The Midland was the name of Big Centre’s original daily news programme. The main anchor was Bob Hall with a core team of Lois Swinnerton, Roshni Patel and Monika Plaha also presenting on a regular basis.
In November 2015 Big Centre went through a rough patch. A number of people were made redundant and various programmes were slimmed down, re-jigged, altered or combined with others to help save money. My magazine co-host Chanelle Shea-Calvin was very sadly made redundant, and one of the altered programmes was The Big Centre Magazine. Chanelle was such a loss to the station. I guess I was lucky at that point because although I presented and produced, my actual main ‘day job’ was as one of the studio directors who alternated between the remaining studio-based programmes (however, our working hours were reduced for a while).
The Midland Weekend Edition was essentially a combination of the regular weekend news bulletin, my magazine programme, the what’s on show, and items from other programmes, all pulled together to be played at the weekend.
The programme was produced week by week, in turn, by the 3 studio directors Tom Russon, Tom Wilkinson and me (obviously my name isn’t Tom, ha ha), and I continued to occasionally present.
One of the ‘innovations’ that I’d brought to the Magazine was the community news, which I’d titled Community Noticeboard, so I lobbied for this to be retained as the ‘new’ news segment in the Weekend Edition (the rest of the news items being presented as a ‘review of the week’). This worked and I’m happy to say that my Community Noticeboard continued all the way through to the time when the rest of us left the station.
It’s no secret that this was quite a difficult time for Big Centre, for many reasons, and the break-up of much of the original team was hard on everyone concerned. However those of us who remained pulled together and managed to settle down into a nice, tight group with the programmes we continued to make. For any anoraks or TV geeks reading this, think of how TV-am got through their mid-80s problems, although our situation was quite different, that similar spirit of camaraderie – despite a number of technical hiccups – got us through and made us stronger.
For me, The Midland Weekend Edition is a good example of keeping calm and carrying on, against the odds. And I think we did all right, you know.
Watch The Midland Weekend Edition Below
A quick note about how the listings below work. Videos all play in the main big screen, and you simply choose from the thumbnail listing underneath! Oldest first, newest last.
This article, along with various others in my website are part of the wider story of Big Centre Television as seen from the perspective of the programmes I was making at the time. Most of the articles contain a video gallery of the original shows that I made.
I was with Big Centre Television from the very first day of production in January 2015 until the last of the original team were made redundant in November 2017 when the bulk of production and operations were being moved up to Leeds, the HQ of Made TV with whom Big Centre had merged in October 2016. Big Centre had a wonderful team all the way through, I miss them all and I remain really proud of what we ultimately achieved.
Contents (click an entry to go to that page)
- The Beginning
- Spring 2015 - An (Early) Day In The Life
- July/August 2015: Postbag
- Summer 2015 - Reading The Television News (new 18th June 2021)
- Summer 2015: Crossroads Check-In
- August 2015: The Story of Children's Television
- Bloopers and Behind the Scenes
- Autumn 2015: The Big Centre Magazine
- Winter 2015: The Midland – Weekend Edition
- Continuity - The Bits Between TV Programmes
- Spring/Summer 2016: The Big Magazine (updated 27th May 2021)
- Autumn 2016 - Spring 2017: Weekend Magazine (Walsall) (updated & revised 27th May 2021)
- Promotional Trailers
- Summer 2017: Weekend Magazine (Birmingham)
- Autumn 2017: Community Noticeboard... and The End...
As time goes on, I'll be filling in some of the gaps as well as adding more to these existing parts of the story too. If there's anything missing, or you'd like me to talk about something in particular, send me a message on social media (see the very top or very bottom of this page) or contact me through the website.