The People Who Brought ATV To Life


By Greg Halpin

It wasn’t just the great programmes!  ATV had an abundance of Announcers and hosts who became much loved familiar faces. Appearing on screen in our living rooms almost daily,  they were often regarded by viewers as ‘part of the family’. Here is our list of some of the people who entertained us with their warmth, charm and wit.

Images are on the way very soon. Keep watching.

Derek was a familiar face on ATV throughout the 1970′s and became a household name across the region (and the nation). He hosted the flagship news programme ATV TODAY, and had his own series called ‘HOBSONS CHOICE’. However, viewers may best remember him for hosting the hugely popular NEW FACES talent show. He was also the front man to That’s My Dog for TSW. Currently retired.

Many will remember Reg as often hosting ATV TODAY. He was political editor for the stations news dept. He continued to work into the Central Television working on shows such as ‘Central Weekend’ and ‘Central Live’.  He is now retired.

Chris first joined ATV in the early 1970′s. His initial role was part of ATV TODAY covering news issues around the region. He was then given the more quirkier stories. This led him being offered the host of a new Saturday morning kids show called TISWAS. In his early years at ATV, he also narrated the childrens educational series ‘Stop, Look & Listen’. Chris continues to enjoy a long standing successful career in television, including hosting ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ for ITV1.

‘Poochie’ was a very popular Continuity announcer at ATV during the 1970′s. He was famous across the region for his antics when presenting ‘The ATV Horror Picture House’ season of films on Friday nights. He was also the man behind the concept for ground breaking TISWAS show on Saturday mornings.  After leaving Broad street, he became managing director of SAGA FM radio station and is currently the head of Marketing/fundraising for a childrens hospital in Birmingham. He also was granted ‘High Sheriff of Nottingham’ status – an award which was richley deserved.

Another popular invision announcer for both ATV and Central during the 70′s and 80′s. Stuart can be seen on the BBC nowadays heading the ‘Look East’ News programme. Stuart was also the first ‘human’ to be seen in ‘Spitting Image’.  He also was the voice on the radio on a Crossroads episode, reporting that the motel had burnt down!

Probably best known across the Midlands for his appearances on the sport section on ATV TODAY. Terry ‘Tight Lines’ Thomas would have a short slot within the programme, giving hints and tips on fishing to the regions anglers. He also hosted his very own show on the station called ‘ANGLING TODAY’. We believe Terry is now sadly deceased.

Trevor was a well loved presenter for ATV London and ATV in the Midlands. He made the last ever announcement for ATV London the night before LWT took over at weekends.

Former ATV Midlands announcer

Long standing servant of both ATV and Central right up until recent times. Bob was a house hold name across the Midlands. He joined ATV during the 1970′s and over the years he hosted a wide range of programmes and documentaries.  From ATV TODAY to MISS ATV he had virtually done the lot. Bob has until recently continued as Front anchor man for Central News.

One of the original 4 announcers for ATV London in 1955.

Pat enjoyed a long association with ATV mainly as a presenter. He also helped front the Tingha & Tucker club.

ATV and Central in-vision continuity announcer. Avril also fronted ATV newsdesk bulletins and other on screen presentations. She went on to head ATV in house training and a career in public speaking.  Current location unknown.

ATV London weekend in-vision continuity announcer between 1955 and 1959.

Shaw joined ATV in its earliest incarnation as a presenter for ATV London in 1955. He stayed with the company right through until the stations change into Central and almost until its Demise. Shaw did many things while at ATV including invision continuity, news casting and even as a judge on the talent show NEW FACES.  However, Shaw will always be best remembered for being the front man to long running POLICE 5 series and his catch phrase ‘Keep em peeled’!

Shaw also helped closedown ATV for the last time on Air with Mike Prince. The two briefly reminiced about ATV before it mutated into Central in 1981. He is currently retired.

In-vision continuity announcer and regular regional news bulletin presenter for ATV in the Midlands during the 1960s.

Before his career in announcing, Donald was a well established actor. He initially worked for the BBC before arriving at ATV London. Interestingly he was the voice for several ATV/ITC show/chararcters including the voice of Colonel White from Captain Scarlett. Deceased (1978).

Long serving ATV Network and Central TV in-vision continuity announcer. She went on to work in television long after the demise of both ATV and Central for ITV1.  She also worked for Southern TV. Current position unknown.

Long serving ATV daytime voice announcer in the 1970′s. David would announce programmes and schedules off screen until the evening announcers took over ‘on screen’. Also worked for the local radio station BRMB in the Midlands. ATVLAND believes that he is now living overseas.

