Techies reunite for Television Centre film

BBC Television Centre

Former technical staff are preparing for a bit of nostalgia at the preview of a documentary which says goodbye to their old work place.

Tales of Television Centre is being shown in the BFI on 15 May as a preview to its showing on BBC Four. It comes after the decision to sell television centre. People have already started moving out of the building with the aim of it being empty in 2014.

The film takes a tour around the building, with stars - from Pans People to Doctor Who's assistants - and crafts people giving their anecdotes about each section from the doughnut to the canteen to the bar.

Tickets for the event started selling out but after a campaign spearheaded by retired cameraman Roger Bunce, it was moved to a bigger auditorium.

Bunce, whose work between 1965 and 2011 included Acorn Antiques and The Likely Lads, got in touch with as many old colleagues as he could to get them to contact the BFI to express an interest in going.

He suggested that they could turn the occasion into a reunion - 'a fond farewell to our former workplace'.

Golden age

Bunce, who was also interviewed for the film, says that the efficiency of the building is what used to impressed him most.

'Equipment and scenery were always at the right place at the right time.'

Former boom operator Peter Neill worked in Television Centre between 1964 and 1989 and it going to attend. For him it is the spirit of the place that will be missed.

'We can argue about whether it was the golden age of television but it was certainly the golden age for working there. It was lively, it was busy, it was a different place.'

The director of Tales of Television Centre, Richard Marson, is not surprised by the rush to reunite with ex-colleagues to celebrate their old work place.

'Yes it's bricks and mortar but it was a also a world within a world. Everything was under one roof. It was like a big family.'

Marson started off as a floor assistant in 1987, working on Going Live and Top of the Pops and went on to become the director of Blue Peter before leaving in 2007. Although he has a sentimentality towards the building, he is not keen of the look of the place.

'It's not a beautiful building. Now it's dated and crusty round the edges but it has a charm coming from what has been made there.'

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