(Real name Michael Manning). One of Michael’s first broadcast roles was that of BBC Radio 4 announcer (1973 – 1974). He also worked as a newsreader/announcer at the BBC World Service (1975). He later moved to BBC Bristol as a radio/TV announcer followed by spells in London, Southampton, Manchester and Plymouth. In 1980 he had his first shift as a BBC TV network announcer. He remained in that role until his untimely death in a car accident on 18th April 1984.

In September 2010, Jeff Coote, a former colleague of Mike’s, contacted us: “Although it is very difficult for me to write this, I think that it is important to record the information once and for all so that people know and understand what happened on that sad day. Mike was on his way from his flat in Heather Court, Montpelier Terrace to spend a couple of days with me and my wife in Ruislip when he had the accident. His friend Ross (he was a VT editor on BBC Breakfast Time) was driving them in his Mini on the A23 from Brighton. An old man had stopped in a lay-by (just north of the junction with the A281) intending to cross the dual carriageway to visit a friend. He started to cross in front of an articulated lorry just as Ross and Mike were overtaking. Their car was pushed across the central reservation (nothing more than a raised kerb in those days) and hit a car coming in the opposite direction (I met the driver at the inquest, who had suffered serious permanent injuries but survived). Apparently Ross fell across Mike’s lap (probably died on impact) which caused him to be extremely upset. According to people who helped at the scene of the accident, Mike was sitting on the grass bank and talking while waiting for the ambulance.

“I still don’t know why he died and there seemed to be some confusion about where he was taken after the accident as his mother wasn’t sure which hospital to go to. My wife and I visited her in Brighton for some years afterwards but I don’t think she ever really recovered from the loss. I never knew anything about Mike’s father.

“Mike was going to be the godfather to my eldest son Christopher.

“Together, Mike and I tried to move BBC continuity from the staid Radio 4-ish style (long periods – i.e., more than half-a-second – of silence and black) of presentation to something (cuts between slides and symbols and programmes with no pauses but still with some style) which held the viewers attention, to try to match the programmes that Michael Grade was having enormous success (and viewing figures) with at the time. By the time Mike died, I think we had quite some success with the support of the more ambitious network editors, such as Martin Everard. And BBC One has never been the same since.”

Paul R. Jackson corresponded with Michael in March 1984 – a month before his tragic death: “As far as I can see Clive Roslin was last on BBC Television on 31st April 1983 and Michael Stirrup on 17th March 1982.  I am enclosing a few articles from the Royal Television Society’s magazine which may interest you.  Rex Moorfoot touches on the subject of announcers in-vision in the article enclosed.  The men went out-of-vision at about the time he took over as head of Presentation, and as far as I can remember the women remained in-vision until the mid-1960s – 1964 or 1965.  Photographs are something we don’t have, but the new Radio Times features pictures of the Radio 4 newsreaders as part of a new occasional series.  Perhaps if there is sufficient interest they will include the television announcers at a later date.  There are people all over the BBC who have been announcers at one time or another, but I couldn’t begin to come up with all the names.  Sorry about that.”

Michael also kindly sent through some recent Presentation schedules and it appears that his final slot on the rota was the BBC Two late shift on Wednesday 4th April 1984.


Kate is a native Lancastrian with a husky, lilting quality to her voice. She studied at the Central School of Speech and graduated from the University of Birmingham with a bachelor’s in psychology. She has been a voiceover artist since 1998 and an actress since 2009.

Kate voiced promotions for BBC TV (2005 – 2009) and Sky TV (2006 – 2009). She was an announcer on Channel 4 (2007), Investigation Discovery (2010 – 2013) and Discovery (2008 – 2010). And since May 2017, she’s been announcing on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four. She has also managed to squeeze in some BBC Radio 4 announcing shifts (late-2016 and early 2017). She’s been a coach at Kate Walsh Communication since 2014.

For acting roles, Kate is represented by Raif Eyles Personal Management.

