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20 years since the Real IRA bombing of BBC TV Centre

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MA
Markymark
I can remember watching in the 70s a Sunday Night at the London Palladium. After one of the commercial breaks, it never returned, and instead there was an edition of Sammy Davis Junior's ATV show to fill the rest of the timeslot.

Nothing was said on air to explain the change, it wasn't until next morning when the papers reported there'd been a bomb scare.
CO
commseng
That programme was often taken off air due to bomb scares - I remember a few of them, and still feel a shiver run up my spine when I hear one Carpenters song to this day, as it was used as filler while the Palladium was evacuated and searched!
Funny what lodges in the mind.
SW
Steve Williams
I can remember watching in the 70s a Sunday Night at the London Palladium. After one of the commercial breaks, it never returned, and instead there was an edition of Sammy Davis Junior's ATV show to fill the rest of the timeslot.

Nothing was said on air to explain the change, it wasn't until next morning when the papers reported there'd been a bomb scare.


Funnily enough, one show affected by a bomb scare in 1973 was shown as part of the repeats on Talking Pictures TV last year - and indeed as they're repeating them again they'll presumably be showing it again in a couple of weeks. It's a bit strange because half the show is made up of pre-recorded material (which unfortunately is from one of the few other shows from that run that exists, which was also part of the repeat run) and then after ad break Jim Dale comes on stage and says "Well, that was a long comercial break, wasn't it?", to knowing laughter from the audience, and then it continues, before ending rather abruptly. All very strange.
IS
Inspector Sands

Back in 1988 the BBC Belfast Head of Security must have been a very repatiative and often boring job, despite the troubles.

Talking of Northern Ireland, it was recently the 50th anniversary of when 5 BBC engineers got killed by an IRA landmine:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55989009
DE88 and Roger Darthwell gave kudos
IS
Inspector Sands

Yes, and of course it was the Christmas Presents from 1991, because 1992 was the one year of the nineties when Noel didn't do a Christmas Presents show, with the House Party live on Boxing Day instead. I know that it used to be the case, probably still is, that every live show would have a standby scheduled in case it couldn't go out for whatever reason, as near enough to the actual show as possible, and presumably that was the most convenient pre-recorded Noel show available. I seem to remember Inspector Sands of this parish saying there was one standby show which was faithfully scheduled and laced up ready to go dozens of times, for months and months on end, and when they finally had to broadcast it, it wouldn't work because it had been standing by on pause for so long, the tape had been damaged.

Yes, it was the standby for Vanessa Feltz's ill-fated BBC talk show. That was a rehearsal/pilot episode recorded before the series started live. It was loaded every morning without fail and needed a new master in the end as the oxide was falling off at the cue point.

Nominated standbys for regular programmes like that are normally some sort of highlights programme or similar. But there will also be shorter ones to fill with if the programme's not entirely written off. No point going for the full length standby if it might be ok after 5 minutes There's an example on the Breakdowns thread of a D Day celebration concert from around 1992 that they were struggling to get working and was filled by some short standbys for the whole programme
DE88, UKnews and Night Thoughts gave kudos
JA
james-2001
Every full moon was marked on the calendar at BH reception - as there were always more incidents on those days.


Clearly werewolves are real... and they attack BBC staff members.
CO
commseng
I always thought it was nonsense, but that made me wonder if it really does send some people slightly over the edge when the moon is full. It's hardly a scientific study, but those on reception said it was something they noticed.
CO
commseng
Talking of Northern Ireland, it was recently the 50th anniversary of when 5 BBC engineers got killed by an IRA landmine:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55989009

A very sad story with too many innocent lives lost.
It ultimately delayed the opening of the Brougher Mountain UHF service I believe.
SP
Steve in Pudsey
Yes, it was the standby for Vanessa Feltz's ill-fated BBC talk show. That was a rehearsal/pilot episode recorded before the series started live. It was loaded every morning without fail and needed a new master in the end as the oxide was falling off at the cue point.


I wonder if that explains the infamous breakdown where Lambing Live fell off air and and the edition of Coast they wheeled out was suffering from sound problems and had to be abandoned? II think at the time it was explained as being likely to be a head clog. Even if that particular tape was in good condition, if the machine used for standbys was regularly handling other tapes that were wearing out it might fit?
LL
Larry the Loafer
I can remember watching in the 70s a Sunday Night at the London Palladium. After one of the commercial breaks, it never returned, and instead there was an edition of Sammy Davis Junior's ATV show to fill the rest of the timeslot.

Nothing was said on air to explain the change, it wasn't until next morning when the papers reported there'd been a bomb scare.


It was covered when Bradley Walsh hosted a documentary about the Palladium a little while ago. They claimed to have one of the only existing home recordings of when the show was pulled off air, but I spotted one or two rogue frames when the caption was brought up, which makes me think the documentary people edited the moment themselves.

As for Noel, I seem to bring this up every time his Broom Cupboard junction is posted - why does Tom and JERRY seem to be introduced so aggressively?
HC
Hatton Cross


I assume they wouldn't act unless it was a coded bomb warning.


Ahh. Coded bomb warnings.

Thankfully, I should point out I never had a phonecall with one said to me, but..

Working in radio in the late 90's in Birmingham, and on Saturday afternoons usually being the only one in the newsroom after the morning duty journo had gone home, I was given the 'agreed' codeword at the time between the IRA and WM Police.

Should someone ring with a Irish accent and say the word, you called the news editor, who would then call another news outlets editor (because codeword calls would rarely just call one organisation) to confirm.

Then, if the word matched, police informed and the sounds of sirens would have quickly filled the air.

I understand codewords changed at least twice a year, and whilst I'm not going to say what it was on here, even after 22ish years, it was very specific, but so bland and ordinary, you'd never actually guess it.
BU
buster


As for Noel, I seem to bring this up every time his Broom Cupboard junction is posted - why does Tom and JERRY seem to be introduced so aggressively?


As I said above the decision to do that link and then actually doing it live must have been taken very quickly, and I think Noel is actually slightly under-running at the end as after that he says he’ll be back next week a second time. So I’m guessing maybe he intended to end on Tom and Jerry? Either it shows that at his peak that he was very good at this sort of thing that he could just wing it. You can’t imagine Jim Davidson doing it, put it that way....

Also interesting that by that point they are also confirming that show is lost forever and that series isn’t going to be extended a week. Again, a very quick decision given how big it was at that point, but one driven by logistics I suspect.

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