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YP Letters: Time to revive TV studios in the North

Leeds.  19th July 1978  Cinderella - for - a - day, Mrs. Alice Hawkins (88) gets a hug from her Prince Charming, Richard Whiteley, of YTV's "Calendar" at a luncheon to mark the programme's 10th anniversary.  "It's just like a fairytale," said Alice, of Lulworth Crescent, Leeds, after being greeted by Richard when she attended the luncheon at the Queen's Hotel with other Women's Circle members.  "I'm so happy I could cry," she confessed as she collected autographs from the television personalities, among them comedian Les Dawson, singer Anita Harris, former Yorkshire cricketer Fred Trueman and many of the "Calendar" team.  Alice, who has 15 great-grandchildren, had no hope of going to the luncheon because of difficulty walking.  But a magic wand was waved and a "pumpkin" was laid on.  "I'm just like Cinderella going to the ball," said a delighted Alice, wearing a dress made specially for the occasion by a granddaughter.  "Richard Whiteley is my favourite because he is so jolly.  I"ll never forget this wonderfu
Leeds. 19th July 1978 Cinderella - for - a - day, Mrs. Alice Hawkins (88) gets a hug from her Prince Charming, Richard Whiteley, of YTV's "Calendar" at a luncheon to mark the programme's 10th anniversary. "It's just like a fairytale," said Alice, of Lulworth Crescent, Leeds, after being greeted by Richard when she attended the luncheon at the Queen's Hotel with other Women's Circle members. "I'm so happy I could cry," she confessed as she collected autographs from the television personalities, among them comedian Les Dawson, singer Anita Harris, former Yorkshire cricketer Fred Trueman and many of the "Calendar" team. Alice, who has 15 great-grandchildren, had no hope of going to the luncheon because of difficulty walking. But a magic wand was waved and a "pumpkin" was laid on. "I'm just like Cinderella going to the ball," said a delighted Alice, wearing a dress made specially for the occasion by a granddaughter. "Richard Whiteley is my favourite because he is so jolly. I"ll never forget this wonderfu
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From: Dr Keith Massey, Ambassador, Guild of Television Camera Professionals, International Association of Wildlife Filmmakers, Bishopthorpe, York.

HOW good, but how sad, to see the clips on ITV Yorkshire’s Calendar evening magazine programme commemorating the 50th anniversary of Yorkshire Television. (David Behrens, The Yorkshire Post, July 28).

They have been showing extracts from the incredible range of network and regional programmes made from the Leeds studios from 1968 up to its demise in 2009.

Light entertainment, soaps, top drama and documentaries were made by YTV and sold to the ITV network system like Whicker’s World, The Darling Buds of May, The Frost Report and great documentaries, including the asbestos scandal in Armley, and who will ever forget Hannah Hauxwell?

Indeed, an abundance of on and behind camera talent that was world class. Great stars including Bruce Forsyth, Alan Wicker, Les Dawson, Jimmy Tarbuck, Cilla Black, Richard Whiteley, David Jason and Catherine Zeta Jones were regulars.

How could government have allowed the prolific, exemplary ITV regional system to fail? I’m all for an open market – but on fair terms. Why were Sky allowed subscription and advertising with their main output in London?

Three years ago I wrote to every Yorkshire MP campaigning for more television to be produced in this county, and to make sure the purpose-built Yorkshire Television Studios were kept at all costs. Emmerdale now uses the main studio.

Sadly the BBC studios were bulldozed at Woodhouse Lane. A national soap had been commissioned entitled Prang (based on a wartime Lancaster squadron) with a cast including Sir Laurence Olivier’s daughter and written by Brian Thompson, but this was axed by the BBC’s then director general John Birt.

Now, more than ever, we need to bring back production and employment to the Leeds studios as London is a no-go area for talent, with its exorbitant house prices.

Smart meters mean savings

From: Robert Cheesewright, Director of Policy & Communications, Smart Energy GB.

IN response to the recent letter ‘Meters not such a smart move for consumers’ (The Yorkshire Post, July 25), I would like to provide some reassurance to the people of Yorkshire about the national rollout of smart meters.

Having smart meters installed in every home across Great Britain will transform the experience of buying and using energy for consumers while modernising our outdated energy system.

This transformation will provide benefits to consumers and the country of nearly £6bn over and above the cost of installing smart meters.

The £11 saving figure quoted in the recent British Infrastructure Group report is taken from a cost benefit analysis prepared by the Government in 2016, which also makes clear that people will be saving on average almost £50 a year by 2030.

As the national consumer campaign for smart meters, we speak to thousands of people every year who tell us how having a smart meter has helped them make far bigger savings – more than £100 a year in some cases through making small changes to the way in which they use energy.

Only with a truly efficient and smart energy grid will we be able to keep the lights on effectively without needlessly generating more and more costly and dirty energy to meet demand.

Memories of a Spitfire pilot

From: Ian Dewar, Thompson Drive, Middleton on the Wolds.

DURING my time as operations manager of the air museum at Elvington, I had the pleasure to meet with Mary Ellis (The Yorkshire Post, July 27).

She contacted the museum and asked about making a visit as she had been there during its time as an operational base. It was a delight to show her round in the company of Ralph Tailford, a former Halifax flight engineer and museum volunteer.

Curiously, last week, I was invited to view the new film/documentary Spitfire in Beverley which featured interviews with the few remaining survivors of that time including Mary Ellis.

Since then we have heard of the passing of Sqn Ldr Geoffrey Wellum who was just 18 when he joined the RAF in August 1939 and who died on Wednesday aged 96, and now she too is gone. May their last patrol be a peaceful one.

The value of family time

From: Rita Hobbs, Shepley, Huddersfield.

I HEARTILY agree with Jayne Dowle’s view on insisting that smartphones and tablets are not used when the family is sitting around a table having a meal together. Family interaction is so important whatever the age of the child or children (The Yorkshire Post, July 26).

That is why it has always made me sad to see parents of young children place a meal in front of the child or children and then walk away, while they eat it alone.

You would do that to a pet animal, but please don’t do it to your own child. Even if the parent isn’t eating at the same time, they could spend at least ten minutes calmly sitting and interacting with the child. Well done all those parents who do value family time.

Feelgood film

From: Christine McDade, Morton on Swale..

I AGREE with Janet Berry (The Yorkshire Post, July 26) when she says that the film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is well worth watching. It is a feelgood film which is a welcome release from the horrible news from Greece, Syria and Iran to name but a few. And Cher, to boot, is wonderful.