Born Sylvia Lucia Petronzio, she was a former musical actress who appeared in revues including one at The Coliseum marking VE Day. She joined the BBC in 1947 after answering a newspaper advertisement for an announcer, with a salary of £500-a-year. She was one of the post-war trio of announcers who stayed until 1958. The female announcers wore patterned evening dresses, never stripes or checks which made the picture strobe, and shoulders were covered by shawls and cleavages disguised by plastic flowers. There was no autocue, rehearsals or editing. “We were on every night. There was no-one else,” she said. “When I first went to the BBC, people did not admit they had a set. They would say, ‘the servants have one and I occasionally see it downstairs’.”

Sylvia was chosen to present the BBC’s coverage of HM The Queen’s Coronation on 2nd June 1953. She explained: “Part of the reason I was chosen was I had a very good memory. I was given the script the night before and had to learn it in time. I was also the same age as the Queen, which they liked.” Peters recorded a training film in 1957 for HM The Queen to prepare her for her first televised Christmas broadcast. It demonstrated different possibilities, including reading the script and, by that stage, autocue. The Queen took it to Balmoral for the summer to study what best to do. She chose autocue, her broadcasting method of choice ever since.

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Barry was a pioneer of regional broadcasting in the West Midlands. He presented the first edition of Midlands Today on 28th September 1964 and six years later he was the first voice on Radio Birmingham. He joined the BBC in October 1955 as a studio manager and one of his roles was providing sound effects for The Archers. He introduced the programme by telling “the story so far…” for ten years from 1960. He was a BBC Radio announcer (1959 – 1960), presenter for BBC Midlands (1959 – 1960 and 1964) and relief BBC TV newsreader (1959 – 15th June 1963). Later he was a commentator/producer for BBC Radio Birmingham and Radio WM.

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McDonald was born in Stanley, Falkland Islands. He began his acting career in repertory theatre, under the stage names Val Blanchard and Robert Blanchard, using his mother’s maiden name. He toured before World War II in J. B. Priestley’s Time and the Conways. During the war, he served with the Royal Artillery and was involved in an ultimately abandoned plot to abduct Adolf Hitler and bring him to Britain. He also served in Ceylon with the British Forces Broadcasting Service and after being demobbed, he was selected as one of the post-war trio of BBC TV in-vision announcers. He appeared on screen from May 1946 until 1956 and was known as MacHobley. He once introduced the politician Sir Stafford Cripps as “Sir Stifford Crapps”.

He presented a number of programmes for the BBC, including: Kaleidoscope (1948); For Deaf Children (17th August 1953 – 1955); Come Dancing (1959); Whistle Stop; Does the Team Think? (1961); It’s a Knockout (1966); and nostalgia show As We Recall (1972). He also hosted a one-off show called Afternoon Hostesses Tea-Party (20th December 1955) with Vera McKechnie, Pauline Tooth and Nan Winton amongst the contributors.

He left his BBC announcing role to join Granada TV as one of their first announcers and presenters (1956). On its first night of broadcasting, Granada paid tribute to the BBC and it was fitting that a well-known BBC announcer was with Granada for its opening celebrations. The occasion merited a front page spot in the TV Times.

He appeared in BBC TV’s It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and The Goodies. On 5th November 1986, he reappeared as an in-vision announcer on BBC Two, to celebrate TV50, the 50th anniversary of BBC Television.

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Mary was bought up in Poltalloch, Argyll and was the granddaughter of Victorian socialite Lillie Langley, mistress of King Edward VII. She was a BBC Radio Home Service/BBC Third Programme announcer in 1942 and 1957 and became one of the famous post-war trio of BBC TV in-vision announcers, appearing from 1947 – 1958.

Mary received no training and became known for her spoonerisms, as she recalled: “By the end of the day I was tired, and when I came to the weather forecast I just read it out without really trying. My biggest fear was ‘drain and rizzle’, which I said more than once.” She also came up with “shattered scowers” and on one occasion, after she had finished reading the weather, she told the viewers: “I’m sorry, but we got the charts in the wrong order; so I’ll now do the whole thing again.”

She presented BBC TV’s Picture Parade (1950) and also appeared on BBC Children’s TV – she was commentator on the Children’s Newsreel in the early 1950s and presented Monday Magazine (1955) and For Deaf Children (1956). Modesty was the watchword in those days, and on an extremely hot day in 1956 she was rebuked by the head of children’s television for removing her bolero top – to reveal a strapless dress – whilst interviewing rover scouts about their camping equipment.

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Graham was employed by the Met Office (1951 – 1992) and his postings included: Heathrow Airport, the London Weather Centre and the RAF in Scotland, Malta and Gibralter. He was a BBC TV weather presenter (1963 – January 1974) and he also presented forecasts on BBC Radio (1962 – 1974). He was the BBC One Christmas Day weather presenter in 1972 (no information is available for the period 1963 – 1966).

