THE BBC, 1958

peter in london street

This is me 
near  Bush House on the Strand not long after I arrived in London from Canada.

At the time Bush House was the  home of the overseas broadcast divisions of the BBC including my division, the North American Service of the BBC. It is now relocated in Broadcast House.

 I had applied for the position of producer while back in Canada where I worked as an editor in the National Newsroom of the CBC in Toronto.

bush house
Bush House, London

A friend and colleague. the late Tony Thomas, told me about the advertised position while we having a drink in the Celebrity Club on Jarvis Street across from the CBC headquarters.   The BBC Toronto representative, Sheila Skelly,  set up a meeting with Charles Curran, the BBC Canadian representative based in Ottawa. They told me I would have to be interviewed in London in shortlisting process. I learned  later after joining the BBC that Charles Curran had put in a good word about with the selection committee. Curran went on to become BBC Director General.

I resigned from the CBC, sublet my bachelor apartment in City Park Apartment on Church Street, sold my  Triumph Mayflower car, ( see a Mayflower on YouTube) and traveled to New York City to board the first Queen Elizabeth for the week-long voyage to Southhampton.

I later learned that over one-thousand people had applied for the BBC position. I had taken a bigger  risk than I thought.

bbc schools letter

Hired at the same time as myself was Brian Shakespearre

Brian Shakespeare, taken on the balcony of flat in Nottinghill that I shared with his
brother-in-law Mive Thomas.  The woman is unidentified.

a Cambridge graduate.  We became good friends.  When he was fired  from the BBC  and out of work I moved into his and his wife's apartment, off Bayswater Road.

He and Margarette had just been married and they needed the extra money for rent.  Margarette was still studying at Cambridge University.  One of our fellow tenants in the building was a very young Judy Dench, a rising star at the BBC and future James Bond boss.  And speaking of James Bond, Brian was a big fan of Ian Fleming's Bond books ( long before first Bond movie), and it was while he was living in this apartment that he was recruited by the British Foreign Office.  It was also at this  time Brian did a radio interview with Somerset Maugham and felt it necessary to clear up Maugham's stutter by cutting out the pauses in his speech, something we would not do todayl   

brian wedding
Brian and Margarette wedding Cardiff Castle, Wales

madelaine thomas and peter reynolds,
                      cardiff castle
Me and Madelaine Thomas at Cardiff Castle wedding

I was a guest at Brian and Margarete 's wedding, in Cardiff Castle in Wales.  I was the escort of Margarette's sister, Madelaine.  Madelaine and I were briefly engaged shortly after the wedding.  There was a third Thomas sister, Yvonne, and a brother, Mive.  They came from Myrtha Tydal, not far from Cardiff.

Madelaine and
                      me at Cambridge
Very poor shot of Madelaine and me in Cambridge
where Margarette attended university

Brian and Margarette had one child, Jocasta, and lived for a time in The Hague where he was attached to the British embassy. He was later assigned to the British embassy in Basra, Iraq.  It was the Hague that I met my wife, Liset. She was taking care of Jocasta, and later moved to London, first working as an au pair.