Forum for former BBC staff
>> Ex-pats >> Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!

Message started by bearsie on Apr 1st, 2002, 12:33am

Title: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by bearsie on Apr 1st, 2002, 12:33am

Hi everyone,

This site is about two years old and while I don't feel I have done my stimulating best on it, I am appealling to any visitors to liven it up a bit !!

In the last year this overall site has featured some bloody useful stuff. The Beeb is a tremendous gathering point for debate all over the world,
and Hutton has refocused the attention on the old girl.Sometimes  its not great for the old Blood Pressure.

Mike Farman here BBC Radio News circa 1974 to 1987.Also Southampton Region 1986-88.My e mail is mikefarman@xtra. if you prefer more direct chat.

I asked for an ex Pats page in because I thought this web site was lacking that extra link to those, like me, who have moved to pastures new and somewhat greener! In my case North island,New Zealand.Its green cos it rains a lot ....

The fact that my wife Carolyn Leaney (WATO 1980-87)is a Kiwi of course had nothing to do with the move!

There are many matters in which I hope Oveseas ex pats will want involvement. Plus just knowing where fellow Beeb people are in foreign fields can be advantageous.There have been some good early communications...mainly from France. I am sure there must be many many more guys enjoying life overeseas?Join us

In addition,I can assist on any travel plans or first time visit options when planning trips to New Zealand for you guys, and mybe keep an eye on "gap year" kids coming out here.I hope this goes for others living around the globe.

Please use the Ex Pats page and add to this (we hope) very interesting  web site.And please, any ideas for expanding or enhancing, chime in......

Hope to hear from you soon.


Title: Re: General intro and intention
Post by Ian_Hyams on Apr 16th, 2002, 5:41pm

Ian Hyams here and thought I'd not recognize any names when I entered the Beeb page for the first time....and up came a message from you!

Have totally lost contact with most BH colleagues since I left in 1980 and went to Radio Norfolk, then resigned and ran the LCP training course for 4 years and freelanced in Belfast for 3. To cut a long story short am now in semi-retirement here in New Hampshire, USA. I say semi-retirement  because still doing some 2-ways from my ISDN box. In fact was on air with two regions in my early hours.
Your part of the world sounds great and is one place we've never been, but with no immediate relations there am hardly likely to go now. Having enough problems keeping up to date with our spreadout family.
Sounds as though you've got a good job there, too which makes a change from News Orging night shifts at BH.
All the best.

Title: Re: A home for ex-BBC ex-pats
Post by Chris_Cameron on Apr 21st, 2002, 5:08pm

I would like to show my support for this forum by posting a few words.
I worked in Television Drama 1969 - 1997 and would love to hear from any old acquaintances. I'm now living in a delightful part of the South of France (foothills of the Cevennes mountains) with my wife and am in the process of setting up a small business letting holiday accommodation.
So if anyone remembers me, drop me a line - will find me or if you want a holiday with a neighbour who remembers the good old days…
As someone who's done it I'd be happy to offer advice to anyone planning a move to France.

All the best,
Christopher Cameron

Title: Re: A home for ex-BBC ex-pats
Post by john_ansell on May 16th, 2002, 4:27pm

Congratulations to Bob Eggington for making this all possible. This is John Ansell, ex chief sub World Service who took advantage of early retirement on not-to-be-repeated special terms and moved to France.  Little did I imagine that my village of 800 souls would gain worldwide publicity. Just mention of the name Sangatte brings an immediate response: "Refugees." My retirement has become rather busy, with constant requests for interviews and articles. I am now so fed up with the media image generated that I am reluctant to encourage it any further. I still do live pieces with Radio Kent on all sorts of topics. They've a good news team  at Tunbridge Wells, especially now that there's  a proper regional setup there, with television and radio in the same newsroom.
I would be pleased to hear from old friends, even the booze cruisers to Calais only three miles from here.

Title: Re: A home for ex-BBC ex-pats
Post by chriswest on Jun 5th, 2002, 11:59am

Hello, Chris West here, former News Correspondent (as reporters became grandly known..) Took early retirement April 1999, and about to become an ex-pat. Wife, dog and self planning to move to southern Spain in September, halfway between Granada and Cordoba. We have hundreds of olive trees, spectacular views, but as yet no house -- something we're working on. All contacts wd be warmly received. My personal email  

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by wilkins on Jul 24th, 2004, 7:30pm

What a great idea!
I have totally lost all contact with my old mates from the BBC.
I was at TC from 1972 to 1974 as a TO in sound and made some really good friends but I moved to Denmark in 1975 and completely lost touch.
Today I work at Aalborg University as an electronics engineer. If by some microscopic chance anybody that reads this remembers me, please drop me a line.

Rodney Wilkins.

