Birmingham & Black Country

Behind the scenes of Midlands Today

BBC Midlands Today has been bringing news into people's front rooms for the past 50 years.

We take a photographic tour of the programme to look behind the scenes at some of its key moments.

Image caption Barry Lankester presented the first programme from the BBC studios on Broad Street, Birmingham, which were above a car showroom
Image caption Princess Anne opened the BBC studios Pebble Mill in 1971. The building was custom-built and home to many drama, radio, light entertainment and factual programmes, as well as Midlands Today
Image caption BBC Midlands Today broadcast from Pebble Mill in 1974 (left) and 30 years later moved into studios based at The Mailbox, in Birmingham city centre
Image caption Presenters from every era of BBC Midlands Today's history. (Top L-R) Sue Beardsmore, Tom Coyne, Kay Alexander, David Davies and the programme's first weather presenter Shefali Oza. Nick Owen has fronted the regional programme for the past 17 years and co-presented alongside Suzanne Virdee during his time on the show. Alan Towers fronted the show in the 70s and 80s and shot to nationwide fame when covering a story about a skateboarding duck. Richard Uridge, Mary Rhodes, Michael Collie and Bernadette Kearney have all also fronted the daily news programme
Image caption Each year the Royal Television Society marks the achievements of programmes produced across the country. In 1989 presenters David Davies and Sue Beardsmore launched the first of four million first class letters given a special postmark to celebrate "RTS Winners Midlands Today"
Image caption A specially equipped Land Rover was adapted for broadcast in 1990. "News rovers" were used when three soldiers (one fatally) were shot at Lichfield City railway station. It was the first time pictures were beamed live back from the scene using a fast response vehicle (known as FRV). Following this, the vehicles began to be used across BBC newsrooms
Image caption Clunky tape machines, large TVs in the studio and mixing desks were considered state of the art in the 1990s