- A LONG HARD (boiled) ROAD TO SUCCESS
you grew up around Eire or the UK, you'll fondly (or maybe not
so fondly) remember ITV's TV-AM" with Anne Diamond sitting
on "the sofa". Brekky TV started in 1982 and old Frank
Boughon the BBC competed with pretty Anne on ITV. How nostalgic.
Frank could hardly been seen for the steam from the pungent
coffee that sat on his table. You could almost smell the stuff.
He would wear a yellow jumper (perhaps competing with Anne in
her sexy 'bigger than Ben Hur' top there on your left) as he
talked us through the days news. You could be forgiven for thinking
he was in your living room. Perhaps that was the intention.
It was the beginning of a long hard road for early morning TV
in Britain. And gee, but how things have changed!
You see it all started back in 1982 and no one really knew exactly
how to serve up a delicious breakfast of news and weather, especially
NOT those who orchastrated the beginnings of TV-AM and BBC Breakfast
time. They should have done what they did here in Australia
- copy the Americans, godammit!!! - But oh no! That would never
do! Of course Anne Diamond and Nick whatever-his-name-is, were
running away with the ratings and I simply can't imagine it
was because of ANYTHING other than that Anne was a tad sexier
than starchy old Frank. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Anne
sleeping with one of the Directors of TVAM? I really should
do more research but I'm having fun looking at this from a nostalgically-ignorant
point of view! I was reading the news on Dublin's Radio Nova,
and happily plaguerising the news from TV-AM. Hell, it's what
you did in them days!
Then in the mid 80's TV-AM's technical crew went on strike.
Now THAT was hilarious! The management were running the show,
operating the camera's (or not!) and TV-AM was now a pathetic
shell of what it was. Everything was going wrong. Ad breaks
were coming in while Anne was trying to read the news, the cameras
were on the wrong people all the time. The whole mess became
the laughing stock of British broadcasting. And all this while
I was standing on a picket line myself, when Nova News went
on strike at Stocking Lane Rathfarnham.
TV-AM may have been having problems, but so was Nova, who had
Tony Allan doing news and programming while completely shit-faced.
I have to say it made great radio though. Good ol' Tony. Meanwhile,
TV-AM were picking bimbo's to do their weather. Now if you're
in the know with regard to broadcasting, you'll probably know
that the BBC insist that their weather reporters are trained
at the Met office before they unleash them onto TV screens.
With TV-AM, it didn't really matter if you never learned to
read or write - as long as you were young, female and sexy.
And boy did they have some real hum-dingers on that show!
Well, the eighties were passing and some major changes were
in the wind for brekky TV in the UK. If you want to know the
full history of TV-AM go
here (at your own risk!). Incidentally it took an Australian
to get TV-AM off its ass. Kerry Packer, our richest man and
media mogule (owns Channel 9 - Australia's most popular TV channel)
made sweeping changes.
I believe that over in Ireland they actually have breakfast
TV! Woohoo! TV3 has irelandAM with Mark Cagney and friends.
Is it any good? Prey do tell! I can't see it here and I assume
it's not on the net. Maybe I should ask Andrew Hanlon, AKA Dave
Johnston, from Nova, who is head of News there now.
Me personally, I don't watch berakfast TV. Here in Oz, it's
like a circus of bad acts, coated in ear-splitting badly-made
advertising. I don't have the stomach for it at that time of
day (or any time of day at that matter). I just do what I always
say I do on this website- hide under the comforting wings of
sanity and real news, a place that locks out the demons of sanitary-towel
style ads, a place where they speak english and make sense.
What's Anne Diamond doing these days?
TOP TEN VOICES OF THE MEDIA
10: Sybil Fennell
Fennel was a broadcaster in Ireland on Radio Nova,
and later on LBC in London. She hired me as a newsreader
in 1983. I had been listening to her and admiring
her since her broadcasts on Southside Radio in Dun
Laoghaire (Co. Dublin) where I also worked, albeit
not while she was on the station. What a professional.
It was hard to live up to her expectations, but
a pleasure to try! I believe she is no longer broadcasting.
09: Andrew Hanlon
and I worked together on Nova in the mid eighties.
One night when we were doing a tow-hander news at
7pm, a McDonalds restaurant was robbed, and Andrew
reported it with the tagline "It may have been
the Hamburgler". Nova nearly lost the McDonalds
ad account over that, but it was hilarious. I was
always a bit jealous of Andrew, because I felt his
voice was better than mine. I still thyink so today!
Andrew now works for TV3 as Director of news. I
personally feel he should get back behind that microphone!
08: Tony Blair
this might seem like a strange one. A politician
is always walking a tightrope, and his/her voice
is actually as crucial as what comes out of their
mouths! Politics is all about media, and how you
express yourself through it. Tony is a brilliant
and passionate communicator, and he uses his voice
07: Jason Mayne
Mayne works on Dublin's Q102. Ironically he worked
on the original pirate Q102 in Dublin back in
1984. Here's the thing. I believe when I was working
there that Jason actually had a stutter. This
never came out on air because he was listening
to his speech "directly on air". This
means instead of his headphones feeding from the
desk, they were feeding from the broadcast signal,
which had about a quarter of a second delay. Because
of that delay his voice flowed beautifully on
radio. Is this an urban myth? Let
me know. Anyway he has an outstanding voice
which is completely authentic.
also a really nice guy!
06: Susanne Latimore
works for Sky News Australia. She has a quiet kind
of confidence in her voice. I call her the giggling
newsreader, because she loves to have a giggle with
her co-host at the end of the bulletin. She oozes
sex-appeal in her voice which, lets face it - works
in the media these days!
05: Tony Allan
only a brilliant voice, this man could sing, write
and produce some of the most compelling radio around.
I feel he could have worked in mainstream radio
(such as Radio One UK) but refused to conform. He
died from throat cancer.
04: Nisha Pillai
works for BBC World TV. She is noted for her brilliant
pronounciation and visual treatment of the camera.
She is cool and collected and one of my favourite
voices. She worked for BBC's Panorama between 1990
and '95 and then was escalated to the BBCtelevision's
world service, attracting a massive global audience.
03: Dustin Hoffman
a rich voice! He could have done radio as a professional
02: Alistair Cooke
1946, the BBC's augustly titled Director of the
Spoken Word suggested to Alistair Cooke that he
start a weekly radio broadcast from New York,
"... about, well, all the things in American
life you've talked to me about. Anything and everything."
warned, however, that Britain's national broadcaster
could not guarantee its new correspondent much
of a future. "Even if your Letter is a sensational
success, we can't finance it beyond two series,
namely 26 weeks," was the only commitment
he was prepared to give.
years later, Alistair Cooke's Letter from America
is still being broadcast to countless millions
of listeners in Australia and 51 other countries,
far and away the longest-running and most successful
radio series in history. (courtesy
Sydney Morning Herald)
ever there was a voice to be reckoned with, it has
to be that of Richard Burton. Classically trained,
Burton worked in all facets of the media, from being
on stage to big-screen, radio and TV, and also was
the voice on the hit album "War of the worlds"
in the early eighties. He died from complications
related to alcohol abuse.