Ann Turner

Family name: 
Work area/craft/role: 
Interview Number: 
Interview Date(s): 
22 Mar 1995
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 

Horizontal tabs

Interview notes




Born 1927. Father a GP in Berkshire. Went to High School for Girls, Guildford, got her ‘Higher Schools’ [certificate: exam] but no place in ‘Oxbridge’; went to St Andrews where she got an MA (Hons) in English and History. Worked for a time with Mrs Langley Moore, (Costume Museum lady) [She helped found the Costume Museum, Bath. DS]. Tried for a BBC job, taken on as a trainee, provided she brush up her typing. She talks about her days working on Picture Page, then working with Richard Dimbleby on Around Britain and other programmes. She went off sick with TB and on return worked with John Read on Black on White, then on Read’s second Henry Moore film, as well as two films on Stanley Spencer [Stanley Spencer, Cookham Village DS]. She then talks in some detail about working on the Monitor programme.


More about Monitor. Then some detail on the preparation and filming of Civilisation – Kenneth Clark’s epic series. She talks about America: a personal history of the United States (Alistair Cook). In 1964 she is at last made a Production Assistant. In that year Donald Baverstock killed off Monitor, but she went to work on Pictures Without Frontiers. In 1967 she is made an Assistant Producer. She then goes on to talk about the planning of Civilisation in some detail.


Civilisation continued. Then about Alistair Cooke and the America series. She then talks about her programme on Inigo Jones (1973) then about her series on Pioneers of Photography. She then moves on to talk about the Royal Heritage series and the film she made [Victorian Memory. DS] about the Life of Princess Alice (aged 93, Countess of Athlone, grand-daughter of Queen Victoria). In 1978 she went to the [United] States to make a film about The Library of Congress and a series of ‘art films’.


She talks about the difficulties of being separated from one’s base. Then about the preparation of the series on Scarlatti [Domenico Scarlatti DS] which were transmitted in 1985. She then goes on to talk about her programme on [John James] Audubon, [The Million Pound Bird Book DS] who was a pioneer in illustrating natural history. She then talks about her last film, on Donatello, which was transmitted in 1986. Finally, she talks about working for the BBC.



Alan Lawson  0:08  
The copyright of this recording is vested in the BECTU history project. Ann Turner arts features television producer, interviewer, Norman Swallow, recorded on the 22nd of March 1995. side one

shouting No, no first where when were you born?

Ann Turner  0:42  
I was when born in Windsor Berkshire on the 26th of November 1927, while my father was a physician, was working at a clinic in Windsor forest. And so I've spent the first five years there. And then we moved to Godalming in Surrey, where he was in general practice. I know that. What about schooling, schooling, I went to Peer? new school as a child. And then my main school from the age of about 13 onwards was the High School for Girls a Guilford and that's why I took my school certificates and boarding school. I semi boarded at one stage, for convenience sake, no, but a lot of time I was there it was wartime. I was going backwards and forwards carrying props for theatre, rather taking off shrubbery with me on the path. Theatre,

but we were doing plays. We had taken props, I was always involved with things like that.

Alan Lawson  1:48  
Then from when, after high or

Ann Turner  1:51  
what? After High. I did university entrance it was in 1945. I did not get an Oxbridge entrance. They said I live got an exhibition on my general paper alone before the war, but because of the women's intake from ex service, and as I had a Scottish Headmistress, she said I was far too individual for Edinburgh, because they had general classes of about 1000. You know, doing English or early stages, so she said I should get at St Andrews, which I did. And with another girl who was my colleague, and studying, studying English and history, and I did an MA Honours for four year course. I think I got a second overall. First in my history for the last year. MA. Yes, Hons. And perhaps I ought to say a bit more about my family because I think you said you were interested in that. My grandfather worked with Koch in Africa, and he was only very early public health person. My grandmother on my mother's side is the composer of My Ainfolk she was a Canadian of American stock. And she came over to study music and whenever there's about I got one of the things to do, I've got to take time to write a piece about her because sheer rubbish is being written about her and my mother also persons and was a musician on Laura G Lemon. But I remember great excitement during the war and CBC the Canadian people came to interview my mother about her and went that's that's my handler.

Alan Lawson  3:35  
Yes, well, then then.

Ann Turner  3:37  
Then what now? I graduated in 1950 summer, and I helped a woman called Doris Wagner Moore with a great entertainment she had in this set of the TS Eliot play. We just use the set because she was starting up a museum of costume. It's now the one in March in Bath. It was never a museum during my time and I through James Labour. I was interviewed by her what she really wanted was a secretary just to type with children's scratch shoes to do things for children's television, which play I think it was the cocktail party was the set. But what was amusing there was every actor and actress in London you've ever heard of plus people for the suffragette sequence? We had Dorothy Sayers waving flags as a child with props and things. And I started working for her officially I was I think I was doing a typing course in the middle of this and officialy in January 51. We didn't really get on in the long thing what what we did out of that time when I was with her was we did all Katie Hepburn's frilly clothes for the African Queen. So I spent a lot of time dashing around in taxis and things. But you know, it was it was fun, but I wasn't getting anything with her. And then I had a sort of six months It was period when I was in and out of art school at Farnham, and I should say that painting is also a thing in my family. I wasn't painting but I was being painted. And I applied to the BBC and it shot through very quickly. It was how lucky I suddenly got this invitation from one called Gertrude Leonard and met John O Bride? not at the other end and these suit because they've been working for 4 pounds 10 a week. at the Museum of costume, I was a sort of a land owner sewing woman or something. And that's what they wanted for the wardrobe. So I took one look at me. And I had references from people like Robert Berlin, and really quite distinguished chaps. And I said that look. net. And I think apropos of that, I should read this letter from John Kringle who was, I think, editor, the Listener at some stage. Yes, when he wrote to me, would you forgive a suggestion from someone who not only knows the BBC, but has interviewed a number of employers possibly possible and impossible in his time, I think he means that employees don't react too violently and openly whatever job is suggested to, if it comes to that seems to contain some work of a rather lowly nature, the main thing is to get a foothold in him in employment, and in BBC employment, if you so wish. After that, you can look around as opportunity occurs. There are very large number of staff postings internally in the BBC. In fact, most of the higher appointments are filled from their own staff. So if you get something which isn't ideal, there's no reason why you should be stuck forever in it. Well, on the basis of that I was taken on as a trainee on the understanding I would do extra typing things because I wasn't up to scratch and not with my because I hadn't ever intended to do that. And from the first I said, I would like to do research for programmes and of course, that sort of job didn't exist. And this is where David Attenborough in my leaving party said that I was probably the person who invented this step up for female staff between the typing pool and the continuity girl production assistant is now called, and getting somewhere more creative. I was nearly thrown out several times the bluerinse, ladies in BBC staff appointments, all ex Wrens and things. Didn't like anybody go to lunch, Lenin thought I wasn't one of her pearls. And it was touch and go at some stage. But of course in those days you knuckle down there because you needed a job I had no private means. And I needed to my living I mean, I think I only had two pairs of shoes. One was the pair. I wore at hops at University on Saturday nights and the other was a pair of waterproof grey Wellington's.

Alan Lawson  8:06  
We talked about it a few minutes earlier. Yes. The costume was

Ann Turner  8:10  
well it was in this museum, it was going to be a costume museum and it is now but in those days, it was all in trunks in Mrs. Langer Moore's private house and it was that very very cold winter of 51 and I was stuck in a it was in it's just behind the Cumberlland Gate it was called in and building a semi bombed and she took me on on the understanding that when it did get settled, it would have been I would be somebody to have taken school parties and demonstrated to them what clothes were and and all that and I got this because I've been making clothes and I have a sort of feel for period and I can date things very useful if on costumes you know, you can funnily enough the person who eventually took over where I left off when Mrs. Mooore moved to Ashridge Park, and where she was courted by her husband was Ken Russell's first wife. I can't remember her name. But apparently they did all the recording in Ashridge Park and kind of Ken's first sell it was except I think that but even I mean it was so far getting anywhere and I was living as I say on four pounds 10 a week and two pounds for my lodging. So work it out. Pretty good.

Alan Lawson  9:38  
Transport to and from you paid for.

Ann Turner  9:42  
Yes, it wasn't too far. It was St John's Wood to Cumberland Gate always. I spent most of my life private life in the public library in Maryebone reading

Alan Lawson  9:52  
when you started with the beeb was AP no

Ann Turner  10:00  
I was interviewed at Lime Grove, I then had a job in type. The first thing I typed was a presentation order one day in continuity and what a presentation at AP, I think probably all programmes went out on time. I then was put into the office of Peter de France, who was then doing the arts in quotes programmes. And his response to me is that this place is crazy. I should get out of it. If I were you. I was then made the social secretary, I think I did a bit of filing in staff personnel. But then I was bad. Joan Gilbert's in quotes social secretary in Picture Page with Leslie Mitchell. And I was very much involved was what was going on was they didn't have items I remember I suggested things and that sort of thing. And then there's a famous story, which is very important in the history of the BBC. Joan received a letter from a young man who was working in publishing, who was very interested in animals and cos Joan was Mrs. animal. She was the Johnny Morris of her time. And she rather resented this young man actually applying to the BBC for what she thought might be a jeopardise her particular sphere. And because she always had to have an animal on each picture page. And so she dictated to me for a letter that was to be signed on my name, just to put him down one. And for years, he thought I was the rudest woman, and was a very good letter to me. And of course, the young man was David Attenborough. So I'm the woman who actually asked David Attenborough to come and interview. Yes. And of course, the rest is history. And he was on Picture Page. The first thing he did was theme, the runners on. He interview with the Olympic, so it must have been 54 runners. Vanston and co?, I think it was. I remember the superintendent of Whipsnade Yes, yes, I suppose it would, I guess,

Alan Lawson  12:11  
television trio? Yes, yes.

Ann Turner  12:14  
And there was another animals sequence when we had a tatty old` sofa on which a leopard from Whipsnade was manacled, tie down with a chain. And this item afterwards, the superintendant to which said lead on the dude actually had a revolver in his pocket to shoot it is valuable and wide or is a bit Cavalier. And then there was a wonderful new rule going out live. We had Houston being interviewed in one half of the Moulin Rouge. And the dancers in the orchestra and the other half sharing, divided by this curious drawing shutters I specifically. And then the night we had Laurel and Hardy the entire crew and everybody was giggling to such an extent that they could hardly focus their cameras it was extremely funny. And then suddenly, these two old` men were cowed by these rather tough little wives as they come along, Stan and come along. And after they went to the Savoy, and I remember Houston after the programme, talking about Orson Welles and filmmaking, till the wee small hours in hospitality and it was quite fascinating.

Alan Lawson  13:33  
We were We were in that I was returned that building in Marylebone road opposite Madame Tissauds

Ann Turner  13:38  
Yes. Then I went down to Maryleboune road, because I was shipped to Stephen McCormick's office and worked under Betty McHenry with Richard Dimbleby on the about Britain and London Town about Britain was just starting up, I think, and that's why we did some of the first programmes, Stratford. This Scilly Isles.


The Skye has the famous story. Steven Hearst, and Peter Hunt on the script writers and doing research in Skye in extreme dreadful sharing a bedroom in this dreadful hotel and throwing the Skye News or something. And that was where the phrase who knew another god a Happy Christmas to all our readers Yes. Started as this little slogan, amongst us, and you, Robert, but I was there and you were there and John Reed was there. And Grace and her flight of young men. Yeah. I go until Ruth teasing was certainly I mean, we're dealing with a semi and that's

Alan Lawson  14:53  
the athletes from you mentioned already they were there remember?

Ann Turner  14:55  
Yes. They came later I wrote that because Chris Chataway pinched my Office at the centre next to Stephens office when we will move to the east tower as it eventually was, I suppose. Yes, we do yes. Or whatever part of the centre and I had a lovely view of all the exhibition buildings being knocked down his thinking season no collapsing and great cloud of thing, but I worked with Steven there happily obviously. And, you know, it was great fun. And of course, it was important thing as the Coronation. And being there that night. And having the night before RD gave me the order of going into the Abbey and said Ann can you please type it the other way round? Is jolly difficult to do today. All right, from your left as you're going your middle bits Excuse me, I must stop. You talked about the output of Richard Dimbleby at this time, it was enormous. Because he I don't know when he took over Panorama. But on Coronation week planning went absolutely bananas because I was also compiling little short films about 1015 minutes compiled from London Town items. And these went out at every gap in the Coronation schedule. And I think we had about three programmes in one night two, we pointed out that it was a bit silly. RD` was a very, very nice person to work with, obviously. He he was rarely the people he had met on about Daniel where he remembered absolutely so if you were going to location he'd say well now you must look old up to something in the post office because she was very good on that. I mean, he had a genuine interest in the people and being a good old newspaper man. And which is a nice and I remember walking behind him in a going round St Agnes and Tresco and things on the Scilly Island programme. I really like royal Posey, so ladies leaning out away, Shadi I mean they really for us made but he was also gloriously greedy. I remember he bought a pot of cream and ate it all and spilled it on his trousers.

