Tony Gubba was born in Manchester in 1943, and was best
known as a long-serving member of the BBC Sport team, covered
everything from the World Cup to Summer and Winter Olympics.
He began his professional career working on local newspapers
in Lancashire, before working as a staff reporter for the Daily
Mirror. He went on to become a newscaster in Southampton for
Southern Television, before becoming a BBC correspondent in
the City of Liverpool.
As a main anchor figure, Gubba presented the BBC’s “Sportsnight”
programme from 1973 to 1978 and later commentated on a wide
range of sports, including cycling, ice skating, table tennis,
hockey, golf and squash.
He also became well known fixture in his own right as the main
presenter of “Match of the Day” on BBC every
Saturday afternoon for many years, as well as other major sports
presentations like “Sportsnight” and “Grandstand” .
He was also the commentary voice of many World Cup finals since
1974. Tony Gubba is a keen fly fisherman, who also enjoys watching
golf and football. In later days he is probably best remembered
for the many tongue-in-cheek commentaries he provided for the
popular ITV television series “Dancing on Ice” .
Tony Gubba, died on 11 march 2013, aged 69, after suffering
from leukaemia. He is survived by his partner of 15 years, Jenny,
his two daughters and three granddaughters.
in 29th December 1928, in Oldham
Lancashire, Bernard Cribbins is probably one of the UK’s best
loved childrens entertainers. He has been a professional actor
since the age of 14, when he became a student player with Oldham
Repertory Company, where he remained for some eight years. During
National Service he served in the Parachute Regiment and afterwards
returned to the stage – first in Manchester, then in Liverpool
and in Hornchurch. Cribbins
first London appearance as in the West End in 1956 at the Arts
Theatre where he played the two Gromios in Shakespeare’s “A
Comedy of Errors” which was followed by leading roles
in “Harmony Close”, The Lady at the Wheel”,
“New Cranks”, “The Big Tickle” and in
“Hook, Line and Sinker”. By
the end of the decade he had become a leading light of the London
stage, and appeared in his own revue show. However, it was not
until the 1960s that he would attain popular public acclaim
and notoriety, appearing in many successful films as well as
musical success with several humorous records like “Right
Said Fred” and “Hole in the Ground” .
also became widely known as the voice narration of the popular
television series, “The Wombles” , the voice-over
many television advertisements, appearances on BBC’s Saturday
prime time show, “Noel’s House Party” and the
narration of many childrens’ stories on audio cassette, where
he proved himself to be an accomplished and original storyteller.
has long been a popular figure in regional Christmas Pantomimes.
notable stage appearances have included the National Theatre’s
production of “Guys & Dolls” and in “Anything
Goes” at the Prince of Edward Theatre accompanying
Elaine Paige. He
played the part of Doctor Doolittle in “My Fair Lady”
at the Houston Opera House in America and appeared in Gershwin’s
“Lady be Good” at the Open Air in Regent’s
Park, London. In
April 2003 he joined the cast of “Coronation Street”
as Wally Bannister, an ageing Lethario who falls for the street’s
resident elderly gossip, Blanche Hunt as well as her grand daughter
Tracy – an opportunity, at last, to use his own native dialect
in an acting role. Other
television performances include in “Space 1999”
and in several episodes of the 1960-1970s cult classic, “The
Avengers”, “Last of the Summer Wine”, as
well as his brilliant cameo appearance in “Fawlty Towers” .
his long list of film credits, most noteworthy are in fellow
countryman Eric Sykes’ comic
masterpiece, “The Plank” , in “Swallows
& Amazons”, “Daleks Invasion Earth 2150
AD” and “The Railway Children” in
veteran of several Carry On films he appeared in “Carry
On Jack” in 1963, “Carry On Spying”
in 1964, and in “Carry On Columbus” in 1992.
Cribbins continues to be a much demanded local comic actor at
the very pinnacle of his professional career.
