Pretty, blonde Louise Fletcher

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""Hello, and welcome to York Student Television," chirps pretty, blonde Louise Fletcher." That was the opening of a feature article that appeared in the local York newspaper and accompanied by a photograph of not only pretty, blonde Louise Fletcher but also her co-host of the lunchtime programme, Ian McMurray (me...) (I still have the clipping, but goodness knows where.)

We were both English graduates 1971 - 1974, both based in Alcuin. Our claim to fame* was that we were directed by none other than Tom Gutteridge, who, IIRC, was something of a perfectionist who regularly got frustrated by what he saw as the lack of professionalism of those he was required to work with. (You could see his point...) A shadowy but significant figure at YSTV at the time was Colin Gilbert, the son of Lewis Gilbert who directed some James Bond movies.

For me, being a presenter on YSTV is mostly memorable for a) having to remember to get out of bed to get over to the studio for the lunchtime show (I think there only was a lunchtime show), and b) the black imitation leather (OK, so it was plastic) jacket that became my 'uniform'.

Fondest memory is covering a Roses weekend in Lancaster. I was interviewing John Williams, the captain of the cricket team, who had got soundly trounced. It turned out that the match had been played on a wicket that looked like a very long rubber chain doormat - a pitch which, unsurprisingly, the York players were unused to. "Basically," said Williams, deadpan, "we were psychologicalised out of it". I just cracked up and couldn't stop laughing, which meant our director for the day had to think quickly on his feet...

  • I had another claim to fame, playing third and fourth - fourth mostly - team university football with Greg Dyke, who was a fearsome, enthusiastic but not hugely skilled player. As I recall, he was a mature student back then.
    • Thinking about it, I also co-presented a show on the radio station. Well, I carried the records for Ian Royle, the first gay guy I had (knowingly) met. I wonder where he is now?

Happy days.

Ian McMurray