Alan Lawson  17:26  
mentioned Peter Dimmock yet your money he was involved.

Ann Turner  17:31  
I had no dealings with him at all. No, it was just the Coronation night day as you know Steven McCormick could be being an A one broadcast or whatever it was. Steven was sitting by Dimbleby in the area perched up in the in the Coranation gallery. And in case something happened to RD and he had to he would have had to take over to keep the continuity on the live. And luckily everything went well. We were all sitting in Chelsea in Betty McHenry's his tiny little front room with her because nobody had a television set. And I remember going down there with John Rhodes. And as our film man can't move around a menu. We had all sorts of editors, I suppose not do his own editing. I can't remember. No, he would. He wrote his memos. Would

Alan Lawson  18:29  
you remember? He might have been Bob Verrall?

Ann Turner  18:32  
right opinions. I can't remember to be honest. I don't remember. I remember leaving. I've been getting a tour. That was this the smoke the very tiny film camera Eyemo. And Eyemo yesterday. And they had that to go up the coolings? and Skye. And I was given the bag was it the shot? I left it `behind a rock and a stalwart Highlander shot up the rock and brought it down. Not very helpful.

Alan Lawson  19:10  
They had 100 footballs.

Ann Turner  19:11  
Yes. Yeah.

Alan Lawson  19:13  
You mentioned the great Grace Wyndham Goldie.

Ann Turner  19:16  
Well, Grace, not at this time there will be Mary Adams was ahead of Mary Adams was the Head of Talks. And I remember her when I was grumbling about not being promoted or something as I did from time to time, as you know very well. And I remember her son driving me she was giving me a lift into Shepherds Bush from the centre in the car and has sort of gruff way of saying our What are your contacts? And I mean, what the hell do you say to that? As a small girl, I used to have tea with Max Beerbohm and the man who translated the last volume of Proust and my great uncle Frank was one of the new lilien? artists. I mean, you know, are you what can you say?

Alan Lawson  20:00  
She liked that kind of information, of course.

Ann Turner  20:02  
Yes. But I mean, it didn't mean anything. It didn't help me as I was still struggling and I think that partly my eventual getting TB monitor would comes as a later thing when Dick and I went with two people who found to have one of the screening and it's like patch but it was four months off was just simply sheer misery and frustration of not getting anywhere. Now, I went to work for John, it's either about 54 55, Robin Whitworth walked into the canteen at the Television Centre and said, Ann can you please go and help john Reed is having a nervous breakdown. His film editor has just given once the door to whatever his name is the head of Ealing Hewitt?. His research assistant who is the general trainee Katherine Dove, and I'll say a bit more about then had just left or gone on to Panorama I think she was just starting, she'd been recruited. She left black on white, which was John's film about cartoons with none of the rostrum work in any order all cleared for even even though people like Lowe and things who are living. Sorry, it was it. I do know that the cartoon was No, it wasn't.

Alan Lawson  21:32  
It was certainly the right one or John Rees.

Ann Turner  21:39  
Oh, well, it might be. I'm sorry. I thought it was when we haven't got the detail. I have to tell you that. But he was also just about todo Sculpt  does landscape with Henry Moore, in which I appear, which is marvellous going out too Much, Hadham, because J`ohn didn't drive. And I have no car in those days. And we were driven out by the French Canadian driver from the pool, who used to scare birds by banging on the door. Sorry, if I'm being a bit frivolous in some of my comments. And, you know, to really get to know, Moore in his studio, and he It was fascinating.

Alan Lawson  22:28  
That was the second.

Ann Turner  22:29  
Yes, that's right. Yes. He'd made the first one in

Alan Lawson  22:33  
which you were in?

Ann Turner  22:35  
I think it's about 55. Roughly, yes.

Alan Lawson  22:39  
Mid 50's Certainly, yes. Yes. He knew exactly when.

Ann Turner  22:43  
And there were a whole series of them of John's films, which I don't have dates for. But I have got the article. But I know that the what my first credit as it were, or treatment was written for film he did on the Wose collection with Bernard Braden went out on the 28th of August 55. That sounds like bank holiday almost. No, it wouldn't have been in those days. And that was because he was going to America. Because they were co produced with American and the Arts Council. And he couldn't he wasn't available to do a treatment. And I was asked to do it wasn't particularly good film. But it was interesting.

Alan Lawson  23:27  
You've got a credit.

Ann Turner  23:28  
I got the credit is somewhere else the

let's have a  look,


If it was my treatment, it had to have permission from Paul Reza. I

Alan Lawson  23:48  
knew that. on that case, it was in what was in the documentary department.

Ann Turner  23:52  
Yes. When we were on that sort of. Yes. And that's in short film about Mr. Lowerey is reviewed in the times in July of fifty seven. And this article from ight and sound. Discovery of a Landscape, which is the Moore's is transmitted in 55. He doesn't know it must have been late 54. I joined him because I didn't work on the secret. I might have worked on the tidying up. Yes, sorry. We stopped. I mean, yesterday, go back to 55 is the Wallace collection. And then there's the English country church which date I don't know. And the Lowerey  in 57 I did the rostrum work all that I we John and i were by then in Ealing in the bay with his costumes.  people English Country Church that Lowerey Stan has Benson Yes. Yes. And that split up almost into three I think, but certainly two one about his early life and religious paintings and one about the painting during the war. And I remember very, very fascinating to hear Spencer talk about his experiences in the Dardanelles, which which is the theme of the Chapel at Hiker? Not caglar. But something clear.

Alan Lawson  25:41  
Very important film. So,

Ann Turner  25:42  
yes. And as I say, I have this drawing, unfortunately, on a piece of my own lined note paper, of him me leaning on a piece of sculpture, camera man on the famous Austin dollar, a very faint outline.

expensive and he said

Alan Lawson  26:01  
about Paul Rotha, that was not exactly a success.

Ann Turner  26:04  
What I remember most of Paul Rotha is Robin Whitless? easing him out, put it that way. No, I mean, he was he was pro John very much, sir. And so we only had help from Him as I remember, but he he was a sort of, you know, John was very much his own unit, quietly working away. He was the most marvellous producer to work for. He wrote with everybody. He never walked out of the office and left everybody to clean up a mess. I mean, mail with problems or things. He was incredibly careful on budget. And, but not stingy. But I mean, you know, he tried every trick in the book expect our good pompousness getting cost of filming, but a really super person to work for and the only reason I left him was because he was not flavour of the month with Grace Wyndham Goldie as he knew perfectly well. And not that that was a reason to leave him. But he knew perfectly well that if I stayed with him, I would not get a chance to become one of these mysterious things was a production assistant, which was then led me director if I stayed with him, because he would not be allowed that kind of establishment. Can I just say something a little bit earlier, I had put in for a general trainee in 1954. with Steven McCormick's full backing, and also I think Rosie's, but I was not allowed to have the application put in, because I was, I think six months over the age. And even then they pointed out that that six months have been spent working on programmes and being quite useful. I wasn't even allowed to be considered. And I remember I first short brief time I went to work for that lady whose name you will remember once who did drama documentaries about Carol Doncaster. And I was coping with these horrible script things which had been through the ink processing once and you had put that into your typewriter and then type in the cameras. And I was doing this at about 11 o'clock at night, Lime Grove in one of those little back offices.

Alan Lawson  28:44  
One of the houses

Ann Turner  28:44  
in one of the houses and crying literally into my typewriter with with fury because here was Catherine Dove, who is work I had cleared up being put in these being taken on as a general trainee. And you said Carol Doncaster you met Carol? I mean, Katherine Doughty.

Alan Lawson  29:04  
Yes, yes, yes. That was the reason that Grace wasn't particularly keen on John.

Ann Turner  29:13  
Because she her father. She just didn't, she thought all art was arty farty because her and it was inherited from her father, who was an engineer. And we got a lot of this. When we come to Monitor, I will go on to a bit about it. But at that stage I remember her coming back from Johns in the car with her from Johns showing the South Bank of the film he did about the ??????????? engraver the size of France was in gross? And, you know, she was just dismissive always. I can't, I can't. She did not appreciate what he was doing and yet it's the most valuable work to doing really We're all a little bit what we're doing now is recording people actually as they were doing it and we've never done enough about it. I don't think what what Leonard Mile?

Alan Lawson  30:09  
had talked at this time. Yes. Leonard Mile? was head of talks. Paul Rotha disappeared. Yes. You mentioned department so called disappeared?

Ann Turner  30:15  
Yes. We were transferred to Leonard Miles talks. And, you know, the initial Panorama was the two chaps who were left in there. Eventually they were doing some art items. One with yellow Rolls Royce. Oh, is yes. Quite. I mean, there there is is this thing that now we come on to Monitor we heard rumours because we were in the houses by them. And I said to John, oh, we knew that Monitor for this simple reason. Like we better stop now. Women. Right, we're going okay. You've heard about Monitor. Yes. Because we were alongside Huw Weldon. And the Monitor team was building up at the end of 57 this would have been at Lime Grove

Alan Lawson  31:22  
Monitor went on the air and 58 I think

Ann Turner  31:24  
58 but the team was being built up. And I as I understand it, I don't know about the full details of the beginnings of Monitor but I gather it started because she's said this on a number of occasions.

Alan Lawson  31:44  
This is Katie Dove

Ann Turner  31:45  
Katherine Dove is recording this Yes. That she put up the idea for an arts magazine programme which she did to Grace Windham, Goldie and Leonard and got the Go ahead. And she had us her producer from children's programmes Peter Newington, who would be working on the children's Merry Go Round. And who had worked with the Old Vic, and trained at the Erbic? school and was a theatre designer and with his wife, and knew the art scene very well. And she also had standing by John Schlesinger, who had as a possible director, I think John was standing by from her. For her, he'd come from Tonight.

He had been in Tonight and had done the famous Railway, little prisoner in the railway train. And Alan Tyrer certainly was there from about the beginning of December, film editor, film editor in 57. But, and Huw Weldon was asked to be the front mon he was had been in publicity, and he knows you've been doing All your Own. But I think the bill was I understand that there was a considerable discussion as to the editorial responsibility of this programme, and Huw maintained that if he was going to front this programme, he had to have the editorial rights to say what went and what did not go because he just would feel in a very false position. And I think he's made that quite plain in his BBC history recorded sound, which I have read. And Catherine felt very strongly that as a producer, she should be in charge. And I think perhaps, it was her first major I mean, she'd obviously been in charge of items from Panorama. But they just did not get on and there were problems. I think she also strained her leg muscle or something like that. I forgotten what happened. So by the end of December 57, we mid Huw was faced with a programme fair game, a new arts programme about to go on the air. No, usually once a week, no fortnightly because he always maintained this. It's extremely important that to get the quality right. We had to have it fortnightly. And he had no nothing to put in this magazine programme because they had made absolutely no stockpile of items. So John Schlesinger was sent off to make a film about a circus. Very nice it was to Alan has told me that the only time he saw Katherine Dove when she wandered in with some film of some children into the cutting room and said make a title sequence of that. I don't know whether that was a result of her being unhappy with this situation. She didn't know quite what was going to happen or whether that was her idea organising, I don't know. But John and i, were asked to do a rostrum film about Epstein's sculptures which a man at the Royal College of Art taking photographs of Epstein studio, I think he may have just died or something, I can't remember the dates. And I think we got film on Epstein from an outside source. And John released me to go on work on Monitor because Huw, having worked at the Arts Council for a long time as a Welsh representative in South Wales and things, and was the Festival of Britain knew that there were art films out there, that he might be able to buy sequences of. And I was commissioned really to make little bridging films that could create a sort of passage of moment of diversion between say, interviews and music, guidance and whatever, whatever anybody was doing. And I was amazed when I went actually through it, how many things

