Ian Williams

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Ian Williams

I was born in 1951. I began working at the BBC in 1973, my final year at the BBC was 2008.


9 O levels 3 A levels Bexley Grammar School, Kent. 2(i) Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College of Swansea, University of Wales

Previous Jobs

Holiday jobs in Barclays Bank, Boots the Chemists and labouring in Leeways toy factory

How I joined the BBC

I managed to obtain a Vacation Traineeship in the summer after my 2nd year at university. I spent most of the time in telecine, plus a couple of days in VT, CAR and Studios. When I graduated I was interviewed and accepted, and sent to ETD at Evesham. Then to TVC London and consigned to the VT basement.

My first impressions of the BBC

BIg, confusing, fun, exciting.

Broad BBC career

I joined as a Television Engineer in Television Recording. I did all the operational jobs (recording, playbacks and transmissions) and then became a VideoTape Editor (later called Post Production Editor).

My training at the BBC

Two courses at ETD at Evesham, and "on the job" training on new machines etc as they came into service. Plus lectures on stuff like digital television etc

Periods at the BBC

1973 until 2008

Main memories of the period

As a VT assistant (then called "play-in man") I worked on the 1977 Morecambe and Wise show, the last one they did for the BBC. The famous South Pacific part had been pre-recorded and pre-edited (by Peter Francis) so that it could be played in to the studio audience, so we just sat back and watched that section. Eric said to me "watch Eddie" meaning the Rugby League commentator Eddie Waring, who was completely hopeless at miming and dancing. When newsreader Peter Woods strode on at the end Eric said "all he needs is two bolts through his neck and he's Frankenstein's monster". Every time I see that sketch (i.e. every Christmas ) I remember Eric and his comments. As an editor I won a BAFTA award for "The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and worked with Harold Pinter on his play "Landscape"



Apart from the boozing, we used to play cricket at Motspur Park. The VT side took on such luminaries as TK, Studios and Sport. At that time there was no "real" beer at the bar there, so Ross Archer and Mick Goodenough would obtain a firkin of real ale and transport it to Motspur a few days in advance of the game. This helped the atmosphere but did nothing for the cricket skills!