Peter was a frequent announcer on ATV particularly during the 1970′s Peter announced at various ITV regions such as Thames, HTV and Granada. Peter later worked behind the camera but we believe that he is now a property developer.

ATV continuity announcer. Keith also announced for Yorkshire Television, Anglia TV, Television South and LWT in the 1970s/1980s. He also worked for Southern Television during the late 50′s early 60′s. Current location unknown.

Popular Invision announcer for ATV in the midlands in the 1970′s. Kevin was responsible for persuading ATV to begin public service announcements.   Kevin left announcing to become involved in programme management for ATV, then becoming head of programme services  for  Central.. His current whereabouts remain a mystery, although we believe that he is working in the media industry at some Senior level overseas, possibly America.

ATV London Announcer.

In-vision announcer for ATV in the Midlands in the early 70′s who went on to work also for the BBC . In-vision announcer at Anglia during mid to late 1970′s. Current location unknown.

Norman joined ATV London at its launch in 1955. He stayed with the company until 1965. No further information available. He was one of the youngest announcers to appear on the station.

Regular face on ATV throughout 1970′s and 80′s. Diana often worked on News programmes and also did voice overs for ATV Tele-spots. Diana would probably be best known to viewers for her in vision announcements. She currently own’s a company which teaches etiquette and manners.

Former ATV continuity announcer. No other details available.

Former journalist who joined the ATV Today team during the 1970′s. Wendy went on to become a senior person at the centre which lasted well into the Central years.

Regular co host presenter of ATV Today. Current whereabouts unknown.

Long serving veteran of ATV and Central. Mike joined ATV in 1966  and went on to become one of the most famous and best loved faces at the station. Mike mostly did on screen invision announcements and voice overs but he also hosted a number of shows and documentaries. He was also known for being the voice of ITV schools educational programmes produced at Broad Street.

He worked for other regional providers across the ITV network such as Thames, Southern and HTV. However, Mike was a firm favourite with viewers across the Midlands.  Mike is now a Television producer and business man. However, he currently but spends most of his time in Spain.

Former journalist Gary Newbon began his ATV career in the early 1970′s. He was a sports reporter in the regional news programme ‘ATV Today’. He also fronted ATV’s own football programme at weekends called ‘Star Soccer’ with co host Hugh Johns. Gary worked right through into the Central era and went on to become a familiar face across the ITV network hosting high profile Boxing matches and Darts tournaments. Some may recognise Gary for his Touchline interviews for ITV sport.

These days, Gary has his own live ‘phone in’ programme for Sky Sports and Talksport Radio. He currenly lives in the Midlands area with his wife and family.

Popular presenter for ATV sport in the region. Johns early days were spent as a journalist for local newspapers but significantly landed the role of Welsh sports columnist for the Sunday People Newspaper.

He became a well known face on ATV screens for presenting the weekend sports programme ‘Star Soccer’. He also covered several World cup tournaments for the ITV network. His last major role for ITV was the 1982 world cup. Johns also worked regularly for HTV Wales and was also well known to Welsh viewers. He also covered other sports including, Boxing, Bowls, Darts and Snooker.

Johns sadly died in 2007 aged 84.

Trevors first rise to significant prominence was on Tiswas as co host with Chris Tarrant, John Asher and Peter Tomlinson. Since then, Trevor has continued to work succesfully in the media industry working for ITV, Sky and latterly becoming director of sports for ‘Setanta Sports’.

Popular presenter/announcer and was at the station at the launch of the station into the colour era.  Joan also occasionally helped out on ‘Tiswas’ (before sally James). Currently residing in her native New Zealand.

Jean was one of the original 4 continuity announcers when ATV launched in 1955. She along with her colleagues Arthur Adair, Peter Cockburn and Shaw Taylor became familiar faces initially in the ATV london region. She is probably best known to viewers in the Midlands for being ‘Auntie Jean’ in the hugely popular Childrens TV show ‘Tingha & Tucker’, which ran from 1962 -70. ATVLAND believes that Jean is now retired and lives on the Island of Ibiza.

Bob was a household name across the region for presenting the ATV ‘Gardening Today’ Programme. This was co hosted by Cyril Fletcher (Thats Life!). The Garden at Kings Heath park Birmingham was the setting for many episodes from 1972 until the mid 80′s. Bob sadly passed away in 1989.

Greg Halpin is part of the Production Team of “From ATVLAND In Colour” and “From Headlines to ‘Tight-Lines’ – The Story of ATV Today”.