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Manchester Television, Film, Media & Broadcasting

Ray Gosling

Ray Gosling, broadcaster, television reporter and gay rights campaigner

(Born 1939)
Ray Gosling was born in Chester in 1939, brought up in Northampton, and educated at Northampton Grammar School and the University of Leicester, but has always been closely associated with Manchester and the north-west, Ray Gosling was for many years a popular and regular figure in Granada's Television's local programmes during the 1970s and 80s. A respected reporter of relevant, probing and incisive investigative journalism as well as proactive lobby, especially for gay rights and the repeal of the controversial Section 28, legislation that banned local authorities from 'promoting homosexuality'. It sparked a storm of protest led by lesbian and gay groups and was eventually, thanks to the active work of Gosling and others, was repealed on 18 November 2003. With more than 100 television documentaries and over a thousand radio documentaries to his credit, Gosling's reputation for simple honest reportage, reflected the attitudes of the common man - his name and face were known to millions of regular viewers in the northwest region.
His many television successes included 'The Human Jigsaw' produced by Granada Television in 1984, and the popular series of 'The People's Game', narrated by Gosling, - a TV programme about the national obsession with football. At his peak in the mid-1980s, Ray Gosling was earning £50,000 a year - at that time, a small fortune. But his professional fortunes waned in the mid 1990s, and when his long-term partner, Bryn Allsop, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Ray nursed him until his death in November 1999. After that his professional and personal life suffered serious depression. With mounting unpaid bills and debts, he found himself facing bankruptcy. A Radio 4 controller once described him as "…one of those singular and particular voices that we need to cherish". His personal portraits of working class culture in Manchester became increasingly unfashionable.
There followed years of mounting unpaid bills which resulted in his eventual bankruptcy.
Gosling is still an active campaigner and powerful voice in the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE), which originated in Manchester, and along with Allan Horsfall, was instrumental in making it into a nationwide organisation. He is also associated with North West Homosexual Law Reform Committee (NWHLRC), also based in Manchester. Nowadays Ray Gosling lives modestly in Nottingham and has been unemployed for several years, surviving on unemployment benefits of £70 a week. A BBC film about Gosling's bankruptcy, called simply "Bankrupt" , was shown earlier in 2004, and more recently London's Carlton Television invited him to make four films on statues and monuments in London - hopefully this marks his long-awaited and much deserved return to broadcasting.

Tess Daly

Tess Daly, television presenter

(Born 1969)
Tess Daly was born Helen Elizabeth Daly on 27 April 1969 in the registration district of Chapel En Le Frith, near Stockport. A former model and dancer, she has appeared in pop videos with groups like Duran Duran and Soul II Soul but is probably best known for her debut on Channel 4 TV's "The Big Breakfast ". Tess was originally with model agency Models1 , but left to concentrate on her television career, which seems to have been a wise and successful move. She has appeared in "Singled Out" and "Spy TV" and co-presented "LA Pool Part" with Jayne Middlemiss and Lisa Snowdon. Tess was also co-presenter on ITV's flagship children's show "SM:TV Live" after Ant & Dec moved on to higher things, and replaced Cat Deeley.
In 2002 the show was named best entertainment series in the British Academy Children's Film and Television Awards (BAFTA). In December 2003 she co-hosted "The Christmas Show" with presenter Eammon Holmes. Other hosting stints include "Back To Reality" , co-hosting "Come Dancing" with Terry Wogan and helping bring in the money through "Sports Relief". "Britain’s Brainiest Kid 2002" was also Co-hosted by Tess, accompanied by Carol Vorderman. She also presented the winner at the Royal Mail’s "Young Letter Writer of the Year" with his prize at an Award Ceremony in London in 2003.
More recently she has Co-hosted with Bruce Forsyth on the BBC1 hit show "Strictly Come Dancing" , interrupted for a few weeks in October 2004 while she gave birth to her daughter, Phoebe Elizabeth, in a London hospital. Tess is married to BBC Radio 1 presenter, Vernon Kay - they currently live in a flat in West London but plan to look for a bigger home in the country.

Timmy Mallett

Timmy Mallet, DJ, comic and broadcaster

(Born 1955)
Timmy Mallett was born on 18 October 1955 in Marple. This whacky colourful entertainer and DJ, actually studied History of Art as part of his History degree at Warwick University. He began presenting on TV with the "Wide Awake Club" and "Wacaday" , as Roland Rat's replacement at TVam! By the mid 1980s he had a show at Piccadilly Radio - "Timmy on the Tranny" and already hosted what was probably the biggest teenage pop show in the UK! "Smash Hits" magazine and Sony named him the 'DJ of the Year' and presented him with the 'Best Music Show' award. He also worked at Radio Oxford, Centre Radio, Radio Luxembourg and on the BBC Roadshow for several years.
By 1985 he was widely popular, with children and adults alike - his crazy, often lunatic radio style at one time attracted record audiences and he ruled, for a time, as a much sought-after and most popular radio and television presenter and he guested on many other television shows. He introduced his own game show "Mallet's Mallet", and in 1991, he had a number one chart hit, singing "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" as a duet with Bombalurina.
However, his whacky style soon began to lose favour and by the 1990s he had passed out of public popularity into relative obscurity. Even so, irrepressible as ever, he has recently made an attempt at a television comeback with the children's show "Timmy Towers" , a panto-style comedy show, and in November 2004, he embarked on a nationwide tour. Timmy Mallett is reputed to own more than 187 pairs of spectacles! He is credited with having introduced Mike Myers (of "Wayne's World" ) and Chris Evans into British television. In personal terms, he is recognised by many as a talented artist who specialises in water colours and acrylics, and his paintings have been enjoyed at regular exhibitions in London, Manchester and the Home Counties.

Dave Spikey

Dave Spikey - Comedian from Chorley

(Born 1951)
A former biomedical haematologist, comedian and actor Dave Spikey was born David Gordon Bramwell on 6 October 1951 and lives in Whittle-le-Woods near Chorley. A much-celebrated stand-up comedian, his professional career began in 1992, when, after writing routines and sketches for other comedians on TV and radio for many years, he appeared on Central Television's "New Faces" show as one-half of comedy duo 'Spikey and Sykey'. They came third and thereafter went their separate ways. Spikey is currently one of the top acts on the national comedy circuit and regularly appears at the Comedy Store, Jongleurs and most of the country's other top venues. He has also hosted ITV's popular "Chain Letters" game show.
After working his way up through many northern clubs, one evening he met Agraman (the human Anagram) at the Bolton Octagon Theatre, and was invited to perform at his club The Buzz . His particular brand of comedy was a great success, which led to other bigger venues and greater notoriety. Though by now well known in live comedy performance, it was probably his role as the character of compere Jerry St Clair in the hit TV series "Phoenix Nights" that brought him to the wider attention of television audiences.
He was awarded The British Comedy Award for Best New TV Comedy for "That Peter Kay Thing" which he co-wrote with Peter Kay. He also collaborated with Kay on "The Services" and "Phoenix Nights" . In 2003 he won an award at the MEN Arena Theatre Awards for "Performance of the Year" and was voted "Comedy Performance of the Year" by the Leicester Mercury newspaper. He appeared in the six-part show "Dead Man Weds" on ITV1 in January 2005, alongside comedian Johnny Vegas. A popular stand-up comedian and formerly a regular team leader on TV panel games and quizzes such as as "8 Out of 10 Cats " and "QI" . In 2013, after a long break from the stand-up circuits he announced he would be embarking on a UK tour.


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This page last updated 12 Jan 13.