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Television superstars: Gone and forgotten? (continued)

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  • #16
    I hadn't noticed the last few posts until now. All I remember about Bernard Falk is the sudden cancellation of his disastrous BBC show Sin on Saturday (1982). This was during the only period of my life - lasting about 18 months - when I didn't watch any television whatsoever, as I'd retreated to my room and chose to listen to Radio 2 (which greatly improved my knowledge of 1960s music following the death of John Lennon).

    The axing of Sin on Saturday was well covered by the tabloid newspapers I was reading at the time, accompanied by photos of Bernard, who quickly became a recognisable face without my actually seeing any footage until the programme was featured on TV Hell ten years later. Surprised to read he was only 47 when he died. The prematurely grey hair made me think he was at least in his 50s when he was really 39. A very belated R.I.P.


    Do you recognise this man? And can someone confirm he was a newsreader as well as a politician?:

    Click image for larger version  Name:	John Pardoe, 1969 (eBay).jpg Views:	0 Size:	17.4 KB ID:	82476


    This is John Pardoe, Liberal MP for North Cornwall until losing his seat in the 1979 General Election. I've always been interested in politicians and it's more than likely he was a familiar face to me on news and other current affairs programmes throughout the 1970s, certainly during his time as Deputy Leader (to David Steel).

    There is no mention of this on his Wikipedia page, nor have I been able to find anything at newspaper archives to prove I'm right, but I am CERTAIN Mr. Pardoe presented ITN's lunchtime news for a short while in the early to mid-1980s. Did he try his hand at broadcasting after leaving politics, like the more durable Michael Portillo? As the years have passed, I've occasionally thought about that newsreader and definitely recall him being an ex-Liberal MP, middle-aged with dark-hair. But I don't have any evidence that he was John Pardoe - who is still alive at 85.

    I will return later with one last attempt to explain my criteria for the 'Part of the family' thread I mentioned. Another regular who's come to mind, and seems to have disappeared from our screens this year, is Royal reporter and Press Preview reviewer Roya Nikkhah. Very active on Twitter, I see, but not on Sky News at the moment. Joe Tidy and Darren McCaffrey have gone and I haven't seen Rebecca Williams for weeks
    Last edited by cornershop15; 31st December 2019, 03:31 PM.

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    • #17
      I remember John very well.He stood against Maggie in Finchley in 1964 and came a creditable second.He came to see my dad who was leader of the Liberals on the council.I spilled a glass of wine on him!

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      • #18
        Thanks for your reply, orpheum. I was very sorry to learn recently that former leader David Steel has left the party, after more than 50 years service. Understandable reasons, as it came out that he protected the public image of posthumously disgraced MP Cyril Smith, but sad that his own has been forever tarnished. When I was much younger I thought he had great charm and humour when interviewed. Another Liberal I liked at the time was David Penhaligon, who was tragically killed in a road accident.


        A test for those who regularly watched the news in the 1990s. Once again, I have been reminded of
        public figures who, for a while, would've been very familiar to TV viewers. Do you recognise them?:

        Click image for larger version

Name:	John Patten and Helen Wright.jpg
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        Clues? One was associated with Health, the other Education.

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        • #19
          I recognise the man - I think it's John Patten. But the woman doesn't look familiar.

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          • #20
            Well remembered with John Patten (Education Secretary for the Conservatives between 1992-94).

            The young woman is Helen Wright, an ITN reporter throughout the 1990s and perhaps best known as their Health correspondent. Also worked on Education stories, oddly enough.

            Fascinating but also disturbing that once high-profile people should 'slip our minds' - the criteria for that still yet-to-be-created 'Part of the Family ...' thread I've repeatedly mentioned here ("How could I forget Helen Wright?", or Katie Stallard)

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            • #21
              Originally posted by cornershop15 View Post


              Do you recognise this man? And can someone confirm he was a newsreader as well as a politician?:

              Click image for larger version Name:	John Pardoe, 1969 (eBay).jpg Views:	0 Size:	17.4 KB ID:	82476


              This is John Pardoe, Liberal MP for North Cornwall until losing his seat in the 1979 General Election. I've always been interested in politicians and it's more than likely he was a familiar face to me on news and other current affairs programmes throughout the 1970s, certainly during his time as Deputy Leader (to David Steel).

