Royal Guest for Studio

Princess opens ATV centre and sees Midland serial recorded


Princess Alexandra had a preview of next Thursday’s Crossroads episode when she officially opened the £6 million ATV Centre in Birmingham yesterday.

She confessed that she had never watched Britain’s longest-running daily serial, but promised she would tune in to the episode she watched being recorded in the centre’s Studio Two.

But the Princess will have a long wait to see the latest happening in the fictitious Midland Motel – Midland viewers will see the recording next week but in the London area the serial runs five months behind.

In the words of Lord Renwick, chairman of the Associated Television Corporation the opening was “Truly a Midlands occasion.”

Civic Leaders

The civic leaders of Birmingham, Stoke on Trent, Nottingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield were among the guests.

The Princess, who was wearing a navy blue coat with a white and black hat, arrived by air from London. She was received at the centre, which stands on the site of the former West End Cinema, by Lord and Lady Renwick, Sir Lew Grade chief executive of ATV, and Lady Grade.

She cut an electronically-wired tape which unveiled a plaque a few yards away in another room. The Princess congratulated Birmingham City Council on making the site for the centre available.

The princess was presented with a bouquet by eight-year-old Karen Pettinger, the daughter of an ATV telecine engineer.

After a lunch for 250 guests, the Princess toured the centre accompanied by Mr Leonard Matthews, ATV’s General Manger for the Midlands.

In Studio Two she was introduced to the staff of Crossroads by the serial’s star Miss Noele Gordon and watched them record next Thursday’s episode.

Princess Alexandra is returning to the Midlands next Tuesday to open a £1 million shopping centre in Burton-on-Trent.

Birmingham Post, Reported by Michael Henfield ‘Television Reporter’, 1970