Friday, 29 February 2008

Royal Television Society Awards Success!

Meridian and Thames Valley scooped six awards last night at the RTS Awards in Southampton.

They were as follows:

Best Regional TV Journalist - Simon Clemison

Best Feature/Strand Production - Ian Maclaren for his work on the slavery strand for South East
Most Promising Newcomer - Keith Peries from Thames Valley

Best Graphics - Amanda Hall

Best Programme/Series about the region - FOCUS, The Good Food Chain.

Best Regional News Magazine Show - Thames Valley Tonight

Simon Clemison, Best Regional TV Journalist

"It was an absolutely fantastic occasion. My heart was thumping when they read out the nominations. I don’t think I have ever been quite so nervous! It was great to go up on stage with Fred, although he did revel in telling everyone the prank he played on me at my house recently. I work with a brilliant team at ITV Meridian and ITV Thames Valley. They make work so enjoyable, an atmosphere where you really can thrive. I would like to thank the Royal Television Society for a great night".

Robin Britton, Head of ITV Thames Valley

During the emergency in July the whole show came live from flood hit Oxford and Berkshire for 5 nights in a row. The RTS judges praised the programme for its ambition, relevance to viewers and it “never put a foot wrong”.

Such a high standard was achieved because everyone pulled out all the stops to make it happen – our colleagues at Meridian South and Meridian East leant us their satellite trucks so we could come from the worst hit locations. We’re absolutely delighted to receive this award in our first year of transmission – it’s a great achievement by all concerned.

And not for getting the Runners-Up of course which included your very own ITV Local Thames Valley for Best Technical Innovation, Sally Mules, Dave Russell, Zoe Gower-Jones , Alistair Batey, Neil Cornish, the Meridian Reports Team, and the Meridian South programme team.

It was a truly fantastic night celebrating the best of regional news and superbly hosted by our very own Fred Dinenage.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Post Office closures for Wiltshire and Berkshire

Another day another Post Office closure.

Today, as the public consultation process ends, the Royal Mail has announced that a total of 33 post offices across Wiltshire and West Berkshire will now close.

It’s part of the Post Office shake up to cut costs and follows further closures in Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. Two and a half thousand branches will be closed nationally by the end of the year.

Many local residents say loosing their post office will be devastating for elderly people who depend on the amenities such as pension payments their branch provides. But Royal Mail insists that although it is a difficult decision it’s crucial for the business as more and more people are using the internet instead of posting letters.

You can see the full list of Post Office branches to shut here on ITV Local.

Plus – are you affected by the Post Office shake-up and want to share your views? Email us and we will add the best responses to our online page.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Extra-Time: Our first show!

Last weekend ITV Local launched its live and interactive soccer show across all the regions. It was an exciting time for us as never before have we broadcast a programme live on our channel.

We wanted to give football fans a platform for lively debate, and lively debate is what we got!

Bristol Rovers beat Southampton to secure themselves a place in the FA Cup quarter finals for the first time in 50 years and Chelsea beat Huddersfield in a tense and thrilling match. But it was Barnsley's win against Liverpool that set the ball rolling as a delighted Barnsley fan was the first to call in to express his joy at their defeat of FA Cup giants Liverpool. His opinion kick-started the show as Reading, Norwich, Derby and Leicester fans all contacted the studio to give their own shout-outs.

Soccer Night's Kevin Piper and sports reporter Linda O'Brien headed the 90-minute long show with commentry from ex Arsenal player Perry Groves. With interviews from new Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell and ex-Coventry and Wolves player Willie Carr, the show offered a diverse range of content and debate which wouldn't have been possible without the people who really make the show; you.

Watch last week's show here.

Tune in to next week's programme live at 5.30pm on Saturday and let Extra-Time know what you think of Barnsley facing Chelsea in the FA Cup , Bristol taking on West Brom and Man Utd meeting Portsmouth in the FA Cup quarter finals.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Famous studio guest!

Ok, it didn't say much, but the FA Cup's presence was most definitely felt when it arrived in the Meridian building ahead of Havant and Waterlooville's historic cup tie at Anfield last weekend. Hardened hacks and tech ops were gushing like schoolkids and lining up to have their pictures taken with the incredibly shiny silverware - and Heather and I were no exception.

Unfortunately the accompanying burly security guard wouldn't let us raise the cup above our heads in triumphant style, which is probably a good thing.

The next day, Havant's part-time heroes, who work in glamorous jobs as binmen and delivery drivers in the week, embarrassed the Liverpool multi-millionaires by sticking two past them before half-time. Well played the Hawks!