ITV in 1988: Central 

26 January 2023

Central print logo



West Midlands
Central House, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2JP
Tel: 021-643 9898

Albion House, 1 Albion Place, Oxford OX1 1SL
Tel: 0865 725358

East Midlands
East Midlands Television Centre, Nottingham NG7 2NA
Tel: 0602 863322

35/38 Portman Square, London W1A 2HZ
Tel: 01-486 <>688

Central Independent Television (USA) Inc., 610 Fifth Avenue, Suite 401, New York, NY 10020, USA.
Tel: 212 582 6688
Kevin Morrison (President).

Central Independent Television Pty. Ltd. 50 Bridge Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia.
John Jackson (Director).

Directors David Justham (Chairman); Leslie Hill (Managing Director); Andy Allan (Director of Programmes); Cliff Baty (Director of Finance); Richard Emery (Director of Sales); Peter Gardner (Director of Operations); Alan Pankhurst (Director of Personnel & Industrial Relations); Marshall Stewart (Director of Public Affairs); Sir Richard Bailey (Chairman – West); John Madocks, CBE, DL (Chairman – East); Charles Denton; I. R. Maxwell, MC; Jean Parker; Robert Phillis; Sir Leo Pliatzky, KCB; Murray Thomson

Officers Gerald Harris (Commercial Director); Philip Jones (Director of International Sales & Marketing); Colin Campbell (Legal Adviser/Company Secretary); Ted Childs (Controller of Drama); Richard Creasey (Controller, Features Group); Philip Grosset (Controller, Education & Religion); Gary Newbon (Controller of Sport); Lewis Rudd (Controller of Young People’s Programmes); Jon Scoffield (Controller, Music & Entertainment); Robert Southgate (Controller of News & Current Affairs); John Terry (Controller of Programme Planning & Presentation); Keith Smith (Controller of Public Affairs); Kevin Betts (Financial Controller); Philip Gilbert (Controller, Programme Services); Gerry Kaye (Chief Engineer); Ian Grainger Clemson (Head of Information Services); Peter Booth (Studio Controller – West); Peter Pearson (Studio Controller – East); Sim Harris (Head of Film & ENG); Phil Jordan (Head of Production Operations); Mike Snalam (Head of Technical Operations); Ted Trimmer (Managing Editor, News); Steve Clark (Head of News – East); Mike Warman (Executive Editor, Central News); Laurie Upshon (Editor, Central News – West); Chris Robertson (Editor, Central News – East); Son Lander (Political Editor); Michael Taylor (Head of Company Promotion).

Filmfair Ltd. 1/2 Jacobs Wells Mews, London W1
Tel: 01-935 1596

Sales Department Anna Kelly (Regional Sides Group Manager), Central House, Broad Street, Birmingham
Tel: 021-643 9898
David Sanders (Head of Sales); Bill Harrison (Head of Marketing); Nigel Emery (Sales Controller); 35/38 Portman Square, London W1A 2HZ
Tel: 01-486 6688.

Studios Central’s dual region is served in the West Midlands from studios in Birmingham and in the East Midlands from studios in Nottingham which have recently been enhanced by a £2.2 million office and support facilities project. Together they reach an audience of nine million viewers. Each studio has its own News Department producing separate programmes, Central News West and Central News East, each weekday.

Central has increased the number of ENG crews to report in greater depth across the whole of the Midlands to support the work carried out in its centres in Oxford, Derby, Leicester and Stoke-on-Trent, each with its regional reporter.

Programmes. With new ideas on and off screen, Central enjoyed a year of continuing success in Britain and around the world. It was the only television company to receive the Queen’s Award to Industry for Export Achievement, selling a range of documentaries, drama and light entertainment to 80 countries, as diverse as Australia and Iceland, America and Kuwait.

The Queen Mother featured in her first television profile, Royal Champion, which explained her love of horse-racing.

A Couple of Charlies, a children’s drama shown twice during the year, first alerted public attention to child abuse, and won awards from the Royal Television Society and at the Chicago Film Festival.

Central was the first television company to examine seriously the threat of AIDS in Britain, in the regional Central Weekend programme which was subsequently shown throughout the country. The first British drama series to deal with AIDS, Intimate Contact, also came from Central, with Claire Bloom and Daniel Massey earning praise for their sensitive performances.

It was the first company to offer its own schedule of varied programming for extended night-time broadcasting until three and four in the morning. The mix of films, drama, music and documentaries was immediately successful.

The unique Jobfinder teletext service was taken up by Yorkshire Television, and won a Royal Television Society Award for the most significant television contribution to the region.

For the first time, the European Environmental Film Festival came to Britain, when film makers from 14 countries arrives! in Birmingham for an event sponsored by Central, whose ECO series is the only regular regional series on European television dealing with the environment.

The Spitting Image Election Special – a highly successful example of Central’s involvement with independent programme producers – broke new ground in programme production by going live for a substantial amount of the show, and the series achieved the distinction of winning an International Emmy for the second successive year.

There were other prestigious awards. Coming Through with Kenneth Branagh anel Helen Mirren as D.H. Lawrence and Freida Weekley, won awards at the Chicago Film Festival and American Film Festival. Look at Me, a play for children, won the Prix Jeunesse in Germany and Tales From Fat Tulip’s Garden picked up honours in Chicago and San Francisco and the regional magazine Central Lobby won an award in Austin, Texas, for its coverage of women in politics.

At British awards ceremonies, Central’s Junior Television Workshop’s revue series Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It won a British Academy Award, while TVTimes readers voted Blockbusters most popular quiz, for the second successive year.

Other programmes won the acclaim of critics and audiences, Zenith’s Escape From Sobibor was number three in the British top ten, while in America it gained CBS its highest rating of the year at the time it was shown. Paul Freeman and Judy Loe starred in a story of rekindled love, Yesterday’s Dreams. Michael Elphick was back as Boon and The Bretts featured Norman Rodway and Barbara Murray – a second series is now in production – and there will be more from John Thaw as the thoughtful detective Inspector Morse.

Three Viewpoint Specials examining third world aid enhanced Central’s reputation as a world leader in environmental programming.

In light entertainment Central revived two shews which became hits again, with Marti Caine hosting New Faces and Les Dennis presenting Family Fortunes.

There was also a tribute to Elvis Presley, Love Me Tender, marking the tenth anniversary of his death and featuring Boy George and The Pet Shop Boys.

Off screen, Central’s involvement with its region was underlined by support and sponsorship of more than 80 community organisations during the year. The Prince of Wales praised Central’s community support, when he spoke at a conference for leading businessmen at the East Midlands Television Centre.

Two new initiatives to help the young unemployed were Youthline, a telephone extension of Jobfinder and B19 and inner city drama project in Lozells in Birmingham.


Roger Cook holds a microphone, whilst a cameraman points his camera over his shoulder

New from Central, The Cook Report, with Roger Cook.


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