..]. "

Mike Prince


Mike Prince, pictured here closing down ATV for the last time on December 31st, 1981.

Mike also used to announce for HTV.

Alex Trelinski writes: "I believe [Mike] may have started in 1966 as the youngest announcer in the country: I heard 16 being given as his age."

The MPEG attached to the picture is from Christmas 1981, and features an advertisement, a continuity announcement and the titles to the ITN News (with Non-Stop as the opening musc).

MPEG available (2.2Mb).


Stewart White, doing a bit of Christmas in-vision continuity. Notice there's no sign of ATV's identity anywhere here.

Stewart was my mother's favourite announcer!

Alex writes: "Stewart White appeared in the late seventies, after working at BBC Radio Derby.

"He presented the mid-morning programme for a time at BRMB, and then doubledup with his announcing work with ATV, before going there full-time. He's now the presenter of BBC 1's Look East programme in Norwich. He was always relaxed and professional."

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Here's Kevin Morrison.

Stephen Hyden says that Kevin used to work for BRMB, the Independent Local Radio (ILR) contractor for Birmingham. He used to travel to ATV in Broad Street after working at BRMB during the day to announce in the evenings.

He only did daytime announcements at the weekends.

Alex Trelinski: "Kevin Morrison [..] was probably Stewart's predecessor, and I think he went to work behind the scenes at ATV in either their commercial or promotion department."

(Thanks to Stephen Hyden)

This is Peter Marshall, perhaps better known as an announcer for Thames Television and occasionally at HTV West.

Andy Simpson says that he hosted some Miss World contests, and Dave Jeffery adds that he also presented the BBC's Come Dancing.

(Thanks to Stephen Hyden and Andy Simpson)

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This is ATV / Central mainstay, Avril Carson.

Su Evans, another long-serving ATV/Central announcer.

She appears sometimes as an in-vision weather presenter on Central.

(Thanks to Stephen Hyden and Tony Llewellyn for help with naming the announcers.)

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Reg Harcourt.

David Edwards says: "In addition to presenting ATV Today from time to time, he was also the station's political editor."

Reg now is currently the producer of the Carlton political programme It's Your Shout. He can also be heard on Saga Radio as presenter of the big band show Swingtime.

Margaret Hounsell.

David says that she both read the news and presented ATV Today.

Notice that the ATV shadowed-eyes act as a clock too, in this grab.

(Thanks to David Edwards for info)

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Arthur Adair, ATV London announcer from (it is thought) 1955-1964.

He was replaced by Trevor Lucas (see below).

He also did some announcing for the Midlands ATV regions too.

Arthur was part of ATV's original four announcers, the others being Peter Cockburn, Jean Morton and Shaw Taylor. In the early days the Midlands region's announceers were in-vision whilst in London announcements were made out-of-vision (i.e. they announced over captions). [Jeremy Rogers]


(ATV Television Show Book, 1963)

Caroline Lloyd. The book this came from says, "Midlands viewers know her well as an announcer and commere."

'Commere' is the feminine version of the word 'compere', but is now considered old-fashioned and no longer in general use.


(ATV Television Show Book, 1963)

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Jean Morton, at the time the "Senior Station Announcer for the Midlands."

Jean also presented the Tingha and Tucker Show, known as "Auntie Jean."


(ATV Television Show Book 1963 and Arthur Vasey)

Norman Tozer, "The good-looking young announcer whom London viewers see regularly at weekends".


(ATV Television Show Book, 1963)

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Pat Astley, "ATV's only male Station Announcer in the Midlands."

(ATV Television Show Book, 1963)

Alex Trelinski says: "Pat's son, Gordon, has been an extremely popular and successful local radio broadcaster in the Midlands for the last 25 years or so."

Gordon Astley presented Tiswas after Chris Tarrant left to make OTT for Central.

Patricia Cox, "As newscaster for the Midlands, she keeps viewers up to date with the latest happenings at home and abroad."


(ATV Television Show Book, 1963)

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Trevor Lucas, in action on ATV London on Palm Sunday, 1964.

Trevor also occasionally read the local news. [Alex Trelinski]


Here he is again, in a more informal pose.

Alex writes: "Trevor Lucas was certainly around for three or four years after moving from ATV London [to ATV Midlands], and I remember him voicing up the ATV Oxford colour promo."

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On the subject of stand-in announcers, our correspondent Alex Trelinski writes: "[..] There were some fascinating "stand-in" continuity folk [during the seventies] on ATV. You've already featured Peter Marshall who is best known for his work on Thames, and Tom Edwards [also of Thames] did some stints. I also caught him [Tom] on Thames, Anglia, and Tyne Tees all in the same period of a fortnight!

"The best for my money of the stand-ins was the one and only Simon Bates. He worked at ATV during 1976, and had just started his Sunday morning show on Radio 1 replacing Peter Powell. There were a number of occasions that he would do the show, and then appear on Midland screens in the evening. I saw him do one shift in what appeared to be him wearing sunglasses, but his links were superb and tight, and he was superb going over to ITN over an ATV clock. His read of something like a weather forecast oozed of class, and the following year he started his long-standing Radio 1 weekday mid-morning show! He always looked a bit un-easy in vision, but out of vision he was totally in his element, and what a voice!

"Other people doing some occasional stints in the seventies included James Greene who was an actor [..] and didn't appear that often and Gwyn Richards who had presented a number of ATV programmes including ATV Today. Gwyn then went on to present the BBC 1 West of England regional programme, Points West, before returning to the Midlands to work for the BBC at Pebble Mill as a Network Radio producer."

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A menu from a Friday night.

I think I'll nip down to the pub after Play Your Cards Right...

Talk of the devil, here's Brucie now, presumably gesturing at the Dolly Dealers.

"What a marvellous audience, so much better than last week!"

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Here's another Friday night's entertainment.

I'll nip down to the offy whilst That's My Boy's on. Anybody want anything while I'm going?

Here's a programme slide for Going Out, about the lives of some teenage lads just after they've left school.

You see him in front? That's the future PC Dave Quinnan.

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Here's a Sunday evening's programmes.

Notice that the ITV corporate branding is being used here.

Here we have Bill Maynard in The Gaffer, and Colin Welland in Cowboys.

And what looks like a programme about global warming at 10.30.

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Here's a still from an Emmerdale Farm trail.

This was a Wednesday night's edition. Weren't these characters called Annie and Sam?

Thanks to EMC for black-and-white stills above.

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