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1   / Notices, obituaries and tributes / Re: John Grist
 on: Mar 28th, 2017, 12:40pm 
Started by Administrator | Post by Administrator  
We have received this tribute from a member of John's family.

My grandpa, John Grist, who has died at the age of 92 was a fighter pilot and Head of Current Affairs and Controller of the English Regions at the BBC.  

Grandpa was born in Southampton in 1924 to Austin and Ada (nee Ball), a much younger brother to Muriel, Betty and Joan. His father worked for the Post Office which meant that the family moved many times throughout his childhood before finally fetching up in Ryde, Isle of Wight in 1935. He attended Ryde School whose motto Ut Prosim ‘that I may be useful’ feels like something my grandpa took to his heart – he was deeply committed to public service.

As a child, Grandpa was a keen cyclist and, for a short time, a boxer but his real passion was for aircraft which he would watch as they arrived at the aerodrome from across the Solent. The war enabled him to follow his dream to become a pilot and in 1941 he signed up to join the Royal Air Force, which began with a six month course at Oxford University. Grandpa became a qualified pilot in August 1943 and was posted to Tain, Scotland to 86 Squadron, where he remained for the duration of the war achieving the rank of Flying Officer.

In 1946, following the end of his RAF commission, Grandpa took up a place at the London School of Economics. It was here that he met my Granny, Jill (nee Cranage) who he married in November 1952. Both my grandparents enjoyed an education delivered by influential post-war thinkers and it was here that lifelong friendships began as well as their political interest and activism. After leaving LSE, Grandpa studied for a year at the University of Chicago where his love for America began. This love affair culminated in relocating to New York for three years in the late seventies.

Grandpa joined the BBC in 1950, with three years spent in Nigeria from 1953 supporting the development of the national broadcasting service in preparation for independence. Upon their return to London, my Grandpa began work as a producer in the factual television (“Talks”) department in Lime Grove. During his time there he led on the Party Conference coverage and created the programmes ‘Who Goes Home’ and ‘Gallery’, on which he became Editor. In 1966, Grandpa became Head of Current Affairs. In 1972 he became Controller of the English Regions.

Grandpa managed a few final jobs before retirement: Supervisor on the project to install televised screenings of the Houses of Commons and Lords, working as a Foreign Office observer to the Russian elections in 1993 and acting as a media specialist for the first post-apartheid elections in 1994. Grandpa finally gave up broadcasting and retired on his 70th birthday, in South Africa, the day Nelson Mandela was elected.

Grandpa had an amazing energy for life – walking in the Lake District into his seventies, taking up novel writing once he had retired as well as studying Italian Renaissance Art. He was a warm, funny and intelligent man with a glorious twinkle in his eye.

Grandpa is survived by two of his children, his seven grandchildren and his great-grandson.

2   / Notices, obituaries and tributes / Costume Designer Valerie Spooner
 on: Mar 24th, 2017, 4:10pm 
Started by Maggie | Post by Maggie  
More sad news, Designer Valerie Spooner died recently (no details as yet)
Funeral Arrangements from husband Soundman Bill Chesneau:

Chilterns Crematorium
Whielden Lane
Bucks  HP7 0ND

Hampden Chapel, Wednesday  29th March 2017 at 11.45

(Whielden Lane is the A404 from Amersham to High Wycombe)

3   / Pensions / Re: Pensions going online
 on: Mar 20th, 2017, 10:01am 
Started by Delboy | Post by V Meldrew  
I phoned the pension help line this morning....apparantly I need an "invitation" letter before I can apply for this service.

I am told these letters are going out in batches. I found this posting almost by accident. I haven't seen it mentioned elsewhere, such as in Prospero.

4   / Pensions / Re: Pensions going online
 on: Mar 18th, 2017, 7:41am 
Started by Delboy | Post by Delboy  
Yep, I have now registered too, for me the most useful feature is the ability to change your bank details.

5   / Pensions / Re: Pensions going online
 on: Mar 17th, 2017, 3:25pm 
Started by Delboy | Post by WG  
Yes--I have registered for this--rang Cardiff and they sent me info numbers etc. Then there was quite a lot of stuff to key in, then an obligation via e-mail to activate and fill all the information again -phew-but I got there in the end!