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by Bristol on Feb 3rd, 2006, 3:32pm

Hello you guys

Great idea - oh sorry forgot to introduce myself - Robin Hicks - presented and produced Farming Today when the bugdet was £29 a programme and then spent 10 years as HNR Bristol.  Network radio for TV types.
Worked in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Edinburgh.
Now living in the S of France near a retired Exec Producer for R I Stuart Grundy.
Christopher Martin - one time D Pers lives near Carcassone and have met him a couple of times.
Great blend - no bossy UK government with all the initiatives but a proper health service, wonderful roads, trains, food and weather and Radio 4 on the Sat.  Sad to say we now find Channel 4 TV the most interesting  BBC 2 never the same since Attenborough went.
If you are in France or anywhere come to that - do contact me

Oh and the hobbies - 3 acres of garden and have formed a Cricket Club - MCC in fact Midi Cricket Club!  And of the contributors I think I knew Bob Simpson is I fear the only one.

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by FAY EADY on Mar 6th, 2006, 6:06am


Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by John_GODSON on Oct 25th, 2006, 10:00pm

What an excellent idea someone has come up with so that BBC Old-timers can keep in contact.  This is John Godson, former On-Air News Director (1962 - 1972) with Television News at Alley Palley and then the move to the Spur.  

I was also sent to Belfast the day after the troubles started on 31 August (I think) 1969 to direct both national and international news items and inserts from the province in order to relieve some of the pressures on the poorlocal crew.  Those guys were feeling it from all sides.  After 6 months in Belfast, and much pleading to be moved from Norther Irel;and, I was seconded (as a form of a holiday break) to RTE, Dublin (of all places) to produce and direct weekly Current Affairs programmes for them.  At the end of that 6 months, and many applications to move from tv News to a less stressful position in Documentaries, or Science, or anywhere, and on receiving a continual stream of the dreaded Pink Slips, I made certain inquiries which revealed that it wasn't my capabilities that were being questioned, but that the then Head of News (Desmond Taylor) refused to release me from the News Division.  So on deciding HE needed a Pink Slip or two shoved right up his nostril, I wrote a rather pointed letter of resignation and gave the Beeb away.  I have regretted it a few times, especially when lwatching, as an ordinary viewer, some of the remarkably excellent general output emanating from the BBC.

I was led to this site by an ex-BBC Contract Film Cameraman (Ray Henman) who returned to his home base, Sydney, many years ago.  

Prior to joining the BBC, I had been the first person on television in Australia - on TCN-9, Sydney, when it started the first television transmissions in Australasia on 16 September 1956.  

I have read with sadness in the Forum of the demise of a nyumber of good friends and colleages from my era with the BBC.

Anyway, we now live in Auckland's western district of Waitakere - and it seems that a few other old hands also have chosen New Zealand as a place of camness and serenity.  I would always welcome exchanges of messages, or even a visit should any old BBCers of my generatiion be passing through.  Our email address is

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by pgs4038 on Mar 3rd, 2008, 6:09pm

Well, yet another one bites the dust (it's not as wet as Manchester here in the SW of France).
I spent 33 years in Manchester's audio unit before resigning in 2006. Too many late, early and weekend shifts with no sign of any let-up made me decide to jump ship and swim to the warmer waters of the Ariége.
We now live in a previously converted watermill in a very peaceful part of France with great neighbours, good food and no alarm clock!

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by Malcolm Elliott on Jun 9th, 2008, 8:32am

Hi, Malcolm Elliott here in Malaysia. After leaving the camera department at BBC Manchester in 1983 to join Central at their new studios in Nottingham (now demolished :( ) I left the UK back in Dec 1995 to join Astro in Malaysia to run their new studios. Since leaving them 7 years ago I have been sharing my time between freelance work around Asia and sailing... which is one of the reasons I'm reluctant to return to the UK  :)
I'd love to hear from anyone that was at Manchester between 74 and 83, anyone who was on A47 at Wood Norton, and anyone that used to work on LO3, which i
bought a few years back, refitted and shipped out here, where it has found a new lease of life doing Malaysian OBs.

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by david.shute on Oct 31st, 2008, 1:08pm

David Shute ex Sevior Talks Producer Pebble Mill.
Now living in Calpe on Spain's Costa Blanca.
Married to Jane who, many years ago was my Secretary at the Mill.  I have a retirement job lecturing on cruise ships which is a pretty good way of seeing much of the world I couldn't afford to see otherwise.
Just beck from trip tpo northern Spain and two chilly days in Madrid. Warmer in Calpe in winter I'm glad to say.  Bestest to anyone who might remember me.


Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by HMG on Aug 13th, 2009, 9:48am

Hi Chris (West)

See your contact is a while now but as News Cameraman remember doing various assigments with you.
I am now in Cape Town taking the sun, sand and WIND and the odd freelance job

Howard Garstka
News Cameraman

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by Paul White on Sep 4th, 2010, 2:50pm

HI from Ottawa...