His TV memories included working with the in-vision announcers Judith Chalmers and Valerie Singleton, and the strange look he got from a fellow passenger when he boarded a bus, as he had forgotten to remove his TV makeup and hairspray.

He joined former colleagues on Nationwide to celebrate the 25th anniversary of BBC TV Weather in January 1979, in which Bob Wellings interviewed past and present weather forecasters. He also joined a get-together for BBC TV Weather’s 40th anniversary in January 1994. He was appointed manager of Norwich Weather Centre in 1984 and later appeared for a number of years as BBC Norwich’s weather presenter on Look East.

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Jenni is a Welsh TV producer/presenter and voiceover artist. She studied at Italia Conti Academy and graduated in 2002. She worked as a receptionist at Zodiak Active (2010 – 2011) and was freelance cover as the booth girl on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff (August 2011 – November 2011). She is a presenter on Psychic TV (2010 – present) and ETV Media (2013 – present).

She joined the BBC TV network announcing team in 2018. Her cheery, lilting Welsh accent can be heard regularly on BBC One and BBC Two.

On 8th March 2019, BBC Presentation marked International Women’s Day, with an all-female line-up on continuity duty, including: Jenni on BBC One (daytime), with Toni Green on BBC Two, and Alyson Slorach on BBC Four.

Guy was born in May 1931. He was invited to join Television Wales and West (TWW) in 1959 as the first newsreader/interviewer at their newly opened Bristol studio before becoming anchorman of the nightly news magazine TWW Reports, covering Wales and the West Country. Guy also filled in the odd gap in the continuity announcing rota at TWW when they were short staffed. He later pioneered the introduction of audio books for education and presented motor sports films for American television. He also fronted the first of the popular music compilation TV programmes with a profile of Vivian Ellis. Guy appeared on ITV West at 50 in 2005.


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Born Clement Murphy-Shaw, he sold antiques and cars before training at the Central School of Speech and Drama. After a series of elocution lessons, he joined BBC Two as an announcer/director in 1966 and stayed until 1973. He then moved on to the announcing staff at various ITV regional centres including Anglia (1973 – 1974), Tyne Tees (1974 – 1975 and 1991 – 1992) and Scottish TV, before moving to Border (1975). During this period, Clem was an active member of CND and wrote a book of poems as well as scripting/directing the odd small documentary.

He left Border TV to set up a production company called Prometheus Productions and secured a ‘first-look’ deal with the newly formed Channel 4. He made four major documentaries (three of them about environmental issues) – namely: Nativité Du Seigneur (1989); Antarctic Warriors (1990); Paths of Conflict (1992); Greenpeace – End of an Era? (1994).

Clem became a member of the Stalin Society in 2011 and regularly travelled from Oxford to the society’s meetings in London, contributing enthusiastically from the floor. When he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) in 2013, he was the party’s only Oxford-based member.

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Amanda has voiced English language audio courses (e.g. Linguaphone, Pearsons, Hugo, Longmans, de Agostini) since 1986. From 1988, she voiced trails for Anglia TV, Living, Granada Plus, Disney and TVS. Amanda got an attachment as a BBC TV network announcer (1988 – 1990) and was one of the voices on BBC TV’s Points of View (1987 – 1990). She also voiced BBC TV programme trails (1991).

She has freelanced as an announcer on Channel 4 (1994 – present), E4 (2001 – present) and has been senior staff announcer on More4 since 2008.

Alex joined the Met Office in 1974 as an observer at Glasgow Airport and after training as a forecaster, he worked as an operational aviation forecaster at various defence sites and airports. In 1982, he moved to Glasgow Weather Centre as a forecaster and was weather presenter on STV’s early evening news programme Scotland Today (1981 – 1984).

Alex then took up a post as senior forecaster at the London Weather Centre, and later senior forecaster, ITV, where he qualified as a trainer in presentation techniques for the ITV Association. He helped with the launch of the new ITV National Weather and was one of the presenters, from 13th February 1989 until 1995 (he was on Christmas Day duty as the ITV National Weather presenter in 1990). He also made occasional appearances on ITV’s LNN/Carlton London forecasts (1994 – 1995).

After being diagnosed with MS, he moved into management and became head of London Weather Centre in 1997 followed by a period of frontline management for southern England and Europe covering London and Cardiff Weather Centres and the Met Offices on defence stations from Akrotiri in Cyprus to St Mawgan in Cornwall. He took up the post of Met Office chief advisor for Scotland and Northern Ireland in March 2008 and moved to Edinburgh.

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