Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Fade to Gray

I don’t know if you caught Pointless Celebrities on BBC1 at the weekend but on podium three teaming up with Michael Rosen was writer and broadcaster Muriel Gray.

These days Muriel devotes most of her time to writing but at one point she seemed to be all over the media, most notably on Channel 4’s The Tube and The Media Show. She was also an occasional Radio 1 DJ; in the mid-80s sitting in for Janice Long and John Peel and covering the evening show for a week following the departure of David Jensen.
Prior to her stint deputising for Peel in April 1985 she spoke to the Radio Times’s David Gillard:

That delightfully unpretentious pop picker Muriel Gray tells me she’s been forced to turn her back on one side of her schizophrenic professional life. The demands of broadcasting have been so great in the past few months that Ms Gray has, reluctantly, given up her job as assistant head of design at the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. Instead, she’s presenting a new, youth-orientated TV show in her native land, preparing a BBC Scotland Schools series and, this week, standing in for her hero John Peel. ‘I’ve given up the drawing board to become the full-time media person I never wanted to be,’ says Muriel. ‘Somehow it doesn’t seem like a job for a grown woman…’
Here, briefly, is Muriel in for Peel on the evening of 3 April 1985. And just in case you didn’t know she was Scottish…

Here’s a reminder of Muriel’s TV work from a time when Channel 4 was not stuffed full of Come Dine with Me and Embarrassing Bodies. This clip from The Media Show comes from 10 June 1987 and features a report on the coverage of the General Election.


1 comment:

Robin Carmody said...

"Delightfully unpretentious pop picker". You don't get language quite that stilted (and slightly creepy) now.

I think her given name, though very rare by the time of her generation in England, might be more a Scottish thing - Irene & Agnes were both among the Top 10 there as late as 1950, and when have you ever met an English boomer with either of those names, let alone Muriel? None of these names have "come back" either.

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