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Stephanie was born in Dundee and went to the University of Glasgow. She initially worked in TV magazines in Glasgow (1996 – 1997) before moving into broadcasting with Granada Sky Broadcasting (1997 – 1999) as an announcer. She moved to a similar role with BBC TV network in 1999. Her time at the BBC included an attachment to BBC London 94.9 (October 2001 – May 2002). She then remained on the BBC TV continuity team until 2006.

Steph is a journalist and newsreader for BBC Radio Scotland and since 2009, she has also been the station voice for BBC Radio Scotland. She is a freelance voiceover artist, working for various channels: this includes announcing on Drama (from 2009) and ITV (from 2011).


Anne has been working in the media all her working life. She began her broadcasting career with BBC Northern Ireland in the 1980s, contributing to radio programmes, before establishing her own sixty-minute weekly magazine, At Home with Anne Hailes. She was also involved in programmes for the BBC World Service.

Anne later joined Ulster Television, starting as a production assistant. She went on to produce and present Ask Anne, one of the station’s highest-rating programmes at the time. She later diversified into medical programming, producing a six-part medical documentary, Case Notes, based in various hospitals across Northern Ireland. She also produced Time on Their Hands for RTÉ – a series that followed her travels through Poland, tracing the Jewish experience there during World War II.

Anne has freelanced with a leading public relations agency and has written for a number of business organisations in Northern Ireland. She has worked as press and PR officer with the Ulster Actors Company, based at the Arts Theatre and appeared in the Opera House and the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, playing entertainer Lionel Blair’s mother in a summer musical.

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Michael was a BBC Northern Ireland news and current affairs presenter in the 1960s and 1970s. He presented the main regional news programme in the 1960s. The programme had various titles during that decade: Six o’Clock, Six-Five and then Six-Ten. With so few TV services available, branding wasn’t quite so important in those days. However, there was some longevity with the next rebrand of the programme: Scene Around Six came along on 1st January 1968. This title would remain in use until 1984.

Michael was also a continuity announcer/director at BBC Northern Ireland during the 1970s.

Michael presented on BBC TV’s regional news magazine programme Town and Around (c. 1965) and on BBC Radio’s popular programme Two-Way Family Favourites. When troops started to be deployed in Northern Ireland the programme added a link-up with BBC Belfast from 1971 and this saw the return of Baguley, who had hosted the Cologne leg back in 1953 [1].

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George was born in Colombo, Ceylon. His parents moved to Ghana in West Africa in 1961.  He read politics at Durham University and whilst there wrote for and became editor of the student newspaper Palatinate; he was also a sabbatical officer of Durham Students’ Union.  He worked on South Magazine from 1982 until joining the BBC in 1989.  He was the developing world correspondent based in London, foreign correspondent (1989 – 1994) and from June 1994, South Africa correspondent, based in Johannesburg.  He reported on events ranging from the genocide in Rwanda and the plight of the Marsh Arabs in southern Iraq to the civil wars in Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

George was a newsreader on BBC News 24 and then on BBC One from May 1999, deputising on the BBC News at One and BBC News at Nine.  In March 2002, he became the launch presenter on BBC Four News (the first nightly news programme transmitted at 7pm and dedicated solely to foreign news; the programme was broadcast on BBC Four and simulcast on BBC World). It was later relaunched as The World.  In January 2003, he became one of the main presenters on the BBC News at Six, alongside Sophie Raworth until October 2005 and Natasha Kaplinsky until October 2007. In October 2007, it was announced that from November 2007, George would be the solo presenter of the BBC News at Six.  From 3rd December 2007, George became the sole presenter of the BBC News at Six.  From 3rd July 2006, he presented World News Today on BBC World News and BBC Two, which was rebranded GMT on 1st February 2010.