I even I'm not going to go on about it. But how are we Parker helping Nancy Thomas, who was recruited fairly soon after this, I think in February, February or March, to be the one of the associate producers on the art side. And you will get in early Monitors, which may or may not have survived little chunks of particularly film from Eastern Europe, which wasn't was easier to  clear on copyright. Because Because the kinema, graphic renter's charges were totally prohibitive for anything have classes from the west. So you get I did get the tip, the little island cartoon film, then a French film Breugal, also, etc. Nice Time came in from the BFI. with Simon, we were reviewing what we could, where we could get hold of it. In spite of because we were never declared to be a film. Everybody grumbled that we didn't tackle film, on Monitor. The reason was, we were prevented by the costs. And so it goes on. And then by number 26, Huw was away in America. And I'd written a treatment about Auguste Rodin from his book. What Ere a pstrear?, I don't have a browser, which I'd actually translated the chunks of Rodin talking about how he went about his sculpture. And as there was nobody free for a French programme, it was a French theme, Nancy was doing something on called Vizio, Peter was doing a film on the Comedie Francaise I had was allowed one and a half nights, it was rather than days in the Rodin Museum to make my first film

Alan Lawson  38:33  
your first ever film

Ann Turner  38:35  
my first ever actual physical item. And it was a great relief when R and I together and we ran it for Huw who had come back from America. By then it was rather sceptical naturally, because it was a female making it and I can hear Peter mean Newington, his voice in the back of that old shed, the dubbing theatre in Ealing. Thank you Ann Turner that was it. We never had any editing well the problems on is in fact I was I was doing you know, there was small nuggets. I didn't have the quite the angst. The next thing that is particularly mine and got repeated endlessley was a cartoon little short View across America with Saul, Saul Steinberg cartoons on the Rosslyn bench, simply to make a break between a Leonard Bernstein music item and a Paddy Chairs? talking about theatre and Huw just wanted something American directed

Alan Lawson  39:40  
Monitor in the studio gallery because it's a live programme. Yes.

Ann Turner  39:46  
It was a mix of Nancy who had experience with Animal Vegetable Mineral of course and Sky at Night and things of that kind she that's one of the reasons why she was brought in. And Peter Newington, of course was They experience studio director. Those are the two to get in to begin with and then gradually, people like Humphrey and David Jones as they will. Yes, Humphrey Burton. Sorry and David Jones and others took it on. I think I even attempted it on one or two occasions. I was never a good studio director. I

Alan Lawson  40:20  
never have a lot of live studio interviews.

Ann Turner  40:23  
Yes, yes.

Alan Lawson  40:24  
Which you did of course. Yes. Why? Why did you Why did you say you weren't particularly good in a public gallery?

Ann Turner  40:33  
Because I don't have that immediacy of thing also, would you if you heard my voice and your camera man down the floor? You can see the problem is there's a certain la di da ness that unfortunately comes over on recordings rather bad Yes, it's an unfair I mean as one old lady fish wife said in St Andrews mam mam Do you really have that cheeky London accent or rude beginner you just putting it on? Now I'm afarid it's me.

Alan Lawson  41:13  
Monitor was great success of course for many, many years. We all Yes,

Ann Turner  41:17  
I arrived on the day of the first transmission I did actually in the studio. And then went to work afterwards and I was there till the end of the miniseries. And I was surprised to find it was near less than eight years when I went through the thing for this and of course six yes no 65 it is eight series I unless I've counted wrong.

Alan Lawson  41:50  
that's the Jonathan Miller

Ann Turner  41:52  
Yes, that's what's the Jonathan Miller one and john Jonathan particularly like what I was doing that Can I just go back a bit on the Huw side of it. I think it's very important I did it with anyone is terribly I'm sure Humphrey Burton one of about Huw learning his lines and I mean he he was meticulous in using words and worked with a lot of things and if you got between him and his mind if he was in the corner of the studio, God help you. I specialised in little fillers that were very often about artists talking about their own work who were dead couldn't answer back and Arbrush Durer? . And the best of those I think it's the one on Van Goch, which was narrated by Cecil Day Lewis. He edited all of my he has given writing credit for it but he ended titled my commentary links and he would didn't wonderful job on it.

Alan Lawson  0:14  
Ann Turner side two you say you need to build your your, your scripts.

Ann Turner  0:21  
But he went out and got good reviews, which is the thing, a lot of my time on Monitor under Huw, as well as under Jonathan Miller was helping Nancy with vast caption sequences that had to be prepared. And we we involve evolved techniques even after doing these captions, even though it must have been a biggest bore for the poor cameraman. But even a we did do lectures that people liked. And again, we had very good reviews for actually the that is where Anthony Burgess, for instance, actually analysed the script of a mock mock Amila prep period programme I did things is something that the general public never ever thinks about and how many things have to

Alan Lawson  1:18  
be about the general philosophy of Monitor. I made a note yesterday, actually, yes. Peter Blackbrook. Yes, he says describes something between criticism and creation.

Ann Turner  1:29  
Yes. Well, as he said, it wasn't fair to take an artist, a living artist on board without being pro him. If we weren't in the knocking game, as it were, which I think some people might be now.

Alan Lawson  1:48  
On the subject matter was very varied, wasn't it again, Peter Black says between Sheila Delaney and Rembrandt,

Ann Turner  1:54  
yes, yes, exactly. And Rembrandt and Sheila Delaney. I worked on both of those. I knew I helped, obviously people. I worked with John Sleschinger, you're on the Innocent Die, which was his first prize winning programme and did all rostrum for that I helped Ken Russell with Sheila Delaney and with Old Basta?`  House, and we've gotten is what I can't remember all the

Alan Lawson  2:25  
sales mentioned, you've given us a Ken Russell's quite an important part.

Ann Turner  2:29  
Yes. JOHN, john says, john. Well, John, they do overlap a bit I see. But John was having invitations to start his first two feature films. And I remember him running up and down the corridor dealing asking editors how he did a chase scene with  cars. how he should set about it. And you know, then Ken started.

Alan Lawson  3:00  
I remember passing Ken Russell on to` Huw Weldon. When I was young` assistant to head of films. at Ealiong. Yes. And I saw one of Ken's very early sort of amateur movies. Yes. Very, very good indeed. Angels was it? It was one made for the Catholic films as about Lourdes.

Ann Turner  3:19  
Oh, yes, the Lourdes one certainly had I think the amateur film prize for the one about angels that he shot it is flat in Bayswater with them David Hearn, and people that was a David Hamilton photography thing was later that I had been to them because I used to go to the the film, amateur films. I can't remember that. And I remember being him being present Anyway, when he saw these films, including the Lourdes one, and deciding to recruit him. One then there was a young trainee called Bragg with whom I shared an office and was always an ally. As well as David Jen's and I think the whole point about Monitor was it it was a team people and it was never allowed to get tempers or even air on top of each. I mean, the word meant friction, but I never liked Tonight. And everybody contributed I mean, when when we had a post mortem after the programmers we did every time everybody's views counted. And I think it's it's shows that two secretaries and James and Julius Matheson both became known were produced producers as well. I mean, there are a lot of people on Monitor, I don't know where they want to.

Alan Lawson  4:57  
One name just go to drama to David's Storey, as he was.

Ann Turner  5:01  
 David Storey I was given sort of given the job of holding his hand on his film which went and got it here. of he did to one Monitor 112 that went out 28th of April 63 on an artist who he rather fancied called Margaret Evans and had been at the shed with him. Not a very good film. And then he did on the fifth of January 63, that's going backwards must be 64 Death of my Mother is film we shot at the previous summer about D H. Lawrence, he made a script with that because and it was basically the new sounds novice basically. That was his first effort and he had already Of course taking part in the sport the sporting item in third February 63.

Sorry, I stopped in on the 24th of November 63. We did a short caption item on the exhibition National Portrait Gallery called the winter Queen about Elizabeth of Bohemia. James the first's eldest daughter and this was written by Roy? Strong later as it were. And I remember David Piper who was then the Director of National Portrait Gallery is saying, Yes, and it's Roy's exhibition, he must do it. It's got to be his programmes and that was his first

Alan Lawson  6:50  
What about some of the other items or films that Ken Russell themselves made? Not be useful if we had names of them and I remember the Prokofiev for example.

Ann Turner  7:01  
Yes. I hadn't written it down on this list, but I have got

Alan Lawson  7:04  
the earlier ones there was the Yes, Gordon Jacobs. Yes. Okay. Yes.

Ann Turner  7:17  
See what the first one because some of these are. There was Gordon Jacobs see the John Bergerois? items. We also Nancy and I helped with all those caption things. I never thought

Alan Lawson  7:33  
about the Victorian Memorial.

Ann Turner  7:39  
But he might have done while I was away. I don't remember the Victorian Albert Memorial. He did one. Yes, he did. I think the one on Betjeman's is first, if I can only find it. I remember brass bands minus pick music. Is that his I think it is. He did that with Melvin I think

it's very strange. Some of the things he will think earlier or later and his Ezra Pound amazed to see I thought it was in our first series but it wasn't till May 15. Which is Peter Newton's very important programme. Yeah. I haven't said anything about Peters.

Alan Lawson  8:33  
Well, can you?

Ann Turner  8:35  
Yes. I mean, I you know, he was a marvellous I'm sorry. I didn't want to get

Alan Lawson  8:40  
on the credit. He was actually co producer was Yes. My producer Monitor.

Ann Turner  8:45  
Yes. Yeah, not editors is which was the weather Yeah. Sorry, I in going through this last night I put my things that I had worked on.

Alan Lawson  9:03  
Peter certainly deserves a mention or two.

Ann Turner  9:05  
Oh, yes.

Alan Lawson  9:08  
he started in children's didn't he?

Ann Turner  9:10  
Yes, that's what I had said earlier. Children. And those are the good deal of tension between there. There was always tension between the two of them. Are you filming it? I mean, recording. I beg your pardon, yes or no? embargo. Previous mass. No, Peter. Peter was a vital ingredient obviously in Monitor because he knew the art scene. He could hold his own with Huw. There was a there was also oil and water situation there which made for a good deal of spark in the act. For treatments, and he got on very well with Nancy. I think the size. So to begin with on Monitor, Peter was so busy actually getting the general programme together and that he there aren't many items that he was. You can say that was a Peter Newington film as you do later. But you know, he's he was very much part of the whole thing.

Alan Lawson  10:49  
But the actual content was was really decided, but ultimately by Huw, was it, when he was the relationship between you and Peter was Yes, a bit complicated

Ann Turner  10:57  
it is. I think everybody, I think the whole point about items, as far as Monitor's concerned is that if you really cared or believed in an item, and could talk Huw into accepting it, then it was in the element of Peter and Huw on the editing side would have been that Peter was more knowledgeable and could put he was straight on items to do the arts. He will had, his Humphreys famously said, a terrible diction to the pre Raephelite  and all that arty farty I wanted to do a short caption sequence which you would have worked with Max Beerbohm's recordings that he did on his famous spoof programme, pre- Raephelite writers. And you could have made a little sequence with his cartoons of this, which I thought was perfectly acceptable, but he wouldn't have it because it was it was all those arty farty end of cx? of chaps. And it was you know, he'd do Peter was a very good bouncer? somebody who jolly well sort it, that the there was a wide range. And the thing is that because he was saying involved, you get a tremendous number, when you think about it, in the very early programmes. John, Schlesinger was producing an item every programme practically, because we were so desperate for good things with with a sort of zest and not just studios discussions,

Alan Lawson  12:40  
on little film every fortnight

Ann Turner  12:43  
in that one little form every fortnight in the cutting room working flat out to provide it. And eventually, of course, we had a second sort of cutting room and they had sort of either side of us, I remember sort of a divide a sort of double cutting room. But and of course, I wasn't so involved in it, but I have been involved to Heaven knows what the night before. And we were dubbing in the morning of the transmission and dubbing just before going on air sometimes. So it could be quite hairy at that stage. And as you rightly said, because it was going out live, anything could happen and probably would. He was always

Alan Lawson  13:34  
gonna say BBC hierarchy was part of

Ann Turner  13:37  
the course we had Grace for every transmission. I mean, a she was she she would be there, because she wouldn't have had discussions with Huw which I wasn't party to obviously. But she had to still appear on and you know she would, and sometimes with a few acolytes to back her up. And she would go behind the director who was working on rehearsal and start giving her comments sooner from there. And these had then to be relayed down to us via the floor manager. And she was an extraordinary woman. I mean, I did this funny little cartoon film on Stats Steinberg, which I mentioned before, and they were running it on rehearsal it up in the gallery, just to make sure it was all right. Would't fall to  pieces and Grace said where did  you get this film, I made it Grace. Me what do you mean you made it. You know she just could not accept anybody out of Tonight could make something that would make her laugh now and then I when we edited it didn't know whether it would work either. We were all relieved when it did. I can see that you know, sometimes you get fillers coming in I mean the Japanese action film, and Jackson Pollock being compared Well, that was very built up short notice god what what can we get hold off for man to make an item rather weak. The face of the Madonna for Christmas that's pretty obvious. The seasons for the first of January Trey reshare, the doop de berry with the Valdis seasons. squeaky anyway on Rollins underneath it. We're not necessarily proud of those, I can criticise them I see my mind. And sometimes I think we've I had a famous row with at the very end of Monitor because Huw put on film that Ken Russell had done about the Dotty world of Mr. Lloyd who was an amateur painter, and commercially a very great success. And I thought I should put on the film I've done on Joe Tilson, who was a fairly well thought out pop artist. And I always had this tendency to pick on Huw because he would go for the word and I would go for the picture. And I would say that well, we're getting for visual arts here. Not Not, not the word, but because he his word was. I mean, you couldn't move him on that one. Eventually, the Tilson went out because Jonathan Miller liked it. It was the sort of thing he liked

Alan Lawson  16:47  
Huw was what as you say, a word man, but he also appreciated pictures. And to me, he knew when he saw a good film, it was a good film.

