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Hello and welcome to Midlands Today on our 50th birthday.
Half a dozen businesses closed and a school's shut
after an industrial estate's hit by a third fire in a week.
I haven't been able to sleep for two nights, since the early hours of
Saturday morning. Police are blaming arsonists
and firefighters are still `t After a ?26 million revamp,
a new name for the National Indoor We'll be looking back through
the archives at how programles used to be made, and meeting somd
of today's viewers who have joined And for the very latest
on the weather, a decent wedk ahead Details on when you can expdct
some rain later in the programme. There's growing concern
about a series of suspected arson attacks which have caused d`mage
estimated at hundreds of thousands of pounds and today
forced a Birmingham school to shut. Two fires during the space
of 48 hours and a third Tonight
the police are mounting special patrols and appealing for c`lm
as people living nearby say they're Our Special Correspondent Pdter
Wilson has spent the day The whole of Reddings Lane
and nearby roads in Tyseley. The latest fire spread quickly
in the early hours of this lorning, The first blaze destroyed offices
on Saturday. I haven't been able to sleep for two
nights, since the early hours of Saturday morning. It has bedn
scary, actually. We've had no sleep. My mother`in`law camd up She
was the one to spot it at four o'clock in the morning. It has been
a long, dangerous Dave. Ambtlances stand by as firefighters continued
to deal with hotspots burning in the rubble. Conditions are arduous. The
roof of the building has bedn severely affected. We are not sure
what effect that has had on the structure. The conditions are going
to be hot. 70 fire firefighters battled
the latest fire. The police are treating all
the cases as suspected arson. I understand some of the residents
in the local area might be puite concerned in relation to wh`t has
happened and it has caused significant disruption. What I would
ask is that if anybody has `ny information that can insist us with
our investigation, please m`ke contact. Fire crews will be working
into the night. The police investigation teams are due to work
for many days longer. The local school here will not reopen tomorrow
morning. That is due to the fact the nearby buildings are going to be
demolished. A deal to buy
the NEC Group is expected to be One of the main attractions of the
sale is the newly revamped National Today, as part
of a major sponsorship deal, it was announced that the NIA's nale will
change to the Barclaycard Arena It attracts one million people a
year and generates ?150 million in No wonder the National Indoor Arena
is such an attractive proposition to Opened in 1991,
for the past 18 months the venue's been undergoing a ? 6
million revamp, which will see it become the biggest in the Mhdlands's
with a capacity of almost 16,00 . Regardless of whoever the ndw
shareholder is, we have poshtion this arena as a world`class arena.
It can attract major events into the city and appeal to audiences in this
region and beyond. From December these signs whll go,
as the venue changes its name to the Barclaycard Arena,
part of a major sponsorship deal. Some changes in brand have not been
successful but others, over time, consumers get used to. It is
possible that people will still referred to it as the NIA. Others
will take on board that it has branded in a different way. But it's
not just the new name for the venue that has been revealed todax.
They've also announced the `ctor will be performing on the stage on
December the 2nd, for the official opening of the arena. When Lichael
Buble takes to the stage on opening night, it will not only havd a new
name but a new owner to. Just down the canal towpath
from the arena, at the International Convention Centre the
first full day of the Conservative party conference has been dominated
by the Chancellor, George Osborne. His keynote speech aimed to seize
back the initiative, after a weekend of damaging headlhnes and
protests in Birmingham against the Our political editor, Patrick Burns
joins us from the conferencd. He accused Ed Miliband of bding
unfit for office, for forgetting to mention the deficit in his
conference speech last week. His clear protest bash his clear message
to protesters on the street yesterday is that the government has
no alternative. This is indded a government which has a plan and it
is working. We can either pretend to the British people that this can be
done with hardly any cuts. That is what we saw last week. All we can
level with people now and tdll them the kind of difficult decishons that
are still required to fix the economy. Of course, the othdr big
question hanging over conference is UKIP and how the Conservatives
should respond to that. Was any thing said about that?
It has been the buzz around the building. Ever since Michael fabric
and first raised the idea of pacts, the high command had been
pooh`poohing the idea. I am joined by Laurence Robertson. Can xou
envisage a situation in which UKIP and Eurosceptic Conservativds might
not fight each other at the election? I think if UKIP are
serious about the issues, r`ther than it being some ego trip, they
ought to come back to the Conservative Party. I think they
want to support us. We win the election, get the referendul and
people will have the opposition `` opportunity to come out of the
union. Do you think you shotld be talking to one another in the
context of the election? In terms of grown`up politics, we have to talk.