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Born in Chelsea to Vincentian parents, Andi initially presented CITV’s Free Time (16th September – 23rd December 1988) and briefly provided the continuity links on CITV in summer 1988.  However, he reached a much wider audience with Edd the Duck and Wilson (an arm purporting to be that of a butler) in The Broom Cupboard segments on Children’s BBC, which he presented from 29th May 1989 until 3rd September 1993.

He appeared in the school holiday series But First This! (10th July 1989 – 1st September 1989 and 12th July 1993 – TBC).  He was a presenter on The O-Zone (1989) and guest-presented on Going Live! (6th March 1993).  He co-presented The Red Nose Awards (1994 – 1996) and Antiques Roadshow – The Next Generation (1992 – 1993).  He left The Broom Cupboard to present Live and Kicking, alongside Emma Forbes and John Barrowman (1993 – 1996).  One well-remembered moment was when Terry Nutkins brought a tarantula into the studio for his animal slot and put it in Peters’ hands, in an attempt to help him overcome his arachnophobia.  After a few seconds, the tarantula moved and Peters dropped it on the studio floor.  Andi’s exit from the show was voted one of the biggest tear-jerking moments in TV history by Channel 4.  He also presented: Take Two (22nd October 1993 – 1994); EEK (BBC One, 1994); Short Change (1996).  He returned to CBBC for Hacker’s Birthday Bash: 30 Years of CBBC (2015). 

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John was born in Chelsea and educated at Winchester College and Pembroke College, Oxford where he obtained a law degree.  Having applied to join the British Broadcasting Company Limited in 1924 – and in the absence of a reply from the BBC – Snagge’s father, the redoubtable judge Sir Mordaunt Snagge, called on Reith’s deputy, Admiral Charles Car-Pendale, at Savoy Hill to ask what was happening.  The admiral explained that a great number of people had written to the BBC, and he was having to go through 1,500 applications.  “I am not interested in the other 1,499,” said Sir Mordaunt loftily.  Snagge was engaged and in 1924 sent to be the assistant director of the newly opened local radio station at Stoke-on-Trent.  He broadcast his first sports commentary in January 1927 (Hull City v Stoke City football match).  In 1928, he moved to Savoy Hill in London to work as one of BBC Radio’s announcers, alongside Stuart Hibberd.  Listeners heard his distinctive resonant voice on the Home Service (1928 – 1933, 1940 and 1944).

John also became a commentator in the new outside broadcast department and famously commentated on the annual Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford (1931 – 1980).  During the 1949 University Boat Race, when the engine of the launch broke down, Snagge’s voice filled with excitement and he reported: “I can’t see who’s in the lead, but it’s either Oxford or Cambridge.”  He found in a coin shop near Broadcasting House a gold sovereign bearing the date of the first Boat Race in 1829.  Since then it has been used for the toss each year, including 1951 when Snagge had to describe the sinking of the Oxford boat.  He was assistant, outside broadcasts department (1933 – 1939) and assistant director, outside broadcasts (1939).  He provided the commentary for the 1937 Coronation of King George VI and again in 1953 for HM Queen Elizabeth II.

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Johnny made major contributions to children’s TV over 25 years including Play School (545 editions, 1967 – 1984, and occasional appearances until 1987) and Play Away (1972 to 1980), during which time he was the principle comedy writer for the show.

But Johnny is best known for popularising maths and science in writing and presenting several groundbreaking children’s TV series, with his producer/director Albert Barber: Think of a Number (six series, 1977 – 1984; the first series won a BAFTA in 1978); Think Again (five series, 1981 – 1985).  Think Again won the Prix Jeunesse, Munich, the Asian Broadcasting Union Prize for Chairs (1982) and a New York International Emmy nomination for Doors (1983) (it was beaten by a Canadian show with 20 times the budget).  Johnny also wrote/presented: Think! Backwards (1981); Think This Way (1983); Think It…Do It (two series, 1986 –1987).  He then joined Central TV for five series of Johnny Ball Reveals All (Central TV, 1989 –1994), directed by Clive Doig.

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