Ann Turner  16:54  
Yes, yes. No, as an editor, I mean, he was absolutely marvellous to see him tackling an assembly and with Alan, whoever was writing it or doing it. I just didn't have that much to do with that simply because he usually accepted what I'd written. And it seemed to work. And that was fine. But no, I mean, he rarely deviled away at anything and would not let it go out unless he felt he'd done it to the best of his ability. And

Alan Lawson  17:25  
maybe you could say a little more. You've talked about Alan Tyrer several times. Yes. about him and his contribution. I'm sure it was enormous, because he was incredibly Tyrone wasn't he? 

Ann Turner  17:34  
Yes and he was absolutely tireless, even when he had family problems as he did. And I mean, when we're so lucky, because he saved, I'm sure, a lot of people's bacon. I mean, certainly when they when they haven't learned their trade early on, some of the greatest directors have learned from him. And there's no question and I mean, we're looking at the people who are now. I mean, David Jones is is a well thought or film director, and was learning in the cutting rooms. As well, as John Schlesinger, Ken Russell. I can't remember the other film people.

Alan Lawson  18:24  
Well, Melvin, you mentioned?

Ann Turner  18:25  
Well, Melvin, of course, I was called from on a Monitor because I mean, he'd actually been sitting in his patrea? as a schoolboy at his grandmother's home

His weekly fix of what was on in London, and he was always, I always admired him tremendously, because he was at that stage already writing novels at six in the morning in in Kew little house and then coming on to work with us. And we've always been great friends.

Alan Lawson  19:03  
He still is, I suppose a man of words rather than images. And

Ann Turner  19:07  
yes, I would say is definitely. But to get I don't know, I gather from John Reed, who has done things for South Bank show that he doesn't have an awful lot of time to actually as he would have. Edit and, and then of course, there's the period when Huw was already had gone to upstairs to Head of Documentaries and music and arts, running that department. He felt he had to the keep  level pegging with the young family. In the actual BBC hierarchy. I remember him saying, discussing with Nancy, I mean, just generally, when I do I accept promotion, or do I do what I'm doing and enjoying what I'm doing and creating things I must.. Can I let this possibility of promotion slip or not? I mean, he he always worried very much that he had a young family and that he wouldn't have he married late. And then he wouldn't have provision for.

Alan Lawson  20:16  
did he keep in contact with the Monitor? Even when he written and before it disappeared? Oh,

Ann Turner  20:23  
yes. I always felt free to write. I used to write memos from year dot. And he would always, even if you felt greeted, I would have not worried at all about access to. And I think all monitor people keep in touch to a tremendous degree. We're

Alan Lawson  20:44  
very much a family.

Ann Turner  20:46  
Yes. We haven't yet still really talked about Alan. I'm so grateful to him. And also, we can go on when I do other things. I mean, I had him as a film editor on Civilization. I think he was the one on my teams. Was he the one on America as well? I think so. So I and he I don't think I could possibly have done the first Alastair Cooke programme, because Michael suddenly went from being 12th. It was shot into the first place. For some reason, Michael decided that as to Cooke's impact. In the 30s, his first visit to Americans first impressions, should be the first programme instead of his own programme, which he thought wasn't going to work Michael Gill,

Alan Lawson  21:37  
yes. For the first time we've mentioned is name,

Ann Turner  21:39  
no, I'm sorry, as Michael. I'm just talking about Alan. And I mean, Alan, I got that film together in relatively decent order in a month.

Alan Lawson  21:50  
Which That's the America.

Ann Turner  21:52  
Yes, America one. In this country. It wasn't it was during this 12. However, that's going ahead.

Alan Lawson  22:02  
So there's still you're still,

Ann Turner  22:06  
yes. I mean, what does one say about a tremendous person like that? creative editor is creative, and tremendous support everywhere. And I mean, when you share exhilaration with editing with Alan we've literally danced around the cutting room would be the thought of

Alan Lawson  22:30  
getting the working well, she gave you and other producers, whatever, ideas, didn't he?

Ann Turner  22:35  

Alan Lawson  22:37  
I mean, he may, he didn't just edit what you had done. And he

Ann Turner  22:40  
he as he pleases. He said that he always gives people what the assembly they want, first of all, and then he took it to pieces and showed them how it really should be done. Yes, definitely. A sensible man. I mean, I I'm so lucky to work with such very good technicians. I mean, who but for the grace of God, etc. I could

Alan Lawson  23:05  
see how Allen could have done that on long series, like Civilization or America whatever. Yes. But in in M`onitor, which you've done so quickly, so short. You haven't really got much time to make suggestions, has he?

Ann Turner  23:18  
No, but he had the ability in the eye to see what was really working. What was spoofing things I

Alan Lawson  23:24  
didn't mind.

Ann Turner  23:27  
I mean there were gaps in things he occasionally got sequences. I remember when the Light Fantastic Ken Russell's film about the dancing in England, which is very funny. He got all the Morris men behind the hedge with abbots Bromley homes borrowed from the English folk dance society dancing around these hedges in Regent's Park instead of in deepest Staffordshire just because he needed the cutting.

Alan Lawson  24:01  
Did you yourself stay with sorry, stay with Monitor after? Right until the end?

Ann Turner  24:06  
Yes. Right to the end of the middle period. In fact, I did more programmes probably for Jonathan Miller really items. Whatever,

Alan Lawson  24:14  
whatever. What about him first of all the checklist. I'm sorry about the date. We don't have the dates every now and then.

Ann Turner  24:20  
Yes, the Miller period the first programme was transmitted it was Monitor number 13638 on the 17th of November 64. And I did the first hour series with a man called Michael Quaddro who was lecturing on art history and it sounds awfully dry dry but he he was a good script writer. But unit untrained hadn't it was somebody that Miller thought could be rick and Nancy was obviously behind that. I may say all my things mostly went out on Monitor. Absolutely anonymous except I think the Korda film for which we had the curious distinction is of being shown twice in one night, there was an exhibition of Alexander Korda at the Tate and just give you the date for you.

And otherwise was a failure in the other telecine of the item again shows a Huw grinning, said Well, I'm sure you'd all like to see that film again. And it was I think he said an Ann Turner's film or something. I'm not sure but he spoke credit. Yes, that kind of credit. But I you know, I was getting credit as a production assistant, oh there was a terrible row about my status, because after this breakdown, for TB, from winter 59 when I came back again, I was made up to being a research assistant a big deal I was only acting temporary researchers and after that, and then then this later I was putting in for production assistant and never getting on the boards. And I was put up to it by Nancy and went up to see Grace Wyndham Goldie on a Friday night and said you know walked in the office and said Could I please be actually considered I didn't mind being turned down but at least I be boarded from the job production assistant which I was actually doing on Monitor and she started great rigmoral about problems of television, the problems you had with Donald Baverstock and Alistair Milne, and I was getting even was tearful and suddenly I changed gear, completely raised to my feet and swept out so I really can't be bothered with this woman just walked out on her And on Monday morning, Huw said it was the best thing I've ever done in my life. She'd been on the telephone all weekend saying I don't think we've handled Ann` quite the way we should have. And from then, didn't have any problems. But the I mean, even eight was awful have I had to do? I'm sorry. We do. We've been

Alan Lawson  27:18  
talking about that. While we were talking about what you're did after, yes. Well, Jonathan Miller, we were talking about Jonathan Miller programmes and after that, what

Ann Turner  27:29  
after that, oh, what indeed Yes. And that even bigger stuff, it becomes absolutely 64 Donald Baverstock, asked me to make a film with Tony Jay out of the EBU recordings for the EBU 10 years, Pictures without Frontiers 20th of August 64 sank without trace, I hope it was a very I mean, it was impossible thing for Tony and I to get together in three weeks is what he asked us to do. And I remember editing it down editing channel and down. And I was so exhausted, I came out each evening and they were running A Hard Day's Night in the nearby cinema. Two nights running just hard days night that and I was directing. Take it or Leave it in the Christmas of 65. I helped Brian Rowse do the Berlioz recording in Ely Cathedral the childhood of Christ, which had caption sequences, in theory does that devised by Michael Ratney?, but in fact by me, with A B cameras of all things, lumbering up stills. And we had 15 century paintings details appearing out of when Herod saw the visions, the babies, we had this little Christ Child Banuamanane? coming out of arches, and it was all a great success and got junked. And then during that year, I was also doing preparing the end venture recording a programme that went out later in 66. But that's the first of the S`carlatti programmes with George Malcolm and this sort of format of performance and related history of the composers with stills and background. There's a very simple made John Grammond? I know did the next one I forgot when it was called portfolio or something like that. But it was a series of quite entertaining for BBC Two programmes went out in the spring of 66. And then I was re re editing I know I re re edited two reels of a French documentary very important is on Rembrandt into one hour and that Steven Hearst was behind that. And then I did we did the voicing really, the NBC Van Goch film that they'd made and which Alan Miles that you didn't read it. And that was again me making the quotations you

Alan Lawson  30:38  
do. What was Alan Miles function at this time?

Ann Turner  30:43  
I didn't think he was anything to do with talks. I just don't know. He was he was still talks with he has. But there was this curious business of being up in the Television Centre. I think he just knew that. But I think we go on over to Huw. When did Huw become an MD? And gave up music and art and documentaries?

Alan Lawson  31:16  
Because of age 60s, or middle 60s,

Ann Turner  31:18  
Middle 60's? I'm sorry, I can't remember when we were on Stephen was our deputy heart. Assistant head and he was trying to sort out Paul Boyng` had that war film.

Alan Lawson  31:38  
Oh, yes. The War Game.

Ann Turner  31:40  
The War Game and that was going on allround simply because I had the sort of anti office to Steven at that stage in the corner and Humphrey around as head.

Alan Lawson  31:50  
I think Stephen became head of what was an art speeches?

Unknown Speaker  31:55  
Yes. In the

Alan Lawson  31:56  
second half of the 1960s.

Ann Turner  31:59  
Yes. And it was, I think probably sometime in 1966 or seven. I can't be precise. I was made assistant producer. Without competition. I knew that by Stephen. BBC One I had a five for Venice on the 25th of October in 1966. I'd spent a year following around the British Council something we could never do these days. Actually, with the five artists concern, which are known as Tony Cairo, Danny Cairo, Robin Dini, now CBE` Too` Karen's Harold and Bernard and Dick Smith. And Lillian Somerville, Sir Herbert Read` David Thompson was involved as the catalogue was his. And I think it's a very interesting film. And I would very much like to see it except BBC lent it to Nancy for OU Humphrey had not signed the retention order. And the thing was junked with its negative when it came back to film library, Alan Hanson nearly went through the roof, because it's

Alan Lawson  33:10  
not all

Ann Turner  33:12  
those artists are important. And they were all in their studios talking about their work. It's

Alan Lawson  33:17  
an uncommon situation as one

Ann Turner  33:18  
of the things I have not followed up is whether the British Council, I may simply may have given them a copy with luck, they might have kept it you know, but it was it got an awful panning and Huw was terribly worried that I'd made film about artists who to him and Humphrey, were no good that's why it never got

Alan Lawson  33:38  
monitor was succeeded on BBC main channel by Omnibus, wasn't it? Again, in the late Yes, yes.

Ann Turner  33:47  
I really don't know when the dates are these because I at that stage. The first Civilization production meeting was St` Valentine's Day, February 67. And for those two years, I was naturally tied up with that, except that on December the 17th 67, how I managed to fit this in. I did a contrasts on the pre raphaelites, written by me produced by Hal Button. To correct at Ken Russell has done something called Dante's Inferno, which people thought was way, way, way over the top, and that maybe we ought to have some sensible thing. And I've got very good reviews from people like George Miller. For that, even though it was to tell people again to see the other thing.

Alan Lawson  34:43  
He worked for  the O`bserver then it doesn't matter. If you did. You weren't involved in Omnibus once Monitor had, gone. You were working on Civilisation a full time job.

Ann Turner  34:58  
It was a full time job. While Yes, because we had to set up the only colour film on the arts had been the one on royal palaces by Tony de Lobiniere which of which the interior is the palaces was shot on stills, and the paintings have been shot on stills. And I had to devise a copyright agreements and god knows what to get clearance on for Civilization for rostrum work everything. It meant setting up, renew, we had researchers and staff and I knew that Peter Mcterney? was the logistics expert as it were with me, but they were rather tiresome Gil Montana. But I don't think we will go into that. There was also the element of a book, which I got naturally because of the stills involved quite considerably. Also, I got on very well with Clark. And you know `I made some contributions like the Anglo Saxon period?. The first programme is, was my suggestion and things of that kind programme for was to be in the first programme, which is because it was about Renaissance, and Michael thought it would be the easiest one for K to write. And he didn't like it, Michael didn't. And it was very hopeful. And we used the excuse of the floods in 67. in Florence, Florence is in a state of chaos. So the first filming was Michael and Peter doing the Leonardo film and Michelangelo Raphael And the I think it was one in Germany that Peter was doing. I think Peter had an A, and then they went on to the south of France. I think it says an awful lot for K that when he met us on that 14th of February, he had got the titles pretty well there and logistically all the locations that he needed, and only one really altered` and that was Santiago de Compostela. Spain was written out of the series, much through people's surprise, but Peter couldn't countenance the expenditure of time and energy of getting the journey all the way to Santiago across the north of Spain. And that's why the cathedral at Caunt? stood in for the pilgrimage, church and government sequence. in that sequence,

Alan Lawson  37:44  
your camera man was A A  Englander`,

Ann Turner  37:47  
Tubby A A Englander he said there was two directors on civilization. Three actually. And I'm eternally grateful to Ken Macmillanilan, who was marvellous, he take me on one side so I am what he wants, because it was my first after major arts film and you know, it was quite big deal with huge lighting setups and the business of having to under crank on the tracks with Bill Paget was marvellous timing these things so when it was run, proper speed, you know, they could get away with lighting levels, three sparks is bouncing along in their journey. The second Italian visit in 68 that would have been when I was needless to say the fall guy that eventually got the rental programme to shoot which is the one with Urbino and all that I was sent out with just a hertz car driver and no fixers you would know who knew the museum's and I had to fix not only my own occasions but also Michael Gill's. And Michael was really very tiresome because I'd fix things like better better better an embargo on this but i'd fix shooting in the Ravenna churches for with the priests to say I'm terribly sorry can.t see them in the  morning because we've got a Byzantine conference and we can't we're doing a special music sequences and I'm sorry. And then Michael would eventually turn up several days later in his car with K travelling around in state and say, Well, I'm terribly sorry, will you please change all that? And I say Well, look, this is your location. Why don't you fix I mean, I cannot see John Reed doing this. And I had this all my round two ended up when I had one one hour one lunch hour at the high altar of the Santa in Padua to film, The Donnatella reliefs over new the only other way I could do it. And because something I had done my bent over backwards, and in the end, I recce'd it with Tubby and he said it wasn't necessary to have this particular thing in the arena chapel, but Michael and K had decided it was. And they said, you will stop doing everything and you will. please kindly attend to our problems. I nearly gone. And I was actually filming in this church. And I'm afraid I then turn around and I said, Go and do your own fixing. And for that I was putting in coventry, though, by the whole unit was not allowed to talk to me for three days. And that is there isn't a new,

Alan Lawson  40:54  
new emerge.

Ann Turner  40:56  
I emerged eventually, I did. When I came back. I said I'd never worked with this man again. But that's the sort of thing you've got with Michael.

Alan Lawson  41:02  
Michael Gill was the producer of the series. He

Ann Turner  41:05  
was the producer and Peter Motagnon was joint producer.

Alan Lawson  41:09  
Together. Yeah. And they work to Steven Hearst at this time with them.

Ann Turner  41:13  
Yes I mean the great things about Civilization is and I think it says a lot for the BBC. That having agreed. And because David Attenborough, also you must remember him behind all this.

Alan Lawson  41:30  
He was controller of BBC Two,

Ann Turner  41:32  
yes. And he really was the person who used the word Civilization if you read the actual Civilization forward. I think I'm right in saying it's there. Anyway, to go back to it, the only the BBC, I think, would have said you have a lump sum of money. You will have this time factor. Get on with it. And when we had our rough assemblies that you know pretty well, there. We show them to Stephen. And David asked imagine and Aubrey

Alan Lawson  42:09  
Aubrey Singer, yes. Controller of Group

Ann Turner  42:12  
 Yes, features him a feature group. Yes. I'm not quite sure when all these people want a great learner. But anyway, I mean, they did. And I was very lucky in some ways to being given a programme for because it was a very successful programme, but it was a very hard grind because they took about five days from my actual shooting allocation, which I think was a fortnight go to do this and Francis of Assisi sequence, which is a was a very good sequence and very well worth doing. But if you couldn't imagine what it was like trying to get how Dear. Tubby and all his gang round Florence, which is bad enough at the best of times to fit in with all the museums and times when we could actually work in these places. And I had five days for Florence. Two days for transit` to for travelling and three days in your Albino now 10 days and a half a day in Padua.

Alan Lawson  43:27  
On a technical point, this was the 35 millimetre 

Ann Turner  43:29  
35 millimetre with the with the genu as I say having two bung up and down the hills and Dales. Everything we got film in I went ahead of them while they were doing a CCI went up to a Albino with only a student from university to help me because by then the heads got driving was driving Michael and K around and fixed locations and we eternally grateful to the man who'd never had any Film Unit taken interest in Albino which is on the back and beyond. And he turned over all power from the local art school which was underneath the palace. They stopped all their lithography and allowed us to use our power which helped

Alan Lawson  44:20  
stop you there.

Alan Lawson  0:04  
Ann Turner side three.

Ann Turner  0:06  
Yes. I just one other thing apropos of gone, gotten it, sorry to stop and then apprpro but be no K in a letter to me said that I should be given the freedom of the city because I was there again for the raffles that I have letters from him. He sent me postcards, he was a great one for sending postcards. And it was always something that he thought I'd be interested in wasn't necessarily a postcard picture postcard content for them, but to get things and he wants to let me know in a letter that, you know, my contribution to Civilization had been ignored and also cut out of the Radio Times the piece he'd written for the Radio Times. I don't know what he had to say. But it was the actual transmission first transmission was on the 23rd of February 69. So it was exactly two years and of course, we're still making another three. And by then David Haycock had come to help us on the direction. Even a boss the same team was all through with Tubby, Ken McMillan as assistant and really the operator fingers Macmillan. Bill Padgett grips, the three Jays as the John Taylor and his Merry Men was with the sparks

sound The sound was Malcolm Webb, he was the assistant and he retired to sunset Sevenoaks Basil Harris was the sound recordist. The Malcolm Mobley was the assistant. The rostrum camera man who I work with the course on big camera was Bert Taylor were Bert Taylor I'm not sure. Yes, I think it was Bert anyway. But I and then on the book, The designer was Peter Campbell. And he designed most of the books that I have been associated with with quite a lot you'll come to find.

Alan Lawson  2:33  
And of course, it was a great success.

Ann Turner  2:35  
It was an incredible success. And I mean, it was embarrassing in what in America because it became sort of Holy Writ. Okay, as you know, got a medal given to him by the National Gallery of Washington. The director there had been aware of what was going on because I was in correspondence with him. I'd been meeting him and begged him because his film and mine on Don McCallum was done for Johnson  Monitor had been a candidate. And so we got to know each other and I roped him and told him because he was always interested because I've been helping the the boundaries? film then it comes later. Anyway, K, was amazing. I think that he was genuinely moved. Because he actually wrote personally to everybody who ever wrote to him, he actually answered all the family. And he, he, it was an incredible thing. And it was a phenomenon and then it is later that time as an American we were Michael Peter myself with Leslie Mc Gasky. Muy? Grigor? fr`om his not BBC, but he was from Edinburgh. And Christopher Martin, we're all shipped out by the public service television people in the West Coast. Because they had with money from Annenberg to make a Civilization type series for for American transmission. And they just could not. We We sat in Palm Springs in a hotel with no windows and we couldn't see the view. And we discussed and so on circles with our trustees and producers and general name dropping people that we've been dished out to impress how you make a series like this and we kept on saying you take one man and you will give him backing and have a unit that is prepared to forget about their egos and think about what was being put out. And as I won't we know Sesame Street, we have this middle or even a decent formula. And if you have a formula, it's dead. And then anyway, that was a later date.

Alan Lawson  5:21  
Looking back on it as a reviewer, yes, it appears to be a bit static nowadays, and it has to do with 35 millimetre cameras.

Ann Turner  5:32  
Actually, when they were transmitted recently that they weren't they stood up rather well,

Alan Lawson  5:37  
oh, yes,

Ann Turner  5:38  
yes, yes. Yes, okay static and inevitable. It was a great, it was a very big camera. And we've we've had all these, I mean, we did it on Monitor. We had Maizel brothers and all these people on there. We did a whole programme about the more freer treatment and I remember practically killing Tony me with a very long travelling shot in Kenneth Tyrer's back gardens with isas in his but, you know, handheld sort of thing. But no, it was it had to be set up you must remember that K had to have his autocue. That's an element that you perhaps haven't thought of. Because he was often doing in the same day sequences for two different programmes and he wasn't geared up when he was getting on a bit to to do unprepared pieces. Of course you know, originally that he thought that he could do it like his great temples of the world for ITV all against back projection. And the famous time when he put on his hat with a  was go back to the hotel was Luxor behind him he was he was in Shepperton. You were in a Michael sooner disabused him of all that. And I think it was a very important decision to actually go to the places because when he is he remembered them from his travelling in his youth very often. But when he was on a new place, he actually rewrote the script and sharpened it up considerably and made it much much better.

Alan Lawson  7:21  
And then,

Ann Turner  7:22  
and then there was a sort of a vacuum because we already had the prospectus for America I see by September 69. So I was doing odd canvases. with Michael Kitson on Keep the Code in the Birmingham City Art Gallery with David Thompson on Fall? by Bridget Riley, which I was rather pleased about because it was the only one there were did a modern painting. One in 1970 on John Sell Cotman ? with Michael, we and I don't know the date of this we did the programme was the National Gallery Quarter Fortune in pictures where again, I was filming acres and acres of paintings. And then we will do researching America. And this day Alistair Cooke. And I was very keen to even though Civilization of being difficult. I was keen to do the America series because of my grandmother's American roots. I was able to contact cousins, I had just contacted cousins in a very long term background. And I've always wanted to go back to America quite a lot. I feel I have to have a fix of America. Because the country people particularly were wonderful at helping us and it was very much the same team and he was Ken Macmillan, mainly in charge and maintain but Tubby of all people was given the West, the two Western programmes with stop couple of Much at the beginning of Civilization shooting I was back in Ealing, looking at the rushes and sending, which is never a very thankful task. And we had this terrible problem with flashing light. And it turned out in the end that they even now if we turned over all the film in the New York office stop from everything that the wretched airline airlines were rading even in radiation radiation, because of looking for bombs and things. And we had a terrible time with that one stage.

Alan Lawson  9:42  
You said Civilization in Messamerica?

Ann Turner  9:44  
Yes, I meant America yet. So this is one of the reasons why I'd be a bad director. I never know what I'm doing. But it was more I was I was very lucky in that I had Alistair In a film about his first impressions of arriving in America, when he was a, he had a scholarship to both Yale and Harvard, to study, I think theatre history, and got involved with Menken. And even it was the time of the collapse of the people keep madman queuing in the streets and things of that kind. And he went, went over to California, and New England Fall that matter and the Mayo clinic if it made a rather amusing programme, which eventually, as I said before, had to be edited in the month and put on first, surprise, surprise. And then I also did the work breakdown about the English in America. And I did all the stills for Michael's programme about the Civil War. I think it was that programme six. And from the Library of Congress tools, which I follow the news that the news series is going out in America, on the history of the Civil War and imposing war. Okay, so what I'm still I did this little 20 minute chunk of that programme

Alan Lawson  11:10  
Whose idea was

Ann Turner  11:11  
it? What America?

Alan Lawson  11:14  
I think the second question is, whose idea was Alastair Cooke?

Ann Turner  11:17  
Well, I think yes, I think Michael in both cases, and my and Alastair, like Richard Dimbleby is somebody who remembers in each place he's ever been somebody who could be useful, wonderful thing that he's seen on a story. And a lot of it was, especially in my first impact was recycling some of his talks. He gave me a whole chunk of this stuff, being a journalist and very much to the deadline. He was pretty hair raising because he bring his little typewriter on location, right? You see us doing this Salem witch hunt sequence in this little old, charming people, school mistress and her husband outside saying incredible survival in the middle of dongs and things. And she's got some chap from a local museum to hang the herbs along. the beches?? Alistair was still busy typing the script in the kitchen. And so one got his 10 minutes before shooting. And he went over to Ken, and said, What shall we do? And you might be if you were lucky to shuffle around a few sentences so that it made a visual sequence in the flow. And then you went in and did it.

Alan Lawson  12:42  
I'm like, kind of Kenneth Clark, he probably didn't need an autocue

Ann Turner  12:47  
he did have an autocue all the time. Did you know No he He didn't

Alan Lawson  12:50  
he was feeling good. And not all the time. Maybe now and then.

Ann Turner  12:53  
I can't remember. Isn't that awful? No, I don't think because I think I remember

Alan Lawson  13:01  
years ago getting the answer. The answer was I'm sure that he didn't.

Ann Turner  13:04  
Yes. He because he's an act of Menkin. He was absolutely brilliant at doing any piece of business. He could demonstrate things. I think it's particularly shown in the one where he's talking about inventions. Ford and all that. There was, you know,

Alan Lawson  13:26  
going right back, Mitchell was the same type was adamant already.

Ann Turner  13:31  
Yes. Yes. I think No, I think I'm probably miss Alistair was so quick at writing his piece. And also because he's also very used to tailoring his own talks to losing a few words to get it done a second. So I think that he has been told there was co production money available. Yes. Now, appropro of co production. Of course, it's well worth mentioning that Civilization was underwritten by the BBC. And I remember ringing up in the so called enterprises of which with two people and this voice saying down the telephone? saying Oh, Ann that will never sell. not man talking in English in front of a lot of paintings. And so we really didn't get anything from them. But we did get the WNET I think it is.

Alan Lawson  14:30  
That was use of the special?.

Ann Turner  14:32  
enterprises what it Ronnie Ronnie just I just know I wouldn't have been Ronnie himseff I don't think it would have been his assistant. No, no, I don't think so. No, it was it was more than two men and boy, but you know that they were only just beginning and anything that was shot sync in English was considered out. There was a simple rule of thumb. I think I ought to say something to go back a bit because of the books, both America and Civilization, it is worth mentioning. We've probably got it elsewhere, that the civilization book was not published at the time of the first series when it went out. And it didn't get published for at least I think, a year, because Lady Clark considered that it was too mere in its popular tone to be published, because it took away from case scholarly works. And it tooks the, I think was the high master Manchester high school, James. James is a great was a great friend of the Clarks talk her out it and say, Look, this is really important, and it must be published. And that's how it happened. And I was thinking very much when I saw the Panorama that went out this last yesterday, day before the 20th or whatever we are Monday, March Monday, the 20th of March that it was about the coming chaos and the breakdown of the world. If you read the last words of Civilization, he felt very strongly chaos was coming anyway, tossing that like the ones. We own America.

Alan Lawson  16:31  
Why not?

Ann Turner  16:32  
Now, I just loved being there. And I think we all did. And the business of being able to ring someone up as I had done one occasion at eight in the morning, because something had gone down and getting fixed to come around with the film. Is it at nine

Alan Lawson  16:49  
I mean, they they rise to the situation. In terms of industry structures, right. This is what was there not features. department?

Ann Turner  16:58  
Yes. Those were Aubery. Yes, I think overall, Steven Hurst would be our Yes. Immediately. And again, we were expected to get on with it. And it was presumed that it would be a success. You know, and we had our rough cuts looked at I think it was the controllers came in at that stage. They may have done. But Aubrey and Stephen would have been I think enough to okay it. And it was very nice that Alistair's photographs were used in the book that was about three of his early photographs going across America, landscapes. Anything more the first transmission 12th of November 72. And we one on BBC 2. I don't know I didn't put that down. And it was repeated on the 13th.

Alan Lawson  18:01  
I'd have a feeling was on one channel and repeated on the other.

Ann Turner  18:05  
Well, again, I have to find that.

And then Michael, I think left the BBC then I'm remember rightly. And I was on my own. I did a film for the 400th anniversary of the birth of Inigo Jones, a one hour film called his Majesty's Surveyor transmitted on the 17th of July 73, written by Sir John Summersen?, with contributions from John Harris of the RABA, drawings gallery, and Roy Strong who just published his book on theatre desing and Inigo Jones is the K production. And then I did a series on pioneers of photography, which also had a book made up from my research notes with an introduction by me, edited by Aaron Shaft who wrote. art and photography and who I'd worked with on Miller's Monitor, that was transmitted on the first one on the 11th of January 75. It was fronted by Brian Coe? because he was able to demonstrate the physical processes. Aaron Shaft has vetted it what we'd written you know, before each time, they would, they were had a budget of it because things were very tight in those days it will remember 500 cash per programme, and we actually went to France on it. That was John Drummond did that to me. You know I was very graciously allowed to do this Kodak and the Kodak, museum were very, very helpful with Brian. And we the Kodak did a  Museum which travel round was at National Trust locations and things for years of these stills that we've gathered up from places like the Talbot collections Arts Museum and the Royal photographic society amazing things I went through all this stuff. The theme of the programme was that photographers should, in their own words, be talking about how they set about it. And it's been repeated quite recently. And the book went into an American edition. Abraham's the art publishers in New York published it as well. And it is a standard source for the history of photography. The through it, I got involved with the Sunday Times and did several articles one on Fox, Talbot one on early colour of early colour noumea colour. And through that eventually on royal heritage, I found the extraordinary photographs of the first Chartists riot in the which we again put into the Sunday Times I've got dates for those if you want them. I should have said also for your articles five for Venice, I wrote one for the art International. went out was very good photographs by Anne James was acted as my assistant on that. I think one of the best programmes was about Julia Margaret Cameron. As I had read Mrs. Cameron's incredible words about her photography, I had a very definite vision of Miss van Brixton, Joyce Genfell's, voice that she used to do in the was Henry Wood or even in those extraordinary programmes. And I wrote to her would  she possibly do. Mrs. Cameron's voice, and she wrote back saying, No, she didn't do voiceovers. But perhaps she could just read the script. And she was so delighted with it, she did it and isn't this wonderful evervtaken and takes extraordinary things. And it got shown at the end there on show at the Bradford and places the federal early portrait people have. This is mid january 75. And there were other things I think going on, but there are bits of directing here and then we got roped into royal heritage, or rather, Michael did and then I got roped in afterwards. He was busy with Kenneth Clark doing a series I think on Egypt or something outside. And I was asked to sort of  with Huw Weldon. No, initially, we were looking for a front man and then Huw Weldon did take it on. But there was a question of who should be the historian.

And I, we had a discussion with John Julius Norwich. And he was too busy and eventually Jack Plumb? took it on.

Alan Lawson  23:27  
So Huw Weldon didn't write it? Well, he probably amended it a bit.

Ann Turner  23:32  
To put it mildly, as Huw said, you know, it was a joint thing because if he hadn't been fronting it Plumbers words wouldn't have been heard sort of thing and Huw naturally cannot say a sentence that he hasn't actually been happy about in his own. I mean, you know, the flow of the thing, let alone the actual No, it was a very, very, we used to have sessions of what was possible. With the two researchers Robert McNab and Jack Plumb had one two. And the directors who were David Haycock and Michael and myself and the Dick Cawston executive producer, and it was Michael's decision to involve members of the royal family. Can I just stop a moment back? For that, I had to go in to the royal palaces listings with the Royal surveyors. And we had the Lord Chamberlain along because he was the new one and he hadn't seen the palaces he went round Buckingham Palace. And it really was naturally a very, very interesting thing for somebody like myself, interested in the arts to have him busies scribbling away like mad, how we should group things and how we should remember to help and Then working out sequences eventually we all did that members of the royal family could be bought in and ghosted. I had the programme on the Tudors, which had quite a heavy input of because of Queen Elizabeth and progresses of other people's houses rather than just the royal  ones. And it involved me at the age of 49 getting on board HMS Bronington surviving a force seven Gale at least but the old was his name. Yeah, sparks and we've been on the fleet wood crawler said was forced nine just to make it a good story. And we were actually lifted off. We we knew we were going to be taken off in St. Davids Bay because we couldn't. Female certainly couldn't. The small unit that we were lifted off by helicopter, and the really humiliating thing was that the helicopter crew all had their Blue Peter badges and we had no royal heritage. But anyway, we survived. I gather we almost went on rocks according to Prince Charles. But it was all taking part in the middle of a NATO exercises. Have you ever been winched off a small minesweeper?

Well, as Michael said, it was don't say goodbye because if you wave you slip out of the straps.

And I agree so conrol nice review for today is

Alan Lawson  26:44  
around about 1976 now,

Ann Turner  26:46  
we are now transmitting in 77 for the Jubilee. So we had to work very hard to get nine programmes It was originally it between the beginning of January from scratch 75 with also logistical difficulties of fitting into royal buildings when people aren't there. We had a wonderful man called Thomas Barnum, who had been the clerk to the household, the head of the household, whatever it is, you know, his person was does table settings and all that. And he'd been the radio operator during the actual abdication of Edward the eight he'd been with the with the York family. And he was a marvellous man. And to give some idea of the Queen's appreciation of him, he was made ????????  but the time that we he had been here for his services because he really was a brick and then sweet man. And he was very, very vital contact in in easing the problems you know between and but we had more facilities and more kindness that we had in most museums, and it was all of our other happy experience I have to say. I think that probably Michael and Huw, who sat in on the Duke Edinburgh's committee and I didn't know him perhaps Huw was not wasn't on it. But Alistair Milne, Michael and Dick probably had a tougher time than I did. My job was to work out the actual timetables with the controllers the Lord Chamberlain's office conveyancing and I if I tell you that I had a state banquet for Nyrere on one evening with cameras and lighting and god knows what everybody dressed up in suit and fish and sort of appearing from behind pillars for set points and coming back again. And then the following morning. We had the state opening of parliament was the logistics and the liaison was and I had wonderful Dorothy  Stayforth in was marvellous and help. It worked. Dickie Woods and Arthur McMullen it was Arthur as I said it was force nine gale Did you know Arthur become a sparks because he'd worked for formation dancing who's following me. I also had two programmes on Queen Victoria and Victoria and Albert transmitted the second June and Victoria Queen and Empress on the ninth and out of the material that was to spare fairly early on. before when we started filming the Duke of Edinburgh it said she's in her 90s I do hope someone will gain record her memoirs of Queen Victoria from Princess Alice. Countess of Athlone. She was the widow of She was the daughter of Queen Victoria's youngest son Duke of Aldermere?, and the widow of Queen Mary's brother, who's one of the Tecks. And she, I mean, it was an incredible thing. I went to meet her with her Canadian secretary in what is now Prince Charles's house in Kensington Palace. And just to make contact with her, and I didn't made a point she'd written a very good memoir about her life. And I'd formulated copies. And but I didn't ask them but it was really just to see that we could get on the same wavelength and to get luckily I had a deaf grandmother and she was pretty deaf. So one could want to get the manner to get through and then we came back with a unit. And she walked into this room and she had the standard royal handbag because holding clutching at her desk, she had violet klaserie copper bracelets for her arthritis, which are flanged and banged. And of course, she took one look at she hadn't realised it was going to be a sound recording. And though the actual light had been bounced off the ceiling and things he was rather dazzled, and I had literally to stand in front of her and field her for a while till she got used to the idea. First thing she said what she doing, there was a photograph of Queen Victoria. That should be on my kings and queens table we explained, then we thought it might be appropriate to just show the relation. Anyway.