              There is no mention of this on his Wikipedia page, nor have I been able to find anything at newspaper archives to prove I'm right, but I am CERTAIN Mr. Pardoe presented ITN's lunchtime news for a short while in the early to mid-1980s. Did he try his hand at broadcasting after leaving politics, like the more durable Michael Portillo? As the years have passed, I've occasionally thought about that newsreader and definitely recall him being an ex-Liberal MP, middle-aged with dark-hair. But I don't have any evidence that he was John Pardoe - who is still alive at 85.
              A John Pardoe hosted the third and fourth series of LWT's monthly programme Look Here about the workings of the television industry. These were shown in 1980 and 1981. I don't know for certain that it's the same guy, but it could tie in with him losing his seat in 1979. During his time on the programme it was generally shown around lunchtime,on a Sunday, so might be why you're thinking of lunchtime news. As for proper news programmes, I've not come across anything featuring him as a newscaster.

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              • #22
                Thanks, Simon. It didn't occur to me to look at the IMDb. Look Here doesn't ring any bells and rather throws a 'spanner in the works' considering my memory is of John Pardoe presenting in the lunchtime slot. I still feel, however, that I saw him more often than once a month and remain hopeful that he read the news for ITN on weekdays. Perhaps he briefly replaced the outgoing Peter Sissons, who joined Channel 4 when it started in 1982?

                With all your contacts and knowledge of British TV history, do you think you could find a definitive list of ITN newsreaders - and even reporters - who worked for the company, ideally from the mid-1970s to mid-90s? They really were my first 'TV Family' (Andrew Gardner, Sandy Gall, Joan Thirkettle, Michael Nicholson, many others) but there must be some I 've forgotten over the years. Two female newscasters that didn't last long were Sonia ? (co-presenter with Nicholas Owen at Lunchtimes c1990) and Pamela Armstrong, who went on to host a short-lived chat show on BBC2.

                Incidentally, TV listings reveal that Look Here had an identical transmission schedule (Sundays, 1pm) to Peter Fiddick's The Television Programme, which I enjoyed watching as a teenager. A short clip is available on YouTube showing an episode of Secret Army being filmed (A Safe Place, if I'm right in thinking that's John D. Collins falling to the ground).
                Last edited by cornershop15; 28th March 2020, 12:15 PM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by cornershop15 View Post
                  Thanks, Simon. It didn't occur to me to look at the IMDb
                  The IMDb is my first port of call for any information about any film, TV show or any of the people who worked on them.

                  It isn't perfect (what is?), but they are very good and they let you submit missing info or corrections

                  Steve

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by cornershop15 View Post
                    Thanks, Simon. It didn't occur to me to look at the IMDb. Look Here doesn't ring any bells and rather throws a 'spanner in the works' considering my memory is of John Pardoe presenting in the lunchtime slot. I still feel, however, that I saw him more often than once a month and remain hopeful that he read the news for ITN on weekdays. Perhaps he briefly replaced the outgoing Peter Sissons, who joined Channel 4 when it started in 1982?
                    There are loads of editions of the News at One where TVTimes gives no clue as to who's presenting it. Where there is info, in 1979 the programme seems to be almost exclusively presented by Peter Sissons, just a few editions list Anna Ford in his place. Haven't spotted anyone other than Sissons in 1980, though he must have taken a holiday at some point. He does most of them in 1981 too, though there are some presented by Carol Barnes. Sissons continues through the first half of 1982 but then departs for Channel 4 and Leonard Parkin takes over as the main news anchor for the remainder of the year though Carol Barnes pops up occasionally too. In 1983, it's mostly Parkin with occasional appearances by Barnes.

