Article by Noele Gordon, News of The World, July 12, 1981
Rumours have been flying about my position as a shareholder in ATV, the company Val Parnell founded. It's time
I put the record straight.
Val, it's been alleged, gave me a huge chunk of shares, which are supposed to have made me ATV's most powerful woman
employee. My sacking shows that the true position is quite the reverse.
Far from having any power in the company, I have none at all, otherwise ATV would not have been able to sack me so easily.
The only shares that I own are those I bought myself through my stockbroker. Today I have a total of 1,700 worth
£918 - hardly a fortune!
But back to those early days; and my work with Val and Lew Grade to bring commercial television to Britain.
Our little pioneer unit was preparing a magazine programme for screening to London viewers on Saturday mornings called
Weekend. This was something quite new in British television at that time.
Until then all BBC shows had been carefully scripted but thanks to my year studying American television techniques, I
brought back the idea of ad-lib programmes.
Commerical television came to Britain in the London area on September 22, 1956.
After about six weeks I was sent up to Birmingham to help prepare for our Midlands opening the following February.
On the day we went on the air, Val and Lew came up to me in a panic.
"We've been let down over a half-hour programme for Tuesday afternoons," said Lew. "Can you think of something
to fill the 4 pm slot?"
I suggested a news and gossip programme centred on the plays and performers appearing in Midland theatres. And
that was how Tea with Noele Gordon was born. From this I became hostess of Lunch Box, ITV's first lunchtime variety
and chat show.
It was with this kind of background that I took over the role of the owner of the Crossroads Motel. My great concern
was whether I could persuade viewers to forget Noele Gordon and accept me as Meg.
Now the whole situation, ironically, is in reverse. I've finished with Crossroads, finished with Meg.
I want people to accept me as Noele Gordon again.
My showbusiness career has just taken a new road. I've recorded a smashing song with EMI, appropriately called
After All These Years, which will be released tomorrow.
Special thanks to Maria Brabiner for the article