We started and it was rather slow to begin with, but we eventually. And I was very, very pleased because she did actually say what it was like to be royal. And to do things for the Queen, she tells us not to be so silly must shy, my mother said and things of that kind and about her small brother being sick. At the first Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Not the downs. They're not the final one, but the one of 87. So she was aware she was about for them. And about 14 the second one, so she knew Queen very well indeed. And she said, because she didn't have a German accent. She had a wonderful, charming voice and laughed a lot. And she said, you know, she never said it. I know because I asked her. Never said we are not amused. disappointing wasn't it? She was absolutely marvellous. And we used part of it in the second film on Queen Victoria. And I say please, the Queen actually asked her onto the balcony at the Jubilee celebrations, because she was obviously saying you could see it going on. Yes, this is where I was. And then because we had quite a lot more interview than we'd used I did the bits we used already and with film, archive film, made a film programme called Victorian memory, which went out first on 26th of February 78. And Huw was the narrator didn't initially he didn't want to do it because he didn't want to be always trotted out for royal programmes. When you saw what we'd done and the assembly and and the sheer er is incredible. I mean, she's 93 for her first ever television interview. Huw was even easy to cross out and do it and so it was a really have a great success. And what was even more extraordinary was having a showing at BAFTA for her in the Little Theatre and her family. And, you know, we actually, we didn't ask for it but BAFTA had the railings that are in front of BAFTA removed so that she could get across on her car to the pavement. And when I told the workmen who was removing as it is for Queen Victoria's granddaughter, you couldn't leave it. And we had tea and lay down with cucumber sandwiches. I got this wonderful letter which said, Do you have it all out? And it was such a charming It was exactly like Queen Victoria. Anyway, I mean, it really was a marvellous moment. And she herself looking at this thing and seeing her husband and seeing her dog when she had been in from jail. I mean, we didn't come across but it was very moving. sitting right up on top of the screen because she couldn't hear it.

Alan Lawson  34:45  
Yes, it was a historic bit, the series. So presumably throughout the Commonwealth, the America series or the series talking about now Royal Houses I beg your pardon.

Ann Turner  34:58  
Yes, yes. I mean, it I think it must have sold tremendously in box sets tremendously. And I to go jump ahead, I had to go back to documentaries to make the rejig programme nine programme 10, which is called the Queen and Prince Phillip it was an additional programme and was transmitted on the 28th of December 1980. With Henry Farah, and Stan Nightingale and Dave Thomas, I did that. And then the whole series was repeated in January 81. And that had its separate book, which we produced. And the reason for it was that the Queen felt that not enough in the first version, the art Queen Victoria was all Edwardian up to her father and the present day, and she felt was not enough. time has been spent in the Edwardian programme and after on the contribution of King George the sixth. And the new programme was about making things available ready and about the Royal farms and running things and the new music museum cars and things that have been opened, making things available. So that was but in between that I went back to arts features early in 89 certainly Sorry, sorry, it's

Alan Lawson  36:36  
before 89

Ann Turner  36:37  
No, 78. I went back in January 78. And of course in those tight days, all the money for the year have been allocated, there was nothing for me to do even on the coming year. But Humphrey was in charge said could I possibly go to the states and make what had been asked for by Dan Borstein, which was a 90 minute special. Well, it turned out to be a 90 minute special with Huw Weldon on the Library of Congress. And I went out at the end of March and had about four days by myself want most of which was a weekend to recce the place. And then Huw` came out and in 10 days I think it was we wrote the treatment for the library Congress, which is quite a subject. I don't know whether you saw the film did you?

Alan Lawson  37:27  
Never sorry.

Ann Turner  37:28  
Well, it's not. I mean, it is an incredible because it's not only the copyright, it's music, concerts, film, Stills, manuscripts, printed books, archives, and the whole political setup of doing research for in it you've got Dan Moynihan and Teddy. He chose these people some because they're known Teddy Kennedy, and dear old to the nicest was the old boy from Arizona. Absolutely right. When

Alan Lawson  38:07  

Ann Turner  38:10  
takes photographs there actually was a perfect gent. And of course,

oh god,

I should have written that order. Stop it. So we also in the archive sequence we talked with, or Huw did with Kissinger, who was actually working on his memoirs in the house, it up in the library. And it was a huge success. As far as the Americans concerned. It went out here in January 21 79. It went out in America in middle of April, in the middle of library week. And I made an additional programme on this one sequence we couldn't fit in, which was a visit to the Hammonds family, the folk art people of the Library of Congress, Alan Jabbar have been following the history of one of these West Virginian families who are folk singers and they were really I mean, spitting into the soul of the lot. And it was an extraordinary thing, especially with Des o'Brien singing Irish songs, I mean, we by the time we had Kaylee go, it was quite something. But he made a short film that has been usefully hanging around with I mean, that came out of that. And it was that I actually saw it transmitted in America because I was at Palm Springs at this conference that I told you about. And I saw it all and there we were in this great conference about the art film The documentary of culture set etc. Here was a film made to illustrate that if ever there was one, and not one of those delegates looked at it, I sat in my room with a big bag of peanuts and looked at it by myself. I wasn't even joined by Michael Gill or Peter or Tony. They were busy cultivating contacts.

Alan Lawson  40:21  
No comment.

Ann Turner  40:24  
No, then, as I say, the library Congress came before the Royal heritage. And I have completely left out. One of the programmes that I did also after the Library of Congress, which was the one on Sarah, which is called point CounterPoint. And it was two films that I shot back to back one on Degar one on Sarah. And that was first transmitted. all the art films that I'm going to mention now At the end of my career are usually written by David Thompson unless I say to the contrary. They are found out on the 11th of November 79, I think is quite an interesting programme. And then there was the unquiet spirit it was shot by John Turner as well as was this other one. On Degar?

Alan Lawson  41:18  
He's all BBC Two I suspect. 

Ann Turner  41:20  
Oh yes BBC 2 The unquiet spirit was transmitted on the first of February 81, after after royal heritage so I carried across and then starts coming this sort of series of films on art. Where you know prepare preparation shooting in summer autumn editing in the winter. Trot? transcriptionist in the spring that the one on the Van Eyckes is a Mirror in Time 12th of April 82 or 80 by David Thompson, Henry Farah, camera man Ivor Richardson beavering away on sound and Roy Frye is the film editor I should have said are both Sarah with Gar and continues with me. He and I first got together when he rescued the Tudor programme of royal heritage, which had been massacred by an editor was name shall be and we literally unpicked it and put back frames and seconds and we got to know each other and like each other and I think that they have support of Alan and Roy Frye in your careers pretty, pretty good. I did a short film yet another film with David Thompson. Lovely Norfolk. We're in the rain on J S Cockman for Omnibus on the ninth of may 82. Then the Raphael, which also included a book was a series of three The Apprentice years, sixth of April 83 prints of painters the following week and legend and legacy Prince of painters got the bronze medal for cultural films that the New York Film Festival in 1983. Then we had K Clark's funeral in May of 83. And I say that when collecting for the well i think that the Ken Macmillan Tubby, I went Bill Padgett or possibly, certainly as box or two girls turned up

Ann Turner  0:08  
Sure, perhaps I should set

a side four sorry, okay.

Perhaps I should say that while I was working on royal heritage, I was on the east time documentaries. And then I came back and forth to Kensington house and arts features. And it This was really a problem with me later because I was separated from what you might call the arts features producers. They didn't know who I was and what I was capable of. And the Anne` Thompson world who would then commissioning things, you know, after Humphrey left, Humphrey knew me only too well. But even if it did make for problems as funny as

Alan Lawson  0:55  
He became head

Ann Turner  0:56  
Of arts features, yes, because he just didn't know me. I mean, he knew me, even though he'd been on earlier things, but I'd still been doing my own thing that banias and I never contributed as Anne James and others to the Lorna's programme. What were the arts magazine programmes in the early 70s? Review, Review. Now after that, and of course, we had the K Clark memorial service in the seventh of may 83.

Alan Lawson  1:36  
was a live OB was it. od`d?

Ann Turner  1:41  
No, it must have been gone, I guess got the dates wrong. I'll have to give you those again, because I think it's probably the funerals or seventh of may and then memorial services 26. I seem to go to a lot of memorial services back there. Then I was preparing, reccing shooting. The second film I did on Dominica Scarlatti, which was narrated by David Thompson. The Sonata is played by Raphael Prearner?. Again, Roy Frye. And now John Baker, Nick Squires have started doing most of my programmes. Wonderful Recording by Ron Brown. really brilliant. And he's not a music specialist. And you're very, very good. And John hails the dubbing mixer, because he was quite an operation that different harpsichords in different tones and different things. And that was rescued and dropped in the summer of 83. Including Italy, Spain, Portugal. And then we did sequences in the UK with the harpsichords in France in not not till 84 because unfortunately, Breanna wasn't available till then. And we edited in the summer of 84. And that was held over for 1985 because Humphrey agreed to this programme commissionedit. And we had a great deal of trouble. Because then arts features was beginning to fall apart there was Humphry Ward who looked at it and there was some John was somebody Williams.

Alan Lawson  3:36  
Somerset Ward.

Ann Turner  3:37  
Yes. just wrote Somerset Ward. Yes. And then he okayed it and then left. And then we had while I was away, because I explained the mount. I had to go with Roy Frye. I had to show it to somebody Williams, who isn't Christian name, I should know. And then Alan Yentob took over so I was busy hiding from these people. So that I wasn't seen in the corridors and things Hugh

Alan Lawson  4:09  
Williams, Hugh said.

Ann Turner  4:12  
Now Hugh Williams is the bookmark man. He's the brother Nigel Williams Yes, Hugh. Yes, Nigel Williams is bookmarked. And you know it was one of those very great difficulties because I had also undertaken by then to the artists to shave this for 90 minutes, whether whatever it was all the moment that I can't remember. And at the same time, I was preparing also for the same week in 85. David Attenborough had agreed to do this film on Audubon, and it was very nice that he did. I tried to get him to do it a long time before and he been busy with one his big series. And then he realised that the Audubon since January and bicentenario was coming up. And he knew I was very keen to do it. And I'm very pleased to say that of all documentaries and drama documentaries and great series in America and over here that were planned. It was the only film that got in, I think it was a natural for America. In the end, I mean, people like the Audubon Society climbed on the  bandwagon. And we've great to help by the New York Museum of Natural History Museum who had some of the actual plates, copper plates, and we've actually filmed these be, because in all the films on the artists, particularly Degas, and Sarah?, I had artists talking about the techniques because I think this is again, important from an artist that you learn what how things are done not from art critics or people who fancy themselves. And they are in a 2 million pound bird bird book. The two was transmitted in one week, Dominica Scarlatti, on the 20th of April 85, and the million pound bird book on the 26th. And I don't know how many people have had tw`o colour articles in the radio times in one week, but I thought it was fairly

Alan Lawson  6:36  
well done. 

Ann Turner  6:36  
Well done It was a nice tribute to everybody who worked on it. And you know the million pound bird book was again a very happy thing because we went to all these locations in America for everyone was very helpful in was once and chased after crocodiles and alligators was very successful.

Alan Lawson  6:58  
Very good.

