Yorkshire people had enjoyed TV since the early 1950s when the transmitter
at Holme Moss brought the medium to the north and later they were
able to share in the nightly magazine programme Look North, transmitted
Waring, rugby league commentator and It's A Knockout presenter,
was a regular face on Look North.
the first Look North from Yorkshire turned out to be much more memorable
than is usually the case with such programmes. The centre of York
was flooded, the only way anyone could get round was by boat and
it was from a boat that reporter David Seymour uttered the programme's
first words: "Goodnight, and welcome to Look North from the
new Leeds studios."
'new' studio was situated not in the present BBC building in Woodhouse
but in a former church nearby.
Greaves was the programme's first news editor, and later Regional
Television Manager. Looking back on the occasion of the programme's
25th anniversary, he remembered: "When I first clapped eyes
on All Souls in Blackman Lane, I thought they had to be joking.
I'd come down from London on a day trip to meet local freelances
and say hello to my new domain. I'd just been appointed news editor
of the BBC's North Region and was eager to please. But the insouciant
smile playing around my lips froze in to a rictus grin as I entered
the dank and dusty interior.
Look North gallery in 1968
instructions were to be on the air by March. It was November 25th
already and there was only me and this peeling office. I had nightmares
for weeks to come but soon I was too busy to worry any more. We
de-rigged the ancient OB, installed mobile film processing outside
the front door, convinced the church Brownie pack they should meet
in the room beneath the studio at some time other than six pm (the
time Look North was then broadcast) and recruited as good a bunch
of guys and gals as you'd ever wish to meet. Suddenly we were through
the dreaded opening night and into the hectic and happy time beyond."
those days regional television programmes used to be all too often
associated with stories involving talking parrots, and the like.
and producer John Irwin remembers: "Back in the mists of time,
the seventies actually, when Look North programmes stumbled out
live on air as few items were recorded, it was all a bit amateurish,
bringing on rage, frustration and yes, fun. Some of the items were
excruciating but we had a few laughs.
mole- shooting vicar
we had empty spaces to fill, and nothing much to fill them with,
the then news editor would call up one of his favourites, a dotty
vicar story. This Lincolnshire vicar had an obsession with moles
in his garden. His unusual method of pest control was by tracking
them down by sound. He appeared to be able to hear them moving about
underground and, when he did, he would open fire with his air rifle
at their position on his lawn. Then he would stare at his empty
lawn for a while, suddenly shout, 'There's one,' and open fire again.
All the reporters had to do was to ask the vicar a few deadpan questions
and leave him to blaze away. No mole, dead or alive appeared."
course, it has not always been fun and Look North has covered all
too many tragic stories over the years.
the technology too is very different. The newsroom typewriters were
disposed of long ago, the graphics are no longer done on the back
of cereal packets and it is difficult to imagine that, in the early
days, the first time film items would not be seen in their negative
form was when they were transmitted.
you can catch up with Look North from other parts of the UK on this
website or by satellite and next year Look North will be moving
into new state-of-the-art premises on Quarry Hill.
BBC in Bradford is also on the move and this summer, as part of
the celebrations to mark our arrival at our new home at the National
Museum of Photography, Film and Television, this website hopes to
bring you more about the past, present and future of television
in West Yorkshire, and beyond.
would like you to help us by telling us about your best television
moments or favourite programmes: