The other side of the fence

I joined the BBC Engineering Department in Bush House Control Room in 1961. One of my hierarchy of bosses was Mr. R.M.Gibson, who had a soft Edinburgh accent and slight difficulty pronouncing his 'r's, which added character to his fine line in gentle sarcasm. On one occasion he asked an engineer who was supposed to be monitoring a broadcast for faults, but was doing so rather quietly, 'Is that wittering in the corner annoying you?'. On another occasion, exasperated by one of my colleagues, he said, 'I pray for you, Maclean, every night, naked on the cold lino.'

After 6 years in Control Room I had had enough of Engineering and was very pleased with a major reorganization which saw most of the engineers becoming Studio Managers - less technical and more artistic; actually making programmes in Studios rather than just routeing and recording them - the job I did for the rest of my career.

At my last Annual Interview, when I was only a few weeks away from changing departments, Mr. Gibson said to me: 'I would suggest to you that the grass on that side of the fence may be greener, but it is not necessarily more nutritious.'

That was in 1967. I wonder what he meant?

Posted: Mon - September 10, 2007 at 09:32 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM