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Television superstars: Gone and forgotten? (continued)

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  • Television superstars: Gone and forgotten? (continued)

    Original thread (created by Alan French in 2011):

    Television superstars: Gone and forgotten?

    I assume the question mark in Alan's title was to test whether the subjects are still remembered, decades after their heyday.


    The reason I'm bringing it back is to highlight the difference between this and a thread I hope to start soon - dedicated to TV faces we have forgotten. It's more about the reporters, product demonstrators, newspaper reviewers, etc. who appear on our screens almost daily then suddenly 'disappear', usually because they have gone to work for a channel I don't watch. Unless I can think of a better one, the title of the thread will be Part of the family for years and we don't even notice when they've gone?. Ending with a question mark, oddly enough.


    Inevitably, the earlier thread contains broken links and lost images but I've tracked down updated versions of the following:

    FILM FANFARE - NO 22 SECTION 3 (Diana Decker)

    Gilbert Harding - Transdiffusion Broadcasting System


    This must be the TV Mirror cover (from 2nd February 1957) that Moor
    Larkin uploaded on Page 2 as Mark O refers to 'Muriel' in the next post:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Muriel Young with cat (TV Mirror, 2nd February 1957) (famousfix.com).jpg Views:	0 Size:	54.5 KB ID:	75547


    A cruel irony, finding that picture. The "Gone and forgotten" part of the title aptly describes the grief I'm suffering after losing another one of my cats last week. Animals, in particular, fade very quickly when they've left me. Hopefully Muriel Young, who passed away in 2001, can be with her cat anytime she likes in Heaven.

    I look forward to our adding more memories of old and new subjects, particularly those I missed in the 1950s and 60s like Wally Whyton, June Laverick and my 'Sixties Diary' subject Aileen Cochrane.
    Last edited by cornershop15; 9th August 2019, 11:01 PM.

  • #2
    Alan French didn't join the new forum, i met him at the Britmovie get together in Manchester 2013, lovely chap full of old anecdotes about old records and old record shops.

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    • #3
      Two presenters I've always missed since their early deaths are Donny MacLeod and Vincent Hanna:

      Click image for larger version

Name:	Donny MacLeod and Vincent Hanna.jpg
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      'Pebble Mill' tribute to Donny MacLeod lllllllll 'Newsnight' tribute to Vincent Hanna

      Gavin Esler introducing the second clip (a youthful 44 at the time). Fellow Scot Paul Coia is the first face we see in that very moving Pebble Mill video, before Donny's more senior friends and colleagues Marian Foster and Bob Langley share their thoughts and memories.

      I'm guessing this is a sliightly later episode from the one where Bob announced the presenter's death as I vividly recall his having the difficult task of informing viewers as soon as the show returned from its Summer break. He ended with the words "He was my friend. And I will miss him". Those of us watching would certainly have empathised with his loss. Did you catch that blink-and-miss shot of Russell Harty at the end? He was just one year older than Donny when he passed away at 53 four years later.

      At the time of his death, Vincent was presenting a Channel 4 programme called A Week in Politics, along with Andrew Rawnsley. I can't say I understood everything they were discussing but still enjoyed their light-hearted approach. When I heard the devastating news, I immediately thought of co-host Andrew, knowing a successful partnership had come to a sudden, very premature end. All-too-brief reminders of his Live by-election reporting in the Newsnight tribute. I wish he was around to do them now.

      Wikipedia pages:

      Donny MacLeod

      Vincent Hanna

      Belated condolences to their loved ones.

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      • #4
        I recall, after Absolutely finished, Jack Docherty was the face of the then-new Channel Five. After that, IMDB says he appeared in quite a few things but seems to be concentrating on his writing, now.

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        • cornershop15
          cornershop15 commented
          Editing a comment
          I, too, had forgotten about Jack Docherty's stint on Channel 5. He had his own chat show. Even in those last few years before the Internet changed my life, I missed most of what Five had to offer because there was so much else to do/that was on. Lots of clips on YouTube, for those interested, but not many that appeal to me. The always amusing John Shuttleworth features in one I look forward to watching later,

      • #5
        Originally posted by zabadak View Post
        I recall, after Absolutely finished, Jack Docherty was the face of the then-new Channel Five. After that, IMDB says he appeared in quite a few things but seems to be concentrating on his writing, now.
        Thanks for jogging my memory! 'Absolutely'was a daring attempt at surreal comedy that missed as often as it hit but was always worth watching.

        When it worked it was superb.

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        • #6
          Superstars?

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          • narabdela
            narabdela commented
            Editing a comment
            Good point.

        • #7
          Kind of on-topic as I regard them as 'stars' on my favourite channels ... That 'Part of the family' thread I mentioned in the opening post is gradually taking shape. I'm more than satisfied with the images I found today of two subjects who are perfect examples of my unusual criteria - TV people whose regular appearances came to an end without my realising. Hence the awkwardly-titled "Part of the family for years and we don't even notice when they've gone?".

          If you have been watching Sky News as long as me then these faces should be very familiar. The young woman actually presented (for six hours on the overnight show) as well as reported the day's news, and yet her inconspicuous departure somehow passed me by for months. The man, who I think looks a bit like the politician Damian Hinds, was a senior correspondent who I'd forgotten about for even longer. In a way, I'm hoping that goes for you too, as it will prove the hopefully-forthcoming thread is a good idea.

          Do you recognise these reporters? I'll reveal who they are in my next post if you don't:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	Harriet Hadfield and Paul Harrison.jpg Views:	1 Size:	47.2 KB ID:	76199

          I must remember to point out in my introduction that the likely reason they "slipped my mind" (before being reminded at Sky's Former Presenters webpage) is that it's the story that matters when we see them on screen. Nevertheless, I find it disturbing that people who are so much a part of my daily life can suddenly become so insignificant when they're replaced. Katie Stallard, for instance. What happened to her?

          Ah. She reveals, at her website, that's she's "currently based in Washington, DC, as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where (she's) researching the political use of wartime history in Russia, China, and North Korea". Very impressive. Thank goodness we have YouTube to remember these people when they move on:


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          • #8
            The guy looks like Paul Harrison to me, but I don't recall the name of the lady next to him. Her face is very familiar though.

            Quite a lot of the early newsreaders I still recall from the 90's when I first got Sky. Bob Friend was probably one of the first I saw (sadly passed away), and I remember David Foster and Allan King too. And of course there was Francis Wilson with the weather.......who could forget him.

            I have noticed one or two have jumped ship over to the BBC - Simon McCoy and Lukwesa Burak up to now.

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            • #9
              Well done, Carl. He is indeed Paul Harrison, who has been married to Felicity Barr for ten years. I was amazed to learn that at Paul's Wikipedia page yesterday. His wife left ITV far too prematurely. I don't know why she's wasted her career at minority channel Al-Jazeera. Likewise, ITN colleague-that-was, Lauren Taylor. Are they still there? Forgotten stars alright

              The female reporter is Harriet Hadfield. I captured the image from the video she uploaded herself to YouTube, reading the news on 6th July 2015.

              Two other Sky News presenters who we can now find on the BBC are Martin Stanford, who has stood-in for cult favourite Mike Embley a few times, and Samantha Simmons, occasional presenter of both Newsday and Business Briefing (which air either side of Mike's 2-5am slot). It's good to see them again after that disrespectful 'culling' about four years ago,

              Other victims included Lorna Dunkley, Andrew Wilson, Paula Middlehurst and Mark Longhurst - although some suggested the latter may have been sacked after that notorious Press Preview showdown with gay activist Owen Jones.

              All very relevant to this thread as those presenters were Sky News "superstars", for sure. 20 years' service, most of them, and the station carries on as if they never existed. The same thing appears to be happening with a QVC legend at the moment. My beloved Jill Franks has not been seen on the channel since MARCH Something's happened there and we haven't been told (she certainly isn't on maternity leave at 54). Hoping for a speedy recovery, ifJill has not been well, and a swift return.
              Last edited by cornershop15; 14th August 2019, 11:02 AM.

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              • #10
                Originally posted by cornershop15 View Post
                Two other Sky News presenters who we can now find on the BBC are Martin Stanford, who has stood-in for cult favourite Mike Embley a few times, and Samantha Simmons, occasional presenter of both Newsday and Business Briefing (which air either side of Mike's 2-5am slot). It's good to see them again after that disrespectful 'culling' about four years ago,

                Other victims included Lorna Dunkley, Andrew Wilson, Paula Middlehurst and Mark Longhurst - although some suggested the latter may have been sacked after that notorious Press Preview showdown with gay activist Owen Jones.
                Amazing how I remember all those names now that you have mentioned them. Another two I remember very well are Jeremy Thompson and Lisa Aziz, who both started at Sky News in the early 90's. Jeremy retired a little while back now, and I think Lisa went over to LBC radio. There was also Frank Partridge who I seem to remember had an incident with a colleague and was dismissed.

                Sorry Cornershop, I'm afraid I don't have any recollection of Jill Franks.
                Last edited by Carl V; 14th August 2019, 11:53 AM.

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                • #11
                  Carl, here is the link to the webpage I mentioned earlier:

                  Sky News Former Presenters & Reporters

                  The most helpful source we'll find to help jog our memories.


                  Eric Johnson is possibly the most recent example of someone who came and went. Forgotten about as soon as he finished his last show (the overnight shift again)! I prefer to avoid bald, bearded Pep Guardiola lookalikes anyway but how could I have forgotten darling Harriet?

                  Phil Lavelle was another short-lived - and very pleasant - host of the marathon Sky World News and I've actually missed him the last couple of years. Another "wasted" talent, underused by Sky. I can imagine Phil having a good rapport with Live audiences as well as TV viewers. He even looked like a game show host with his range of colourful bow ties. No videos to be found online, by the look of it


                  Click image for larger version  Name:	Phil Lavelle (bbc.co.uk).jpg Views:	0 Size:	16.1 KB ID:	76247


                  You are about ten years ahead of me with your memories of Sky presenters. I've never heard of Frank Partridge or Allan King, I don't think, but have dim recollections of Alison Jack and Chloe Potter. David Foster was a TV-AM reporter who, according to host Mike Morris, tried to flirt with Madonna during his interview with her.

                  Lisa Aziz read the news bulletins on TV-AM for years, before joining Sky News, and Jeremy Thompson started his TV career as a reporter on BBC Look North in the 1970s. Much-missed in the early evening time slot, although Mark Austin is doing a great job now.
                  Last edited by cornershop15; 14th August 2019, 09:52 PM.

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                  • #12
                    Many thanks Cornershop for the link to Sky's presenters - a trip down memory lane for sure. Looking at that, there's lots of faces I do remember from years ago, but I wouldn't have remembered their names apart from the ones I've already mentioned. Bob Friend, Allan King and David Foster go way back to Sky's analogue years - I first got Sky around 1995/6. If I'm not mistaken, I think Foster used to read the business news at first before becoming a general newsreader.

                    Frank Partridge goes way back as well, but he didn't seem to be around for very long and I think he was given the push sometime around 2002/3 after an incident with Kay Burley.

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