                    Originally posted by cornershop15 View Post
                    With all your contacts and knowledge of British TV history, do you think you could find a definitive list of ITN newsreaders - and even reporters - who worked for the company, ideally from the mid-1970s to mid-90s? They really were my first 'TV Family' (Andrew Gardner, Sandy Gall, Joan Thirkettle, Michael Nicholson, many others) but there must be some I 've forgotten over the years. Two female newscasters that didn't last long were Sonia ? (co-presenter with Nicholas Owen at Lunchtimes c1990) and Pamela Armstrong, who went on to host a short-lived chat show on BBC2.
                    I suspect a definitive list of reporters would be a bit tricky, but it would probably be easy enough to get the main newscasters sorted. The Sonia you're remembering is Sonia Ruseler, I think. She's listed alongside Owen from October 1992 to May 1993, at which point she left ITN for CNN.
                    Last edited by Simon Coward; 29th March 2020, 09:23 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Thank you for all your research, Simon. Sonia Ruseler, yes. I didn't realise the ITV Lunchtime News has its own Wikipedia page until I read Carol's.

                      I especially loved the Peter Sissons years and tried to be as loyal a viewer of his shows as I could. Unfortunately, I was still at school at the time and the programme usually ended 5-10 minutes before pupils were due back after our lunch break, allowing me little time to run the entire length of Gladstone Park. Despite that pressure, I always decided to put Television first and wait for Peter to say "Bye for now" ... and Robin Houston to introduce the Thames News bulletin. Only then did I feel 'ready' to return to school. If I was late, the teachers didn't seem to mind.

                      There is a big gap between 1976-87 in Wikipedia's history, half of which you've filled in good detail. Leonard Parkin succeeding Peter Sissons as "lead presenter" is the most accurate memory I have of the show from that period, and the newscasters that followed, like John Suchet, seem to have made more of an impression when they were by themselves. I'm sure that's because it feels as if they're sharing light-hearted moments with me, as a lone(ly) viewer, rather than their colleague sitting next to them. In other words I am less likely to be part of the fun if they're laughing with someone else. Nicholas Owen and, until recently, Alastair Stewart were very good at making me feel they were a friend. These days its Kay Burley and the two Annas (Jones and Botting) at Sky News but Peter Sissons was the first.


                      I have found some very nice videos to remind me of the halcyon days of ITN and Thames News. No Peter,
                      alas, but it was great to see Leonard Parkin (all-too-briefly) and the aforementioned Robin Houston again:

                      Thames announcer Philip Elsmore Thames News Robin Houston 24th December 1985


                      Carol Barnes is very sadly missed. I'm so grateful to the posters who've uploaded those clips to remind us of her happier times, as well as ours. The earliest dates back to 1983. YouTube also have the well-known extract of Carol's report on Lady Diana's engagement to Prince Charles, when she was Royal correspondent.


                      Regarding that "definitive list of ITN newsreaders and reporters", I may already have the best available in the form of TVTimes' Who's Who on TV. The 1982 edition includes someThames at Six legends, such as Ed Boyle and Rita Carter, but omits Michael Whale and the also-sadly missed Tricia Ingrams. No John Pardoe either.

                      I think websites like TV Newsroom and 405 Alive might help. The latter is dedicated to continuity announcers. Missing from their Thames list is Patricia Yorston, who is married to ITN's Steve Scott.

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                      • #26
                        I have the 1976 and 1983 editions of the IBA's "TV & Radio" yearbook. I'll look through and see if there are any other ITN reporters and presenters mentioned. Was Sue ("Thoo") Lloyd Roberts ITN? I remember her because she had a pronounced lisp.

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                        • cornershop15
                          cornershop15 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thanks for your reply, Martin. Good thinking with the ITV Yearbook. I've got the 1975 edition.

                          Sue Lloyd-Roberts was at ITN for many years before joining the BBC (didn't know it was as far back as 1992). Sadly died in 2015.
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