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The Continuity Booth
ITV 1 - Southern
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Former Southern Television announcer.
Former Southern Television announcer.
In-vision Southern Television continuity announcer in the 1960s.
By passing the 11-Plus, Greg gained entry to his local grammar school in North London, but education seemed to gain little purchase on his mind, which was focussed on tuning around the short-wave, discovering the existence of off-shore radio and determination to escape as soon as possible.

As a DJ on off-shore radio, Greg could be heard on Radio Essex from early-1966, then Radio 270, Radio 390 and briefly, before its demise, on Radio Caroline North. He has been a DJ and presenter at several local radio stations, including Breeze AM (as was), Beacon Radio (ditto), Two Counties Radio (ditto), LBC and, for four-and-a-half years in the late-1970s, at Radio Orwell.

As well as playing at gramophones, a presenter in those days needed to know all about meaningful speech, at which Greg, in hindsight, reckons he was particularly adept. At the time, he was perceived as 'esoteric' and even 'abstract' but he expresses in 2008 - and as 'technically' still a freelance voice-over, presenter and writer - a firm belief that radio was made for qualities such as his.

As Roger Scott (no relation to another broadcaster of the same name, who came to prominence in the UK in the early-1970s), Greg appeared in-vision as an announcer at Harlech from March 1968 to c. January 1969. His style of presentation - developed previously on off-shore radio - was deemed too risky and he received marching orders to the out-of-vision-only department. He remained there until his departure a couple of months later.

Freelance continuity (including at Granada) and voice-over work was Greg's professional occupation until reaching the announcer's desk at Anglia, where local news bulletins and presentation of the Birthday Club were delivered to the regional audience, some of whom objected to the long-haired 'object' on their screen!

Greg prides himself in being probably the only TV announcer to have been bought a short hair wig by his employer, as well as wishing his viewers "peace" at closedown. Surprisingly, he lasted a full year in Norwich, until October 1970, when the call came from the North East. His entertainment value was diluted again at Tyne Tees, due to all continuity being OOV. But this was rectified eventually, as an early-evening glory spot was introduced, featuring the announcer on camera revealing highlights of viewing ahead.

In Newcastle, in line with the policy of having the promos scripted and arranged by the announcers themselves, Greg quickly learned and perfected the art of sculpting imaginative and highly-creative blurb, which often had little to do with programme content. His association with the ITV company lasted until the lure of another spell of off-shore radio became irresistible in early-1972.

During his television days, Greg freelanced as an announcer at ATV and Southern, as well as revisiting Granada. Promotional trail voice-over work proved more sustainable and more successful. As the voice of Anglia for a few years in the 1980s, he travelled weekly (sometimes more) to Norwich. There was a weekly appointment in the voice-over booth at HTV for three years in the late-1980s and throughout the '80s and '90s, few weeks elapsed when Greg did not put his voice to LWT promos.

Voice-over work of all kinds had been a staple of his entire professional journey until the early-twenty-first century, when styles changed and his received pronounciation and great voice could no longer be disguised.

Greg's radio ambitions are not over yet! Tying-in with an interest in modern - i.e. twentieth and twenty-first century 'classical' music - he aims to interest before long a programme controller who really, really wants to incorporate into the schedule a regular, if not daily, excursion into the world of 'unlistenable' but actually highly intoxicating arrangements of sound. Mixed with Greg's intoxicating arrangement of words and intelligent, humourous world-view, large audiences are guaranteed!

He realises that by divulging this idea, to which he holds intellectual copyright, the concept could go walking. But nobody could execute it as well!

One of ITV's legendary announcers, John Benson announced for ABC Television, in Manchester and Birmingham, from 1957 until 1966. In 1967, he was a presenter for the BBC Light Programme, and a relief announcer for Rediffusion in London.