People are very worried abott the EU and immigration. They want something
done about it. The problem hs, a vote for UKIP will lead to ` Labour
government. They will not bd any referendum then. There will be more
immigration and EU. That is not what people want. You are at the
Eurosceptic end of the Consdrvative Party yourself. Is there anx
suggestion that you yourself might jump ship to UKIP? Absolutely not.
I'm a conservative. I will be fighting cheap spree as a
conservative. It's really r`ther foolish for people to leave the
Conservative Party at the vdry point that we are winning the argtment.
There is going to be a manifesto pledge for any EU referendul. It's
very silly to leave now. Th`nk you. I will have more from the convention
centre about why the Conservatives are planning to hold three lore
conferences here. That will be in our late bulletin.
If you didn't catch the Now if you didn't catch
the film Marvellous on BBC Two, It told the moving story of
Neil Baldwin, known as Nello, And Nello's on BBC One tonight
on Inside Out. The former Stoke City kit`m`n even
took the time to give presenter Andy Akinwolere some tips
on his football skills. For more,
watch Inside Out West Midlands, 50 years ago this week,
in September 1964, Midlands Today began broadcasting from a btilding
not very far from here, that's half a century of bringing the ndws to
you from around the region. All this week we're celebrating
our anniversary and looking back on five decades of headline news,
heartwarming stories, the strange So, to start our journey back
in time, let's join Mary who's deep I didn't even know that this part of
the building existed. It is where we keep the film archive and no wonder
we need so much space, with film canisters this size. It's r`ther
different from the tiny little cards that we record on today. And in the
basement is also where we kdep back copies of the radio Times. We've got
thousands of editions, bound up in huge volumes. Including this one
which just happens to be September the 28th 1964. There it is, the very
first edition of Midlands today Each day on Midlands today this
week, we will feature a French decade. What better place to at the
beginning? Good evening and welcome to the first edition of Midlands
today. Internet's programme, we take a look at orienteering, hear about a
new course on local governmdnt and discuss the body beautiful.
1964 and the birth of Midlands Today and the weight of expectation had
This is a very exciting momdnt for us on television but tonight I'm not
speaking to you from Alexandra Palace but from a small rool at
Sutton Coldfield. From a newsroom,
in Birmingham's Broad Street, the sound of typewriters trhggered
a local news revolution. And one man was there from the
start. I have been voted ITV personality of the year. I had a
light`hearted image. I had on ITV. When I came to the BBC, I thought I
will become a hard man. He might be 84 but he still enjoys
sharing his experiences One of the things I remember was
interviewing the King of Tonga. Must have been 30 stone. As he s`t down,
we realised the King's backside wouldn't fit the chair. He couldn't
get in. We ran out and got `nother chair. He stayed like that tntil the
check`in. In an era that saw Birmingh`m band
The Move scoring a strring of hits, In 1974, the move was on to Pebble
Mill studios, in glorious colour. Good evening and welcome to another
edition of Midlands today, which comes to you for the very fhrst time
from pebble Mill, Birminghal. I am not speaking to you from our own
studios. It was a studio th`t was so small, every time you hit `` stood
up, you hit your head. The thing I was looking forward to was the new
studio. And going into colotr. This is new studio B, where I work every
weekday. Now, of course, in colour. Tom Coyne brought us
the biggest news stories into our living rooms and those that
captured a generation. In the '60s,
the famous Mini rolled off They were still making
around 300,000 a year by 1974. From Mini to mini skirts
and they they were the must have fashion item, unless
it was this particular design, I don't think it will catch on in
Wolverhampton. Also in 1972,
the Gravelley Hill Interchange opened and Spaghettie juncthon has
been loved and loathed ever since. We are opening what can onlx be
described as the motorway htb of Britain.
You'd think that Tom Coyne had fulfilled his earlier promise
for hard`hitting journalism, think again.
We decided to inject a little bit of fun and the programme. I cannot
remember what the story was but we decided to do laurel and Hardy. Have
you seen that? Tom is on thd left, by the way.
Tom also provided guest voices on the archers, something he w`sn't
really supposed to do. I thought if I'm playing a young lover in the
archer and I'm interviewing the Prime Minister tonight, it doesn't
quite work that way. Watch Tom's face
as a band play him a farewell song on his last programme,
a song ruined by audio problems I don't think I heard this song
properly yet. I thought it was marvellously kind, especially as I
was leaving to go to the opposition. You met some incredible people,
didn't you? The first time H met Muhammad Ali, I said, would he hit
me on the jaw? He said, you want to be famous, don't you? And the big
names were pulling in And the big names were pullhng
in viewers to Midlands Todax, while the team of journalists aimdd to
deliver news that packed a punch. It dates back to 1957, and despite
are a bit obscene, I It dates back to 1957, and despite
its size, it is pretty heavx. The public spaces open seven daxs a
week. Do come along and havd a look. You can even have a go at bding a
presenter. Trust me, there hs absolutely nothing to it. Wd have
been digitising some you saw it earlier in the b`sement.
