FROM THE ARCHIVE OF: The TV Room
Did You See…? takes a look behind-the-scenes at the BBC Presentation department.
[00:00:00] PROGRAMME: a package taken from a 1980 edition of Did You See…? which goes behind-the-scenes at the BBC Presentation department.
We start with announcer John Trevor in the BBC One continuity suite, during an afternoon children’s junction. John describes his role as being akin to a disc jockey with pictures.
He tells us how the duty announcer can put various pictures to air, including the channel symbols, clocks and breakdown captions.
The Presentation dept runs the two BBC TV networks, making sure the programmes run to time. It inserts information and programme trails in the gaps between the programmes.
We see shots of the Network Control area and the BBC Weather studio. BBC Presentation is responsible for the production of weather forecasts.
BBC Presentation is also runs the Duty Office, logging viewer feedback. There are about 300 viewer calls per day.
Presentation comprises around 100 people, who operate on a rota cycle of three weeks on, one week off.
Programme schedules are agreed around 2 weeks in advance. During that 2-week period, the scheduling of trails is planned out.
We hear from head of Presentation, Malcolm Walker. Malcolm stresses the importance of sticking to the programme schedule published in the Radio Times and newspapers, and publicised on air via programme menus.
We get some insights into the time-consuming process of creating programme trails. The example seen here is for the 1969 film, The Brain, starring David Niven.
Promotions editor Pat Hubbard describes how care is taken to ensure the tone of the trail is faithful to the programme, and that promos are not always about the hard sell.
We get a look at an afternoon team meeting, chaired by the Presentation editor, where there’s a run-through and approval of the announcer’s scripts for that evening.
We hear how programme overruns and newsflashes are handled.
We go behind-the-scenes at the execution of the 5.40pm BBC One junction, which includes an opt-out by the regions and nations for under a minute. Network announcer Tim Nichols is seen in Con 1 * (the BBC One continuity announcer’s suite).
Note *: the footage here may in fact be the “spare” continuity suite and associated Network Control area.
PICTURED: a behind-the-scenes shot of the early 1980s BBC One ident. COPYRIGHT: BBC.