– Where did you find out about the job at Grampian?
I first found out about the job as in-vision continuity announcer and local newsreader at Grampian through my friend Sylvia who saw their advertisement in a newspaper and suggested I apply. I wasn’t all that keen but as Sylvia had great inner wisdom and I thought OK, why not? It had the elements I cherished. Those elements were…
Working straight to a camera and blending time and programmes to the second in a friendly style;
The pull of the relentless and glorious North Sea, and the Granite City of Aberdeen which glistens in the sun after rainfall;
The softly accented people of the north whose traditions were countless and deep rooted.
All things considered, I sent a can (film) of my work presenting documentaries titled “This Week in Britain” which were a weekly series filmed over 4 ½ years with The Central Office of Information in London made for mainstream TV distribution in Commonwealth countries.
Grampian contacted me and I headed north that week.
– How tough was the audition and who auditioned and trained you?
A guy called Alistair interviewed and auditioned me. Alistair was a well mannered man who ran a tight ship for Grampian’s board of Directors. He was pleasant and extremely helpful. His personality and character was adept at handling staff. He always had time to discuss your job at the channel, but never told you anything or offered more than he had too.
The person who had much to do with my training was Colin, the engineer I more usually worked my shifts with.
The highly experienced and beautiful Kennedy Thomson was my mentor.
– What did the training involve?
The training didn’t involve anything because nobody actually trained me. But here one must remember I was a previously trained and experienced documentary Presenter and had, before joining Grampian, many accolades under my belt. I was also in demand professionally as a reader of Welsh and Scottish Poetry.
– Had you been a continuity announcer before you worked at Grampian?
I’d never worked as a continuity and newsreader before joining Grampian TV. Few Presenters would have as this job is normally only attached to small outlets whose people usually move on to larger companies who seldom use Continuity and local news readers.
– What are your fondest memories of your time at Grampian?
My fondest memories of my time at Grampian TV?
Working and learning from Colin. His advice was always an improvement to my work. His decency, professionalism, caring attitude to life, brilliance, musical talent and humanitarianism. He left a footprint on my heart and without doubt this planet is a better place because his tall shadow walked it.
With the blessings of his delightful wife, Colin and I abseiled down a wall of the Grampian building after hours to celebrate our birthdays which were one day apart.
My funniest personal incident at Grampian involved a conversation with the director – Alex Maher who told me he was tired of one of his fellow executives who was a well known author which was fair enough but the man couldn’t give a short sentence, because it always involved the rustling of leaves and the colour of the sky. Alex Maher had no idea that the man he was speaking about happened to be my ex father in law, who had no idea I was working for Grampian!
Generous bunches of flowers, posies, armfuls of bluebells, poems, phone messages, cards, the occasional bottle of Glenmorangie and many plates of home made scones.
The individual warmth of the public towards me when I went shopping or met accidently while feeding gulls on the cliffs in the early morning.
The area surrounding Grampian gave me incentive to write my poetry and to paint. One of the offshoots of this is my new book “WindRose” which the Darwin Symphony Orchestra has commissioned a local composer to write using my Highland Love Song as the base melody. This was the gift Grampian gave me.
– Was the studio well equipped and spacious?
The studio was comfortable, small and well equipped for the job.
– Did you enjoy the job and what did it involve back then?
I enjoyed making Voice-Over’s for slide advertisements, particularly one where I talked for a gorgeous deer.
I enjoyed the wonderful viewers.
I did not enjoy the handicaps I was put under and the rather obvious fact that I was not going to be allowed to join the news team as was inferred before I joined the channel.
I felt cheated and soon began to realize there never was any intention of letting me grow or become part of the actual team. Obviously Grampian and I had to part.
– What did you do after you left Grampian and what are you doing now?
I was offered the same job at Scottish TV in Glasgow who hadn’t had a female Presenter & News Reader for donkey’s years owing to male dominance. This amused me to no end so I signed on for six months. At STV Tony Curry was a staunch colleague and just about the only person who bothered to speak to me. So I found myself an agent/manager and signed future contracts for live theatre and commercials.
– What are you doing now?
I promote Beauty through various forms of communication, utilising my life training and given talents;
I am working towards an exhibition of my art; I write and publish poetry, have had two best seller books, am writing another book, have written and illustrated a spoken opera which is not only in print but in its first performance June 20th 2009. I still occasionally research, produce and present an interesting radio program.
As they always were, my passions are the welfare of all creatures.
I am devoted to my immediate and extended family;