We have masses offered. Man of the match Sean Geddis scored
twice in their 3`1 win, to earn a trip to Leamington
in the next round, next month. Back now to our big milestone,
Midlands Today's 50th birthday. We couldn't let it pass without
a party and first on the gudst list A couple of hours ago,
a dozen guests came to our studios here at the Mailbox to
see what goes into each programme. It's the digital age.
TV's more competitive than dver so Iconic. The presenters are so
down`to`earth. You can tell the presenters are local. It's nice to
watch something that is for the people of the area. A decent week
ahead but not entirely dry... Most loyal of all, Enid, who has been
inviting us into her front room for all of those 50 years and considers
us friends. Very friendly. Xou have to put good news and bad news out
but it's very friendly. Othdr programmes are available. Why do you
watch this one? It's the stories which you don't pick up in the
newspapers. The interesting little stories on farms in the countryside.
Always so reliable. You feel as if you know the presenters personally.
I just said her late make coming through and I thought, I only know
him through the television. This select group are among 500,000
viewers who tune in every wdekday evening. Sadly, we couldn't invite
you all but please accept otr thanks. Without you, the past 5
years would have been prettx pointless.
Happy birthday! And thank you for all the
messages you've sent about our Kathleen English wrote on
our Facebook page, congratulations. The best local TV News coverage
by far. And Mita Barnes e`mailed to say
I still have the special mugs my late husband I were given
when we had a day at Pebble Mill. Congratulations
on your 50th birthday. You know it really is all
about you the viewers, the incredible stories you bring us the
quite extraordinary things xou do. This morning our reporter
Joanne Writtle caught up with Amy Hughes in Shropshire who was
putting her feet up at last after completing a world record 53
marathons in 53 days for ch`rity. Amy Hughes races her way
into the record books. Her 53rd consecutive marathon
in Manchester. Messages have flooded in
from sports stars. I have been quite good throtghout
the whole thing. I got to the end and I exploded. I saw my falily and
my mother. It was good. I w`nt to say a massive well done bec`use
people underestimate what you have just gone and put your body through.
To run one marathon is hard but to do 53 marathons and 50 date is truly
amazing. Friend and mentor Dave Keighley was
by her side for many marathons, The only time she was down ` little
bit was a day in Taunton whdn she was very sick all night. But as she
does all the time, she gritted her teeth and got up and did it. 99 of
people wouldn't be able to get up that day.
With souvenirs from all 53 destinations, Amy is now resting.
And so far she's raised ?37,000 to help children with brain cancer
What is the future hold? I don't know. I'm not sure yet. I'll try to
think of my next challenge. I'm bored already!
Amy, you are amazing. Extraordinary. One was bad enough for me.
It has been a second weekend and a lovely settled weekend ahead of us.
The temperatures have been `bove average. It is looking quitd settled
and we could just see some rain on Wednesday and Friday. Apart from
that, largely dry conditions and temperatures will be above `verage
for the time of year. Turning cooler by the weekend. The reason for this
is it all comes off the back of a series of France that pushing from
the north`west. The final one that arrives on Friday that is going to
sweep through. The air behind it is cooler. The isobars start to tighten
and that will result in the wind is picking up as we had to Sattrday and
Sunday. It is now looking dry out there and just towards the dnd of
the evening, we will start to see these showers develop across
north`western corner of the region. Some of those could be on the heavy
side. We are looking at dridr conditions into the early hours
Temperatures into double figures. Quite a balmy night. When wd get
these clear spells, we could see pockets of mist and fog devdloping
towards dawn. Those will lift readily through the morning. We will
get a bit of brightness and sunshine first thing but some cloud lilling
around as well. It will be dry tomorrow and temperatures should
rise to 19 or 20 Celsius. And you've been a huge part
of the programme for more than 0 years. Let's just take a little look
back on the Shefali years. It is the weekend, it is hot...
Whether it is hot or cold, she was there. She made naval history when
she was invited to sale on ` nuclear submarine, the only woman on board.
Shef has met the Chefs, taken us on a gastronomical journey
across the region, she's delved into the paranormal
and revealed the secrets of Birmingham Museum and Art G`llery.
There was Alexandra Road, a series about an ordinary street
And it was all aboard in February in Telford
when we dedicated a programle to things Made in the Midlands.
I didn't expect that but it was a lovely trip down memory land.
We've enjoyed your company over the last 50 years.
More Midlands Today memories tomorrow, this time featuring
the evergreen Kay Alexander and I'll be back at ten this evening with