During the Summer of 2016, Big Centre had been doing nicely. It had passed through the difficult times and emerged in really quite a good state. This made it attractive to other would-be owners. So it was that in October 2016, Big Centre was officially merged with Made Television, and was to be rebranded as Made in Birmingham (in line with Made’s group policy to name their stations after the main city in each broadcast area).
This meant that many programmes would be renamed once more, but for the time being everything else would run exactly as it had before with all the same staff. The Big Magazine simply renamed to the Birmingham News Weekend Magazine, and I carried on exactly as before. By this point Mike Prince had become the main news anchor, and I had progressed to being the voice-over presenter of the morning and lunchtime bulletins, as well as continuing with this weekend programme.
However, you’ll notice that this page is called Weekend Magazine (Walsall), that’s because plans were being made to move our station to move into the centre of Birmingham. It was simple economics which had taken the original Big Centre TV to Walsall in the first place, and it worked fine. Now however, as part of a bigger company, we were destined to move to the big city (!). Therefore the programmes you’ll see on this page are those which continued to be produced in Walsall until we moved to Brum in the Summer of 2017…
Leaving The Walsall Studios
On the 30th June 2017 we recorded our final News bulletin at The Goldmine Centre and the process of ripping out the studios began.
The green screen side of the studio remained in place to be used by the students of the Walsall Studio School and continues to be used to this day as far as I’m aware.
The ‘brick wall’ side of the studio which had seen the bulk of production had more recently been covered over with white perspex panels and lit from behind, and later with more modern brown brick panel for programmes like The Big Engine Debate and Tom Ross’s Goalzone. In the end though it was all unceremoniously torn down panel by panel because that side of the studio/room was going to be returned to use as a classroom. I did keep a small section of the grey brick wallpaper though, just for the sake of nostalgia!
Ultimately the plan is to sub-divide the whole room once again and create a corridor down the middle to lead towards a brand new planned extension to the building. I talk in the present tense on this point because, as of May 2021, this has yet to happen.
During the month prior to this final day in Walsall, the new Birmingham studios and offices were being prepared, and so I’ll be talking about the new Birmingham location in my article about the next phase of the Weekend Magazine from Birmingham.
Watch the Weekend Magazine from Walsall
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 “161112 Weekend Magazine” is the programme for 12th November 2016.
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.