[From Solihull News, 22 September 2017:]
Tag: Made In Birmingham TV
There’s a nice article in the autumn edition of Wetherspoon News, in-house magazine of the JD Wetherspoon pub chain, covering my chat with Laurel & Hardy historian John Ullah about local comic Charlie Hall. It was a follow-up to an earlier interview which aired on Made in Birmingham TV and was originally intended to go out on the same show, but our slot was unexpectedly cancelled as part of a programme shake-up at the channel, which has apparently sub-let eight hours of its daily schedule to the Sony-owned TruTV and has consigned much of its locally-produced content to the early hours to stream its new tenant’s American programming. Quite how all this conforms with Made in Birmingham TV’s franchise commitments is up to Ofcom to decide.
[Scan by John Ullah]
The project I alluded to in a previous entry moved another step forward on Tuesday evening, when Chrissie Harper and I met with Rob Hoffman, owner of Birmingham’s Robannas Studios, and Kerrang! Radio presenter Johnny Doom. It so happens that Johnny and I both used to appear on Made in Birmingham TV, and experienced much the same unceremonious farewell, so it was good to get together in a more upbeat environment.
Discussions are still at an early stage, but we will be making an announcement about this project very soon. In the meantime, those of you on Twitter can follow us here.
As mentioned in my previous entry, Chrissie Harper and I are no longer supplying content to Made in Birmingham TV. Despite our track record for turning in material on fit and ready to air, we were unceremoniously dropped without warning just two days after our next item had already been announced (luckily, I found another show eager to screen it, though that avenue also appears to have closed since). Considering the channel’s current downward plummet (eight hours per day of US imports simply shoehorned in from TruTV, including the station ident), it was a good time to make the break, although the circumstances left something to be desired.
Still, it’s freed us to explore another project, which really moved up a gear this afternoon. Whilst I can’t say any more at the moment, this has the potential to be a really exciting career move.
Chrissie and I were invited along to Birmingham’s Electric Cinema on 28 May, to meet Annabel de Vetten, founder of speciality bakery Conjurer’s Kitchen, and Victoria Price, author of Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography. The resulting interview turned out to be our final appearance on Made in Birmingham TV, as we finally lost patience with a company which treats its outside contributors with utter contempt.
Usually, when I interview someone about a shared enthusiasm, it’s related to horror, science fiction or maybe comics, but my latest piece for Made in Birmingham TV took me to the home of John Ullah, ‘Grand Sheik’ of Laughing Gravy, the Birmingham ‘tent’ of the international Laurel & Hardy appreciation society the Sons of the Desert. As well as having a long and highly enjoyable conversation, the first part of which is due to air on Saturday evening, I actually got to touch a pair of Stan Laurel’s socks, which beats any variation of that Kevin Bacon game hands-down.
[Photograph by Chrissie Harper]
The latest of my reports for Made in Birmingham TV aired Saturday evening. the first half of a discussion with local rock musician Joe Dempster, whose band The Bloodthirsters has since supplied the theme tune for the first of Chrissie Harper’s and my Club Vamporama minisodes.
Other recent contributions to Birmingham News Weekend Magazine have featured Vamos Theatre (whose performers wear full-face masks), the producer and director of Worcester-based crime thriller Artichoke, performance duo notnow Collective, Birmingham-based space artist David A Hardy, Birmingham CAMRA chair Sally Lavender and award-winning licensee Brendon Daly (whose pub has already served as an ad hoc studio on three occasions). The majority are now available to view on our YouTube channel.
Clockwise, from top left: with musician Joe Dempster; with film-makers Fernando Antonio Maffei and Lawrence Donello; with artist David A Hardy; with performers Hannah Kimpton and Aron De Casmaker of Vamos Theatre.
I had the immense pleasure of interviewing my old friend Dave Hardy on Tuesday, with the footage (photographed by Chrissie Harper) to be divided between two separate programmes on Made in Birmingham TV. As I reminded him, the previous time I profiled Dave was way back in 1979, not long after I moved from the Walsall Observer to its sister title in Solihull (my home town, of course).
I’ve become somewhat of a regular fixture on Made in Birmingham TV of late, and Saturday saw my fifth report in a row for Birmingham News Weekend Magazine. The first two focussed upon the recent Blue Orange Theatre production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the next two featured extracts from Adam Nevill’s appearance at the Birmingham Horror Group, and the latest concerned a local pub being honoured by Birmingham CAMRA. In due course, all five will be available via YouTube.
Had a rather busy Saturday. Even as I was driving into Birmingham for the latest gathering of the Birmingham Horror Group at the Gunmakers Arms, Lee Bannister was introducing Chrissie’s and my report from the Blue Orange Theatre for Made in Birmingham TV’s Birmingham News Weekend Magazine.
Shortly afterwards, I was on stage with author Adam Nevill, discussing his influences, his new novel Under a Watchful Eye (a terrific read, by the way) and the impending movie adaptation of The Ritual, which had only been announced two days earlier. The conversation was filmed for use on two separate Made in Birmingham TV shows, the general material for Lee and the film-related footage for his colleague Carl Jones’ daily cinema slot. In addition, the interview will be transcribed for a forthcoming issue of the magazine Fear.
[Photograph above by Chrissie Harper]