Once logged in -I was not fully convinced that what I found was anything other than what I ALREADY ( very efficiently) had or would want from Pensions anyway -but it's fine( I suppose!).

6   / News and Comment / Re: Songs Of Praise
 on: Mar 13th, 2017, 11:38am 
Started by Administrator | Post by WG  
Pity-but-I suppose it's one better than "Songs of Praise" being sung by Channel 4?

7   / Notices, obituaries and tributes / Re: Mike Fentiman
 on: Mar 13th, 2017, 5:42am 
Started by Administrator | Post by Mike_D  
An audio interview with Mike Fentiman was recorded for the British Entertainment History Project in June 2000. You can listen to it at

8   / News and Comment / Songs Of Praise
 on: Mar 10th, 2017, 1:36pm 
Started by Administrator | Post by Administrator  
"Songs Of Praise" has been produced by BBC Television for 55 years.

Two Independent Production Companies have won the contract to produce the programme.

"Avanti Media" who produce the Welsh Language equivalent of "Songs Of Praise" called "Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol". S4C

"Dechrau Canu, Dechrau Canmol is a Welsh language spiritual and church music programme, which has been transmitted constantly since 1961. The first programme was recorded at Trinity Chapel, Swansea, and the first presenter was the Rev Morgan Mainwaring. It is interesting to note that the success of this first series gave birth to Songs of Praise in English."

Source Avanti web-site, here.

"Nine Lives Media".produce Channel 4's"Dispatches" and Channel Five's "holiday Love Rats Exposed". (Source Chris Mason BBC).

More information about Nine Lives Media can be found here.

Director of BBC Studios Mark Linsey is quoted as having said "We are disappointed with the outcome. "Songs Of Praise" is a much-loved programme, and we take great pride in how we've nurtured and developed the series over many years":

9   / News and Comment / BBC Academy spreading its wings ??
 on: Mar 9th, 2017, 10:30am 
Started by JohnW | Post by JohnW  
I quote (from today's TVBEurope) ...

"The BBC has announced plans to launch a new, virtual traineeship which will run exclusively on social media.
The virtual traineeship is designed to help young people with limited work experience who may need a helping hand to get on the career ladder.

The initiative has been inspired by the corporation’s ‘Make It Digital’ traineeship, which has seen almost 2,000 young unemployed people start an eight-week programme of digital and employability training designed by the BBC Academy and delivered by training providers around the UK.
Over the next two weeks, the BBC Academy will post video tutorials featuring peer to peer ‘Top Tips’ advice from young people have already found employment.
Practical ‘how to’ training will cover advice on composing a job-winning application, selling a candidate’s strengths in the digital world, dealing with pre-interview nerves and how to answer interview questions.

Joe Godwin, director of the BBC Academy, said: “The traineeship will be a great help to anyone wanting to apply for our BBC Traineeships and Apprenticeships. But it’s not just for people applying to work in the media. It’s for young people everywhere who don’t have much experience of the world of work and who may lack the confidence and employability skills needed when it comes to securing employment. The BBC Academy wants to help give them a leg up, by sharing tips and advice on how to navigate the daunting world of applying for a job. Offering the training via social media means we’ll make all this available where young people are most likely to see it, use it and share it.”

Applicants can follow the traineeship online from the BBC Academy Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts under #BBCGetIn"
Wherefore art thou, Wood Norton???  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
[Perhaps the original author of this article needs to be trained in the art of proof-reading their copy.  Wink  ]

10   / Notices, obituaries and tributes / Re: Mike Fentiman
 on: Mar 8th, 2017, 8:40am 
Started by Administrator | Post by Ron_C  
Mike Fentiman's funeral will be held at the:

Reserve Chapel
City of London Cemetery
Aldersbrook Rd
London E12 5DQ
Friday 17th March at 1200.

No flowers by request but donations to Save The Children welcome.

The funeral will be followed by a gathering at the family home which is close by:
83 Wanstead Park Rd
London E12 5EE