Gillian was a BBC TV in-vision network announcer (1946 – 1947). Born in Leicester, in 1926, Gillian became a student at RADA soon after she left school in 1943. When she was called up for National Service she enlisted in ENSA and began touring England with Twelfth Night. She then toured the Middle East with the play Nine to Six, in which her part was of a mannequin with a few lines, but it took her to Cairo, Alexandra, Basra, Damascus, Aleppo, Beirut and Jerusalem.
It was at Habbaniya Airport in Iraq that she met her future husband, Lieutenant Wilson of the United States Army Air Force and, in the course of just seven days, got engaged to him. Upon returning to England in May 1946, Gillian began to see agents and film directors. It was after little success she was given an introduction to the BBC and she got the job of female television announcer. She began her new job on 17th July 1946.
Gillian never saw her announcing job as long term. In an interview published in December 1946 she stated that she was currently reading all she could about America and “has all the states off by heart and can point them out on the map.” In between reading about the US, Gillian also listed her interests as “reads thrillers, plays tennis, and waits for her visa to the United States which in any case won’t be of any use before January when she is twenty-one.” Gillian finally left Alexandra Palace and her announcing job on 20th March 1947 and never returned to television again. Her vacancy was filled by Sylvia Peters after an extensive search for a new female announcer. Sylvia was the youngest of the entrants at 21 years of age.
Gillian’s whereabouts at the current time are not known. Thanks to Simon Vaughan of the APTS for the background information above.
Video Clips on the Internet
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