Big Centre Television

Box Set: Weekend Magazine (Birmingham)

And so in July 2017 Made In Birmingham moved… to Birmingham. It made sense. The only reason that Big Centre and then Made in Birmingham hadn’t been in Birmingham up until that point was down to cost. The original station which had won the West Midlands local television license had based itself in Birmingham and had then gone bust. So when Big Centre picked up the license they reasoned that they could still cover the area very well without actually needing to be based in Birmingham – and the strategy had worked perfectly.

However, now that the station was part of a bigger group, the view was that it now actually needed to be in the city, particularly as the stated focus of the company was “city TV”. Initially a site in Shirley, near Solihull, was considered though ultimately this was felt to have been too small, and equally as far removed from the City Centre as Walsall currently was. Then a deal was struck with ITV Central presenter Bob Warman, who has various property interests around Birmingham, to lease a three storey office building right in the centre of the City.

The final credit before the end card actually shows a shot of the new Birmingham studios. We were based in the far left section of the building in the background, covering four windows’ width. Top floor was the offices, the whole of the middle floor was the main studio, and the left two windows of the ground floor were the studio gallery.

Over the course of a single weekend, everything was packed up from the original studios inside The Goldmine Centre in Walsall and shipped across – by horsebox (I kid you not) – to Bridge Street in the Centre of Birmingham, literally a stone’s throw across from where the ATV Centre studios had once stood. Over the three available floors, the top floor became the staff offices plus News and Sales. The middle floor became one large studio with a technical area. The ground floor became a meeting room/board room, with a separate large gallery room (my home at first).

My Birmingham News Weekend Magazine received a lick of paint with regards to its graphics, but continued on as before. At this point there were Saturday and Sunday versions of the programme, with an additional ‘start the week’ review programme airing on a Monday morning.

A quick note about how the listings below work. Videos all play in the main big screen, and you choose from the thumbnail listing underneath! Oldest first, newest last. Each title is the original transmission date backwards, followed by the programme name. So “170701 Saturday Magazine” is the programme for 1st July 2017.

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)

  1. The Beginning
  2. Spring 2015 - An (Early) Day In The Life
  3. July/August 2015: Postbag
  4. Summer 2015 - Reading The Television News (new 18th June 2021)
  5. Summer 2015: Crossroads Check-In
  6. August 2015: The Story of Children's Television
  7. Bloopers and Behind the Scenes
  8. Autumn 2015: The Big Centre Magazine
  9. Winter 2015: The Midland – Weekend Edition
  10. Continuity - The Bits Between TV Programmes
  11. Spring/Summer 2016: The Big Magazine (updated 27th May 2021)
  12. Autumn 2016 - Spring 2017: Weekend Magazine (Walsall) (updated & revised 27th May 2021)
  13. Promotional Trailers
  14. Summer 2017: Weekend Magazine (Birmingham)
  15. 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.