He joined Thames Television when it took over the London weekday franchise from 1968. He also continued as a relief announcer for Westward, Anglia, Southern, Thames and TVS. Benson's voice-over credits include the introduction to Southern Television's final programme, It's Goodbye From Us, Anglia TV's Sale Of The Century, and Yorkshire TV's 3-2-1. John Benson died in 1995.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

Australian-born former pirate radio disc jockey (known as Jim Gordon, or Jumbo Jimmy Gordon during his time on Radio Caroline North), who went on to become an in-vision continuity announcer for Thames Television, a relief announcer at Southern TV and also a voice-only announcer on the BBC. Sadly, Guy died of lung cancer in 2000.
Former ABC Television and Southern Television announcer.
With a very distinctive, deep, rich voice, Peter was an announcer at Southern TV from 1969 until 1971. He then became a news reader for BBC Norwich's 'Look East', before moving to BBC Television Centre where he was a BBC TV announcer for thirty years from 1971 until his retirement in 2001.

Peter died in early December 2006 following a sixteen-month battle with cancer.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

Jane Criddle was a Westward Television stalwart of the 1970s who moved to Southampton to in-vision announce for Southern Television in 1976/1977.
Former Southern Television announcer.
Richard Davies joined Southern Television long before his trademark white quiff appeared and his name was shortened to 'Dickie'. During his time with the station, he announced, reported, and presented the evening news programme, Day By Day. His big national break came when Eamon Andrews left his position as anchor of ITV's World Of Sport and Dickie was selected to replace him.

Dickie Davies has fond memories of his years at Southern, and tells one amusing anecdote concerning a late night weather report that he once read out before the station closed down for the evening. He says: 'The caption should have read 'Fog' but the letter 'F' had dropped off the board, leaving the word 'og' instead. Without thinking, I ended my piece by saying, 'sorry about the 'f' in fog', which I'm sure provoked a few letters at the time.' Dickie suffered a stroke in the mid-1990s which involved a long recovery process but he has since made a good recovery. Has recently presented Dickie Davies' Sporting Heroes for Sky Sports and is very occasionally heard reporting for Sky Sports News. Dickie did the voice-overs for 100 Greatest Sporting Moments for Channel 4 and has done some fundraising work for The Stroke Association.

In-vision Southern Television continuity announcer in the 1970s. Clifford Earl also announced out-of-vision for TVS in the 1980s.
In-vision Southern Television continuity announcer in the 1970s.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

Long serving ATV Network and Central TV in-vision continuity announcer, who is now a regular regional weather presenter on ITV 1 Central and ITV 1 Wales. Su also freelanced as an out-of-vision announcer for Central after it became part of the Carlton group in the late-1990s and into 2000/2001. Sue also did relief announcing on Southern Television in the 1970s.
Bill worked at Southern Television for over twenty years - first full-time and then part-time. He stopped full-time work when he became a senior lecturer in English Literature but continued to do a lot of work for Southern out of term time.
A former actress and continuity announcer at Southern TV, Ulster TV, Tyne Tees TV and BBC Radio External Services. She was also an announcer at Anglia TV and compere for Yorkshire TV's 'Stars On Sunday'.
LWT freelance announcer in the 1970s. Sharon was also an announcer for Southern TV from 1980 and then Anglia from 1983 - TBC.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

Started his television career as a continuity scriptwriter for ATV, but soon moved to the glamorous side of the camera as an announcer and programme presenter. His first in-vision job was as a relief announcer for North and Midlands weekend contractor, ABC Television, and he remained there for three months before landing a permanent job with Tyne Tees TV in the North East.

His innovative approach to continuity, which included donning a white coat and stethoscope before introducing Emergency Ward Ten or a stetson before Wagon Train secured him a large fan base, and he was voted TTTV's personality of the year within 12 months of landing the job. Later, he moved to ABC Television as one of its permanent announcers, and then when ABC joined with Rediffusion to form Thames Television in 1968, he continued as a continuity announcer and programme presenter. He could also be seen down the road at Southern Television at weekends when Thames was off air. National fame followed with a stint as a DJ on BBC Radio 1 and presenter on BBC Radio 2, and several television game shows.

David continues in broadcasting to this day; in more recent times he has had spells with Saga FM and Classic Gold radio.