I  joined the TVC Presentation Department in 1970 after arriving back from New Zealand.   I had begun my broadcasting career there as a Network director for NZBC CHTV3 in Christchurch S Island.  Before that I had swallowed the anchor having spent a few years at sea as a Merchant Navy Radio Officer with Marconi...the book is in progress !

At TVC in 1970 they gave me a 6 month contract as a holiday relief  TV Presentation director working in Network, Presentation Programmes and Trails. They thought I was a Kiwi and would soon go away back to New Zealand as so many had done before !...but I hung on...had a couple more 6 month contracts and in 1972 I joined TV News as a News Director where I stayed until October 1993 taking early retirement.  After leaving the BBC I freelanced for a couple  of years on the Money Programme then went on to lecture for three and a half years in media Studies at Swindon College.  Since then I have gardened and made a few home videos using my computer to edit and now have 2 Sony camcorders...both of them 16:9  and one of them HD. My partner Jessica Trinity ( is a professional freelance news photographer and we like to cover events together mixing the media.

My happiest moments at the BBC were directing Outside Broadcasts for News and Current Affairs, even achieving a couple of Match of the Days  with two cameras when Main OBs were snowed off !...(and a note of thanks from the Sports Department's Editor Sam Leitch) Also I spent 18 years working with News Review for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing where I was allowed to go and make films about fine art exhibitions and other subjects of special interest for the deaf. The first Editor Bill Northwood was a great friend and mentor.  He instilled in me the need for accuracy in everything from spelling to facts and would not tolerate sloppy work.  

I believe we had the very best years of TV Centre between 1970 and 1990 both at work and socially. I made many friends and found it extraordinary that this wonderful life in broadcasting was also moderately well paid.  I remember a thousand laughs and happy times.  Life in News was never dull and I took home many memories working at the live heartbeat and core of News.  I feel privileged to have been a part of it.

Yes, it has been a Life in the British Commonwealth for me too....

I traveled all round the globe from London England, where I was born, visited S Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad, Malta, E Pakistan, India, Ceylon, W Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Pitcairn Island, New Zealand..even waved at Australia from the Barrier Reef.  Now I have ended up in yet another Commonwealth country Canada and have begun a new and exciting period of my life.

Since arriving here in 2006 I have lived in French speaking Gatineau QC, English speaking Ottawa Ontario and moved back to Gatineau Templeton Quebec Province where the taxes are lower, the food is gastronomic and the people delightful.  

Ottawa is a beautiful city with wide views of several rivers and spectacular countryside just a step away North of us with thousands of lakes, teaming wildlife and the potential to really get back to nature.

I have made contact with two old colleagues from my TV Centre days: Tom Dodd who was a trainee with me in Presentation on attachment from CBC and John Scully the ebullient Kiwi who was a a great friend and colleague of the sadly departed George James who also came to Canada and made a name for himself as a Senior Broadcasting Executive here.  John, of course, has been a reporter and correspondent and is a published  author and media guru here and abroad.  His scathing Facebook comments!/profile.php?id=564414368
 on life and politics in this part of the World are a joy to read and he has a large following of devoted fans.  I am hoping to meet him for a beer in the near future as he has just moved to Toronto and does visit Ottawa occasionally.

Any others who know me living in Canada...please get in touch.  In any corner of the globe we can all get together using Facebook
..don't let us just fade away...God in two years I will be 70 !!! I refuse to believe it !

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.    :D   ...pass the mustard

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by Paul White on Sep 7th, 2010, 3:44am

[size=14][/size]I understand from John Scully that my announcement of George James' passing was greatly exaggerated...MY APOLOGIES GEORGE ! If you are reading this please do let me know and give me your news, I'd love to see you again if you are still in Canada.  My one vivid memory: you, John Ex and Chris Cramer all in merry mood rampaging and raging against News management's errors.  John wearing a finely embroidered silk kimono, with a dragon on the back, leading you all to the Club. I was very impressed. :D  

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by 206188F on Jan 28th, 2011, 1:54pm

Greetings All -
I'm working at Al Jazeera in Qatar, though technically based in Dubai. I Joined BBC as a Studio Manager in World Service in 74 and left as a Training Manager at Wood Norton in 95, having done lots of things in between. I've been in the Gulf for about 8 years, though home is still not very far from Wood Norton. I see plenty of familiar names on this forum, but so far not on this thread.
- Dave McClure

Title: Re: Lets hear more from BBC ex Pats!!
Post by JohnW on Apr 6th, 2011, 4:45pm

That's perhaps because we're not all ex-pats, Dave!
Glad to hear you're still enjoying life, even if it's a long way from the former ETD!

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