Cue the trumpet fanfare, light the fuse on the fireworks – history has been made!
Cue the trumpet fanfare, light the fuse on the fireworks – history has been made! Local television has been made in Brighton and Hove.
After months of hard toil, the studio is now up and running. For the next few weeks ahead of our launch, it will be practise, practise, practise, so that come August 28 any cobwebs will be well and truly blown away. I have to admit that I still cannot believe how good it looks.
On the surface, the studio does seem quite basic: a single chair on a black stage in front of a three-sided green screen. But, thanks to a little bit of advanced technology and a few sprinkles of magic dust, hey presto, the news is being presented from the end of the Palace Pier!
And the sport? Well, we can do that from wherever we want: the Amex, Hove County cricket ground, the King Alfred. Anything is possible.
It's not just the news that we have been practising. Former Talksport radio DJ Mike Mendoza has been in and around, doing dry-runs of his newspaper review show; we've had the Brighton Lights gang running riot (in a good way); and the Latest Homes Live gang got their property show off the ground. All in all it's looking brill. And once the adreneline has settled down, then I'm confident that we'll have some amazing shows going live on Channel 8 on August 28.
Having finally got into the studio, we had to think of a momentous way to mark it. We thought about royalty, or a celebrity. But Princess Anne just wouldn't cut the mustard for Brighton's TV channel. Neither would any of those renting places down on Millionaire's Row on Hove seafront.
We needed more than a simple plaque and a bit of ribbon. Which is why we jumped at the chance of having Rev Martin Poole along to bless the new studio. What's more, it was timed for August 11, the day of St Clare, the patron saint of television.
Martin is far from the stereotypical local vicar. Having worked in television for 30 years, he is well-versed in what it takes to get a channel off the ground. Sporting his open necked shirt, he made clear during the short ceremony that this was not about religion, but about bringing good vibes to the venue and the people behind the channel.
He said: "It's great to be able to bless our local television station ahead of its launch in Brighton, on the very day when the church remembers the patron saint of television. St Clare is also patroness of those with sore eyes, so I shall be praying that this will not afflict any of those who work at or watch Latest TV.”
Following the multi-faith ceremony, our founder Bill Smith had the best comment: "With God looking down on us, there's no stopping us now!"
It's difficult to disagree.
And finally, a reminder: ahead of the launch, an open day will be held at the studios in Manchester Street on Tuesday, August 19. Whether you are a TV producer, an interested member of the public, or represent a local business, come along and find out what local TV offers you.
The open day is from 10am to 8pm and gives you a chance to see the new TV studios, and if you like, to be on TV! If you want to socialise over a glass of bubbly then pop in at 6pm. We look forward to meeting you! Cheerio!
Tim Ridgway, an award-winning journalist, is head of news at Latest TV.