Continuity announcer for Southern Television in the 1970s and 1980s who also read the news on BBC Look East from Norwich in 1979, and also announced for Thames in London.
Former Southern Television announcer.
Most famous as a Blue Peter presenter, dancer, and actress, Lesley Judd was also a Southern TV in-vision continuity announcer in the 1970s.
With a rich, fruity voice Martin was an announcer at Southern TV in 1973 and a BBC TV announcer for 16 years from 1973 until 1989. Latterly, he was a BBC Radio World Service announcer. In a past life, Martin also provided "guest" character voices in the Gerry Anderson puppet shows 'Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons' and 'Joe 90'.
Continuity announcer for Ulster TV (1967 to 1969), Anglia TV (1970 to 1973), Southern, Thames Television, ATV, and, on occasions, HTV West. Also recognised nationally as the host of the 'TV Times Awards' and 'Miss United Kingdom' on the ITV network in the 1970s and 1980s. He also presented the BBC's 'Come Dancing' from 1980 to 1983, and has regularly reported for ITV's 'Wish You Were Here'. Marshall originally trained as a teacher, and then an actor with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, before joining a Bournemouth rep company.
Former offshore pirate radio broadcaster who moved into television announcing, and, since then, has appeared on many ITV regional stations, including long stints at ABC TV, the North and Midlands weekend contractor until 1968. Keith also announced for ATV, Yorkshire Television, Anglia TV, Television South and LWT in the 1970s/1980s. Announcer for Southern TV, 1959 - 1961; ATV and ABC Television. BBC TV announcer, 1965 to 1972; BBC Radio External Services announcer 1975 onwards. Keith went on to specialise in voice coaching - his clients include former Prime Minister John Major.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

LWT in-vision continuity announcer in the late-1970s and early-1980s. Verity Martindill was a regular continuity face on several other ITV stations, including Southern Television, Central and TVS.
Former ABC Television announcer. Also an in-vision Southern Television continuity announcer in the 1960s.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

Continuity announcer on Southern TV and HTV West in the 1970s who later found national fame as BBC 'Breakfast Time' fitness expert, The Green Goddess. She still makes many media appearances today, and is an active promoter of cancer charities.
Martin was a holiday relief announcer, BBC General Overseas Service, in 1956. He joined the BBC TV in-vision announcing team in 1957, finally leaving in 1964. He was a Southern TV announcer, news reader and reporter from 1958 to 1960 and was also a presenter on BBC 'South Today' from 1961 to 1964.

He was a presenter of BBC TV's 'Come Dancing' (1961 to 1973) and a BBC Radio announcer and news reader for the Home Service and Radio 4 (1964 to 1973). He was a presenter on the BBC Light Programme in 1965 and a presenter on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' in the mid-1960s. He also voiced BBC TV trailers in 1976.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

Brian Nissen was a mainstay of Southern Television's announcing team from the start in the 1950s and was one of the few to survive the announcer cull when TVS took over the franchise to broadcast to the South and South East in January 1982. Brian was a regular face at the TVS continuity desk until the station dispensed with in-vision announcing in the mid-1980s.
One of the original Southern TV announcers from 1958 to 1960. Meryl was a BBC TV in-vision announcer from 1960 to 1965. Regional presenter BBC TV's 'Come Dancing', 1963 - 1965; BBC Radio External Services/World Service announcer since 1974.

Meryl re-appeared in November 1986 as in-vision announcer on BBC Two to celebrate TV50, the 50th anniversary of BBC Television.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

Announcer for Southern TV, 1959 - 1961; also, ATV and ABC Television. BBC TV voice only announcer, 1965 to 1972. BBC Radio External Services announcer 1975 onwards.
Mainstay of early Southern Television broadcasts before leaving the company to pursue a national television career. Pettifer was one of the first faces to be seen on the station, co-presenting the opening night with Meryl O' Keefe.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

In 1960, Simon attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London and began his acting career in one of Britain's first television soap operas, 'Home Tonight' with David Hemmings. For the next eleven years he worked extensively on radio and television and in provincial repertory theatre, including a year with Ian McKellen's 'Hamlet'.

After working as a continuity announcer and news reader at Southern TV, in 1970, Prebble joined the newsroom at Capital Radio, the second commercial radio station in Britain, where he hosted 'London's Day'. He then embarked on a career as a presenter and voice-over announcer, including thirteen years as the promo voice of Thames Television, as well as regular promo work for HTV and Anglia TV. From 1984 he was the announcer for the British version of the phenomenally successful game show 'The Price Is Right' with Leslie Crowther.