Ann Turner  7:00  
Now, the last film by me was one on Donatella, which was shot four months in Italy in September, October, the 85 as Colin Walbeck and Bruce Galloway, Dickie W1ood on the lighting, which was quite a thing. We took out lighting it with Ken and then cheaper when pheno? lighting took the journey Paul Slaver. And we we really, I think did Donnatella sculpture, proud, I think John did a marvellous job. And we had as the advisor on it. Charles Avery, who's written a book on the subject, but his commentary here, he just wasn't experienced enough. David Thompson came in and helped on their commentary side. It was transmitted on what looks like a bank holiday the 31st of August 86. I put or later because I got I didn't know. It looks sounds like a bank holiday special BBC 2

Alan Lawson  8:11  
86 anyway.

Ann Turner  8:12  
Yeah and then I helped with the Omnibus tribute to Huw Weldon, which went out on the 11th of April. He just died, I think about fortnight before funerals on the 24th of March. And his memorial was on the seventh of May, which is very impressive for us all. in Westminster Abbey. And during the summer, before I left, it was a run back to my first feature in a first film, because I help there's a McGahee we dig his Rodin. And we shot that in June July in Paris, and it was transmitted on the 14th of November 86. And I'd actually left a fortnight before 31st of October.

Alan Lawson  9:17  
That's the staff

Ann Turner  9:18  
having had I think I have a jolly meeting. We will have a jolly party in the canteen. Did not get into that how not to ask. Number one, bridge lunch. Let's cancel. The bad. But we do have that just as you left us at. I mean a bit earlier.

Alan Lawson  9:46  
Yes, I was with Granada again. But until middle of 85/86 I was freelancing. I did a 40 minutes and 86 Henry MirzoffYes.

Ann Turner  10:02  
Um, so that this is sort of roughly it.

Alan Lawson  10:06  
And since then,

Ann Turner  10:08  
and since then,

Alan Lawson  10:10  
as an independent

Ann Turner  10:11  
recording, since I haven't done anything, and then because I'm not a member of the independent union, I think I'm lodged with ABS or whatever it was by the time I left. Well, that's why you're a

Alan Lawson  10:29  
member of the Union.

Ann Turner  10:32  
I am now

not but when I left and I working on various research projects, I went for my grade 2, I was working on some journals, which I still haven't done anything finally about, which are on the Industrial Revolution blunder? a member of my family, which are very interesting, and I think, will have eventually come to light. And also working on Thomas Archer, the Brock architect, but I've had my pitch slightly screwed by young man who is actually an escaped criminal. He's back in Brixton now. But you may have seen him on Peter Wayne, who's the Archer expert. As a complication, I'm also the Gloucestershire representative, or one of them, two of them of the National Art Collection Fund, which I was dragooned into doing blackmailed into doing, which I don't, I hope to drop at the end of this year, because it takes too much my time.

Alan Lawson  11:29  
Looking back any regrets

Ann Turner  11:34  
Yes, that I didn't do the programme I'm writing that I actually wrote in the Monitor time and would have liked to have had

Alan Lawson  11:41  
might, why wasn't why was that not?

Ann Turner  11:45  
I think it was, in those days, I was too small. It was too big a programme was a whole hours worth us what I think would have been it and I made some fair, big subjecting was tremendous. But there was a very good book published during the 60s, K and? arts, and I discussed it a lot. But he wouldn't be in there. Not that. Not that he would have been the introducer. But at that stage when I was doing it, but it was just I think he was a very funny man about for you brighter, brighter, brighter, light. So that that's an element that people don't or don't know about him. The fact that he influenced Gandy and the whole of art in Europe, and even I mean, he was he was extraordinary, that you had to have a decent world who had decent art.

Alan Lawson  12:38  
What's, what's the highest spot for you?

Ann Turner  12:41  
Of the whole of the whole of your career? whole of  my career?

Alan Lawson  12:46  
Many of them?

Ann Turner  12:48  
I mean, I've been extraordinarily lucky. I don't know when I've talked enough about Alistair, or Huw or Who are you? I mean, I've taken so much for granted that the people the quality of life. I mean, I've always had the very best button to work with both in presenters and commentators. I mean, David Thompson is someone very important. I've hardly mentioned him, but he was because he was a film editor. You know, he'd been the art critic of the times you'd made films himself. So when writing with him. It was a marvellous of joint operation, a very happy one to one of the things sad things he has been invited to the States to actually lecture on the films we made together on the individual artists. Yes, it was a big session in Boston. I keep on meaning to ask them in the metropolitan and the sole source for this. Could they please send me the minutes and things because David said he would he never has I must get onto him again.

Alan Lawson  13:54  
Because he was he was he was an editing trainee.

Ann Turner  13:57  
Yes, that's right.

Alan Lawson  13:59  
Same time as Jack Howe?.

Ann Turner  14:04  
And so you know, but I mean, frankly, it was very nice that he and I'm sure we did a very good presentation about our films, but I rather would have liked to been there and recognise this. Because I you know, it isn't just one person. I mean, a lot of the locations than ones and the research side of things. I mean to then I spent my entire summer with the Zuckerberg and his expenses, reading them beside my bed. I mean, I think it's fascinating to know that when I had so many expenses we know when you travel abroad and Spain and things because he was allowed so many ECU's or whatever there was, I mean I find that kind of thing fascinating.

Alan Lawson  14:48  
Tell us a bit more about from noon talking about people. Alister Cooke, who mentioned Of course quite a lot, but writing about Alistair Cooke as a person and as a as a character.

Ann Turner  14:58  
He is Tremendous character, he lives in the most delightful world. His governor is flat in New York, overlooking Central Park sounds rather grand but actually was a sort of allocated. Not quite a Council house`. It was that kind of situation during the war. And he's hung on to it very successfully. And he's also got a, he had Michael M? stayed down at Karcher again in Long Island. And he's got a very nice wife, Jane, who's a second wife, his who was an artist. And it's very nice, simple. And Alex does a very good host. He makes him special breakfasts and all that sort of thing is he he's a most endearing and you know, he was very good at having been feast? with the boys. We all used to assemble for drinks in somebodies motel room we went through in the evening, that kind of thing. So he's, he's very easy. He's not grand. And he insisted on doing all his own flight bookings? For some reason, he just goes everywhere. America is huge.

Alan Lawson  16:13  
I remember meeting him in the cutting room. Yes. Really? Yes. America. You seem to get on very well with everybody. Yes.

Ann Turner  16:25  
As I say he was very quietly arriving at this moment, who has done a piece that I described the little cottage in behind the woods of Salem. She She wrote it up the day, the BBC unit came and it was really very nice for all of us. Because you know, it did do the house, everybody was going about their business knew their stuff, and was just quietly getting on with it. And this obviously rubbed off on her and Alistait was actually just I said it was a bit difficult for Ken and me to get to get the script at the very last minute, but he was typing away in the kitchen. And I think one of the most the this this service, we did a typical American thing, singing the pilgrims hymn in the old High church at Hingham? near Boston. And they got in congregations from all the other churches that Sunday. Just the people hanging we should be represented. And by the time we finished, I was almost in tears, you know, I mean, so I suppose it's my roots, too. I can't help it.

Alan Lawson  17:41  
You also seem to have gone on fairly well, if not very well. Well, your immediate superiors if that's the right word, the bosses, the bosses line. I

Ann Turner  17:49  
don't I mean, you know, I mean, I think that you

Alan Lawson  17:52  
didn't mention one.

Ann Turner  17:53  
Well, I have I read I mean I could go on. But you just after a while you take it very much. I'm sure that I could have nowadays when everybody has this what is this ghastly Producer's choice? Oh, no, no Producer's choice doesn't serve accusing somebody. maltreatment. But there were other compensations. You kept your head down. I mean, the sad thing is the subject matter. I was I was always interested in what I was doing. And that is really important. And I had, as I say, I mean people like Ken, Macmillan could always be relied on to give you every support. I mean, really awfully good. Malcolm Webley was he was getting engaged in middle of Civilizations. I used to pop round to his hotel with his girlfriend's letters. grateful grateful.

Alan Lawson  18:58  
 You seem to have achieved most, if not all of the things you really wanted to.

Ann Turner  19:02  
Yes I mean, people say you know, don't you miss it? The answer is that it I actually left a year early. Because I was just coming up. I think I'm writing for my 59th birthday.

But I had done what I wanted to do really, and you know, it does get a bit tiring worrying about sparks next foreign breakfasts, things like that. And everything. Incidentally, what I haven't talked about, of course, is the relationship with Ryaner Moritz?. And the fact that a lot of my stuff was co produced, and Ryaner Moritz actually bought my Van Goch Monitor, way back in the 60s. And whatever you think of Ryaner, I mean, my stuff was underwritten during a very large degree. I mean, the BBC had not to stump up that much except in staff. Because staff costs. But the production values costs came. They're largely from from co production deals. And the Audubon was with WNET in Library of Congress was WNET. And the Library of Congress liked it must have liked it because they asked me to go back and add another chunk to it when they moved house and I said, I'm sorry, I wasn't free to do it. But they wanted me to work on it.

Alan Lawson  20:29  
it. Just in case anybody I'm sorry, never listening to this has never heard of him. We should perhaps say I mean, Ryaner Moritz did many co production RM productions. Yes. In Munich, originally.

Ann Turner  20:39  
originally based in Munich. And but I didn't have close personal dealings with him. But I just provided the information. The deals are made by the head of department. And he has many titles as everybody knows, because every so often yourselves the whole lot. So where some of my films are now I don't know. I mean, I was told that you could buy American Standard Raphael particularly was a very popular series. You could buy them Takes a Village in New York at one stage and I don't I just one day, perhaps I'm in metropolitan, I might look at their videos. The million pound bird book was made with the Arts and Entertainment Network. It was when they've started coming up, and has been repeated ad nauseum by them I gather. What is particularly nice about that was that the granddaughters of Audubon were still alive. And I had these hilarious letters from members of the family. One was an eccentric speciality school teacher in New England, and they approved of it and that was really rather nice because he's not everybody's slightly controversial, but David and I'd say well,

Alan Lawson  21:52  
America was maybe NBC NBC,

Ann Turner  21:58  
I thought it was WNET is it NBC?

Alan Lawson  22:01  
I remember it well, because that's why we remember it.

Ann Turner  22:05  
Yes. Because it was because of the Fragrances and Flavours. Was it

Alan Lawson  22:10  
very rare to get a co production with NBC? Or CBS?

Ann Turner  22:15  
Well, I mean, you know, that's where I'm a bit groggy on these details because I actually didn't have to do the actual dirty work on it just made the program's

Alan Lawson  22:26  
why not do the creative work.

When I hope Anyway, thank you

Ann Turner  22:32  
when I'm praying I'm not there. This is my party. At the end of my just before two days I see before I left 28th of October 86 I send er a letter to the then head of arts who I presumes Alan Yentob as you will know and planning didn't. in brackets I leave the BBC next Friday 31st of October. This is not a bid for work when I've left all life after death whatever way you wish to put it. But I do truly think it is a great waste of BBC resources as well as film units and film editors skills and talents that either of the 11 films I've made recently, apart from work on major series, only three have been repeated. Most of the API's are the following programmes have been in the 80s. And although audiences have not been large viewers have repeatedly asked to see them again. There's a good deal of meat in them that justifies a second showing and most have an element of travel that would give a lift to winter weekend Sunday afternoon viewing. The residuals are straightforward. There are no actors in vision and the musicians are clearable. Perhaps you have plans to repeat them in any case with other profiles of artists made by the rest of the department. Again, I am waiting for the answer.

Alan Lawson  23:58  
No comment, 

Ann Turner  23:58  
No comment the only ones that have been repeated with the million pound bird book needless to say point Counterpoint and the Unquiet Spirit.

Alan Lawson  24:09  
Civilization course.

Ann Turner  24:11  
Oh yes I mean, those were major series but these are the ones I made myself which are pitty well I don't thonk they are total  rubbish. 

Alan Lawson  24:22  
Anyway thank you.


Born 16 November 1927 Windsor Berkshire. Guildford High School for Girls in WW2. St Andrews University in History. Relates family history. Graduated 1950. Worked on African Queen film wardrobe. Art school Guildford. Joined BBC 1951. Trainee general duties.   Salary £4. 50p per week. Joan Gilbert's social secretary. Sent invitaion to join BBC to David Attenborough. Relate stories of Picture Page events. Rotated through many BBC programmes. Including on Coronation 1953. 1955 joined Sculpture of Ramsgate programme. Wallace Collection English Country Church. First film for Monitor on Rodin. Produced Civilisation Point Counterpoint and America for BBC