Michael was born in Shrewsbury. His first broadcasting experience was with pirate radio and later, BBC Radio including being the Midland link for Family Favourites. He moved into television as an in-vision announcer for ATV in the Midlands in the early 1970s. By the mid-1970s, he had moved to ‘the opposition’, announcing on network BBC TV, and for BBC Scotland and BBC Northern Ireland.
However, he is best known as an in-vision announcer at Anglia TV (1975 – 1989 and 1999 – 2000). He appeared with BC the puppet cat, reading viewers’ birthday cards. He published BC and the Magic Book in 1986. He also presented a Sunday programme on BBC Radio Norfolk. He enjoyed cinema, and after leaving Anglia in 1989, he became more involved in that side of things by working at the Odeon cinema and latterly with other independent operators. He was well-known around Norwich and used to judge the Hy’s Girl of the Week before the club closed in 2004.
Michael died after a short illness. According to press articles at the time, he was 68. However, based on the DOB we have on record for Michael, he would’ve been 64.
Anglia TV colleague Helen McDermott, recalled a hidden side: “The great thing about Michael was that he could laugh at himself. He was a brilliant straight man. He was very talented but never boasted about it at all. He was a skilful watch repairer and often, while I was ironing waiting for the next programme break, he would be busy with a loupe mending a broken timepiece or a television.”
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring Michael which we found on social media sites or have made available from our own archive. The clips are presented here for additional reference. Inclusion of a video does not constitute an endorsement of the hosting site/channel/user. If you find any broken links below or are aware of an additional clip(s) which you believe may be a useful addition to this profile, please get in touch with us via our Contact page.
Michael Speake on continuity duty at Anglia TV in 1985.
PICTURED: Michael Speake. SUPPLIED BY: Paul R. Jackson. COPYRIGHT: Unknown.