In 1990, Prebble moved to New York where he continued doing voice-over work. As well as recording numerous radio and television commercials, he also character-voiced cartoon series, such as 'Courage The Cowardly Dog', hosted and presented several television documentary series, notably 'Target Mafia', and narrated the IMAX film 'Endurance' about the Shackleton expedition. In 1996, he was a lead actor for a year (as villain Martin Chedwyn) on the American daily soap opera 'As The World Turns'.

In the US, he also began narrating audio books, and to date has recorded over 300 titles. An audiofile 'Golden Voice', his work has gained him more than eighteen 'Earphone' awards, nine nominations for the 'Audies' (the audiobook Oscars), and in 2005, he was named Narrator of the Year by Publishers Weekly.

Apart from his acting career, in 1967 Prebble designed and produced the 'executive toy' called Newton's Cradle.

In 2003, at Chiswick House London, he married Swedish graphic artist, Marie-Janine Hellstrom. In 2007, along with his wife, he became a US citizen.

Veteran ATV continuity announcer who joined the company in the 1960s and stayed with its successor, Central, until the mid-1980s. Mike also announced, occasionally, for HTV Wales, HTV West, Thames and Southern Television.

Since leaving the world of continuity announcing, Mike has become a successful television producer and businessman. In the independent production sector, notably with Winchester Entertainment Plc, he was the co-creator and executive producer of 'Jellabies' and 'The Snow Children' and he was also executive producer for 'The Wheels On The Bus'.

In 2003, Mike founded Shangers Ltd, a multimedia and consumer licensing company. He also recently made a brief return to ITV screens in the Midlands, helping to promote the ITV 50 features on 'Central News'.

Announcer for Associated Rediffusion, Southern, Anglia and Thames TV. Christopher had a friendly air and a great screen presence. He presented Southern's final programme, It's Goodbye From Us with great panache, and was one of only two continuity announcers featured, the other one being veteran colleague Brian Nissen. After Southern lost its contract, Christopher popped up from time to time as an announcer on TVS, before going into theatre. He has also announced for Thames TV in London and Anglia Television.

Recently, he's been on tour with a one-man play about Charles Darwin. He trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. In the theatre he has achieved notable success in the plays of Shakespeare, Ibsen, Lope de Vega, Calderon, Euripedes and Miller. For four years he was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, during which time he played the title role in King Lear. On television his portrayal of the Cyberleader in the Dr. Who adventure The Revenge of the Cyberman won him a cult following. Christopher has also worked as director and designer and his play The Sirens of Eroc, was written under the nom-de-plume of James Alan. As an artist he has held successful exhibitions of his photographs.

Actor from 1958 to 1966 and then news reader at TWW (Bristol) and Tyne Tees TV in Newcastle. BBC TV announcer, 1969; also an announcer for Southern Television and Anglia Television. BBC Radio 4/External Services/World Service announcer since 1970.
Former ABC TV and Southern TV announcer.
Former Southern Television announcer.
Nicholas Tresilian was a continuity announcer for Southern Television and also a presenter on BBC Two's Late Night Line Up in 1965.
Southern Television announcer who moved to Anglia Television in Norwich. Christine was an announcer with Anglia from 1978 to 1979 and went on to become co-presenter of About Anglia with Graham Bell in the early-1980s. Webber started her television career as a lead singer with the Black and White Minstrels, where fellow Anglia presenter Pam Rhodes was employed as a dancer. She is now a psychotherapist and agony aunt, and with her famous husband, Dr David Delvin, knocks out sex advice on Net Doctor.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

One of the most familiar faces on Granada. Colin started with the station in 1968. From the late-1970s until the 1990s he also worked on a freelance basis for London Weekend, Southern, Tyne Tees, Border, Yorkshire, HTV, Anglia and TVS. Colin was the senior announcer at Granada when he left the company in 1998.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.

Announcer for Rediffusion from the start in 1955 who is probably best remembered as 'Aunty Mu' with her Olly Beak children's slot on Rediffusion at tea-time. Muriel Young went on to present and announce for Southern Television and to interview for Granada's People and Places. She left Rediffusion when it lost its contract in 1968 and was lured to Manchester to head up Granada's children's television department. Muriel Young died in March 2001.
Image courtesy of Paul R Jackson.