Mr Bryan Harris
I was born in 1964. I began working at the BBC in 1988, my final year at the BBC was 2011.
Grammar School to 'A' Level, 6 'O' Levels, 3'A' Levels. HNC in Business Studies. On the job training to ROTSI/TOTSI standard - apparently, I never did get any certificate though, by BBC.
Dispatch Rider, Shop Assistant, Local Gov. Office Clerk.
How I joined the BBC
My sister noticed an advert in the local paper for VT Operators. As I was into Hi-Fi, photography and messing about with anything electronic it seemed the perfect job. The only downside was moving to London.
My first impressions of the BBC
Awesome! My interview at TVC, and a subsequent tour of the building, convinced me that this was for me. It was exciting, but also very laid back. No one seemed to panic, even when things went wrong there was an efficient solution and that was that. What I liked the most was that you could screw something up and nobody punished you for it. As I became more experienced I would tell people "It's just television, if you f**k up nobody gets killed"
Broad BBC career
Videotape operations. Recording and playing back video recordings on both old and current formats. I started on (mainly)1" C-format open reel recorders, then progressed through the subsequent cassette formats, and up to disc based recorders. I did some simple editing (repairs etc) and for a couple of years I worked as a technical co-ordinator for sport. For most of the '90's I played the opening VT for Grandstand at least every other week (famously never had a cock-up that was due to me!)
My training at the BBC
"Intorduction to Television Operations" (ITO) 10 week course at BBC Wood Norton, then on the job training, followed by a 2 week "Q" course at Wood Norton. There was always something new to be getting to grips with, be it a new tape format, or digital effects device or routing equipment, all the way to computer based editing equipment. All learned on the job.
Feelings about the BBC whilst I worked there
The best time to be working there was without doubt any time before "Producer Choice" and the internal market came to being. Once the bean counters had got into the DNA of the BBC it went down hill as a place to work. You can't "time and motion study" creativity.
Feelings about the BBC today
I feel sad at what the BBC has become. No-one seemed to realise what they had. Television Centre was the St Pauls Cathedral of Broadcasting. What they have done to it should be a crime. "Live from Television Centre" used to mean something special was about to happen. "Live from a warehouse structure somewhere in Hertfordshire" doesn't have the gravitas. I still love the BBC. It is part of me, and most people who worked there for any length of time will say the same. They said TVC was no longer fit for modern broadcasting requirements - utter bo***x. There are too many BBC execs who wish to leave their mark, well take a good look at the scar where most of TVC was.