Born in Alderley Edge in Cheshire on the 26th April 1926, David
Coleman is best remembered as a leading sports commentator on
British television, though his early career began in athletics,
when in 1949, he became the only non-international to win the
Manchester Mile. Unfortunately, pre-emptive injury ended any
hopes of a career in athletics and he turned his hand to reporting
on a local newspaper, the Stockport Express. During his time
in military service he also worked with the British Army Newspaper
Unit. After demobilisation, he joined Kemsley Newspapers and,
at 22, became editor of the County Press in Cheshire – then
one of the youngest editors in the country. In 1953 he working
in radio on a freelance basis in Manchester and the following
year went to Birmingham to join the BBC as a news assistant.
He was appointed Sports Editor for the Midland Region, in November
1955. Spotted as a promising young broadcaster by the Head of
Sport, Peter Dimmock, he was offered anchor position in the
new sports magazine programme, “Grandstand” ,
which first broadcast in May 1954. Subsequently in a long television
career, Coleman went on to cover many major sporting events
and occasions, including the Olympic Games sixteen times, the
Commonwealth Games eight times, World Cup Football, the Grand
National and the FA Cup Final.
From 1961 he also regularly presented “Sports Review
of the Year” for many years. He is recorded as the
fastest commentator ever recorded – it was calculated that,
when describing David Hemery’s 400 metre hurdle race at the
1968 Mexico Olympics, he achieved the remarkable rate of 200
words per minute. Since 1984, he has concentrated on athletics
commentary and presented “A Question of Sport”,
the longest-running television quiz programme, for eighteen
He was a leader of the BBC TV team which won the International
Olympic Committee’s Golden Rings Award for the best television
broadcaster at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics – a feat that they
repeated in Sydney. He was awarded the OBE in the New Years
Honours List in 1992 for Services to Broadcasting and The Judges
Award for Sport in the 1996 Royal Television Society Awards.
brought a vibrant expressive style and expansive sporting knowledge
to British television sports reporting for several decades and
is remembered as the leading light in sports commentating. He
died shortly after his 85th birthday in May 2011.
Born in Oldham on the 20th July 1931, Roy Skelton is probably
best known as the voice of the Daleks in the long-running television
cult series “Doctor Who” . He actually served
his early training time at Oldham Rep, after leaving drama school,
and acted as Assistant Stage Manager in Oldham for six months.
Later he joined the Bristol Old Vic as an actor.
He went on to appear in repertory theatre all over the country
before landing a job with the BBC in London in “Music
for You” and “Quick Before They Catch Us” .
During this time Skelton continued his theatre work despite
his television career taking off.
He began to specialise in voice characterisations for children’s’
radio and television shows including the BBC’s puppet show,
“Toytown” , followed by “Picture Book”
and “Take a Chance” .
He also made several films, including “West 11”,
“Girl in My Soup” and “Frenzy”
– one of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces.
But it is probably in the ground-breaking science fiction series
“Doctor Who” , where Skelton created the voices
of the Daleks that he became most celebrated. So successful
were these voice characterisations that he was also offered
subsequent voice parts for the Cybermen and the Krotons.
In the early 1970s he joined the pilot for a new children’s
programme called “Rainbow” , which went on to
run for over 20 years with Skelton creating the distinctive
voices of Zippy and George. In November 2002 he recorded the
single “Its a Rainbow” , which went on to reach
the UK Top 20.
Roy Skelton died at his home in Brighton, East Sussex, on 8
June 2011, after suffering a stroke and is survived by his wife
Hilary and two daughters.
Born Benjamin Gerrard in Littleborough, Rochdale, Ben was a
professional model for a time before joining Channel 4 TV’s
soap series “Hollyoaks” in late 2002. He plays
the role of Cameron, who is his first acting role. Ben originally
auditioned for the role of Jake Dean, (which, needless to say,
he failed to get), before being clled back to play the part
A keen musician, he plays both guitar and drums, and heads up
a 3-piece Pop-Punk band called “Chairmen of the Bored”
which was established in June 2002. The band’s current lineup
includes Ben on vocals and guitar, as well as James Robinson
(Bass, Vocals) and Owen Beard (Drums). The band have recently
signed to Moon Ska Europe. Ben Gerrard is currently also studying
music at college.