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Kay Alexander
Presenter on Midlands Today
Kay Alexander
Kay Alexander
After working at Pebble Mill for over thirty years, Kay feels the move to the Mailbox will be a big challenge for BBC Birmingham, but very exciting.
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The closure marks the end of production at the famous Birmingham site for over thirty years.

The BBC will be moving its radio and television operations to the Mailbox in the city centre by the end of 2004.

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Working at Pebble Mill...

I originally came to Pebble Mill as a Radio 4 reporter for current affairs and magazine programmes.

After staying about a year in radio I went on to regional television where I eventually became one of the main presenters.

I started presenting breakfast news for Midlands Today about 10 years ago by choice. I like the breakfast shift but I wish I didn't have to get up quite so early. But it's great fun being in at the start of the days news.

Fond memories of Pebble Mill...

Back in the early days the atmosphere was fantastic. It was like being part of a huge family. The BBC Club used to be on the second floor and there was a party atmosphere quite a lot of the time. There was always a huge feeling of pride in the building and what it was producing.

There was always a feeling of excitement in the building.
Kay Alexander

The real heyday was 'Pebble Mill at One'. It was so popular. In the newsroom we would always try and find out what guests were in that day.

There was always a feeling of excitement in the building.

Equally I remember the dramas that we did in the big television studio. When we filmed 'All Creatures Great and Small', often they would film in the evenings. I used to work the evening shift. I would take my friends down and we would creep around the back of the studio. Instead of seeing the things they would now do on location - like sheep in a pen - there would be a barn in the studio with animals in it.

But having said that I've had a ball in the newsroom. Most of the time I've really looked forward to coming to work. Over the years I've worked with great people.

Thoughts on the Mailbox move ...

I haven't got a tremendously sentimental attachment to the building. It's freezing in the winter and boiling in Summer. But I am very proud of what it's achieved.
Kay Alexander

When I came to Pebble Mill, it was the first purpose built broadcasting centre outside London that housed both national and local radio and television all in the same building.

That hadn't been done before. It was really groundbreaking for the BBC.

We are using less and less of the building. So it was inevitable that we would have to downsize.

For example we've lost our drama studios. We still do dramas like Dalziel and Pascoe and other awards winning dramas, but those are mostly filmed on location now so we don't need those facilities.

Over the years our regional news output has become a much wider operation. But we're still in the same newsroom as when we arrived.

It will be an exciting challenge moving to the mailbox.
Kay Alexander

I haven't got a tremendously sentimental attachment to the building. It's freezing in the winter and boiling in summer.

But I am very proud of what it's achieved. It really was ground breaking in it's time. I was here, I saw it and it was great. It's not to say we don't do great things now. We do! But they're now done differently.

It will be an exciting challenge moving to the Mailbox and it will be fun being in the city centre.

Things have to move on. Lets look forward to it. It could be great.


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