The Goldmine Centre, Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)

Countdown to TV station launch in Walsall

The Goldmine Centre, Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)
The Goldmine Centre, Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)

A brand-new television station is all set to launch in Walsall this Saturday evening – and it plans to cover Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull from its studios in the heart of the town!

Big Centre TV will broadcast digitally to an estimated 2.3 million viewers across the region, from the Goldmine Centre in Lower Hall Lane, where it has joined forces with Walsall Studio School to get a full programme of local and regional news, light entertainment, comedy, cultural and music shows, children’s programming and nostalgic TV including re-runs of the much-loved West Midlands-based ATV soap ‘Crossroads’, all ‘on the air’ via Freeview Channel 8.

Ofcom’s broadcast licensing committee awarded the TV licence to Kaleidoscope TV, which is the holding company for Big Centre TV, following the failure of City TV in 2014.

The auditorium in use as a studio at Big Centre TV in Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)
The auditorium in use as a studio at Big Centre TV in Walsall (pic: Stuart Williams)

The new station is the brainchild of enthusiastic co-owners veteran ATV and Central newscaster Mike Prince and ex-teacher Chris Perry, who is the channel director at Big Centre TV.  Their enthusiasm is shared equally by Peter Stack, creative director and head of Sixth Form at Walsall Studio School, Dan Parkes, the school’s principal, and Kevin Davis, CEO of the Vine Trust Group, which runs the Goldmine Centre.

A wealth of experience as well as the latest  technical expertise is behind this new breed of local broadcaster.  Well-known ex-Central TV sports broadcaster Bob Hall is head of news and sport while Shropshire journalist Jennifer Meierhans and Birmingham broadcaster Marverine Cole are senior news producers.  Technical, production and studio staff and a team of roving video news journalists provide the skills needed to get the show crackling across the digital airwaves to homes across the region.

Legendary radio DJ and broadcaster David ‘Diddie’ Hamilton also has a regular chat show with some fascinating guests already ‘in the can’ and more to come.  Audiences are invited to selected shows, with notifications on the station’s Facebook page and presumably via their website, which is also launching on Saturday.

The David Hamilton Show being recorded last Saturday, with guest actress Madeline Smith (pic: Stuart Williams)
The David Hamilton Show being recorded with guest actress Madeline Smith (pic: Stuart Williams)

The station is sharing a media studio, presentation suite and four hundred seat auditorium – which also doubles up as a studio – with the school, and as a result students will benefit from valuable professional experience gained through the partnership.

As well as lighting and sound equipment, the station has the use of broadcast-quality cameras and a ‘TriCaster’ green screen production system, allowing the use of virtual backgrounds for factual programming and news.

A preview is already being shown on Freeview 8. Viewers will probably need to re-tune their Freeview boxes or TVs to pick up the channel initially.  It is not currently on Sky or Virgin.

Regular scheduled programmes will be broadcast by Big Centre TV seven days a week from 6pm on Saturday 28 February 2015, and the station also plans to make programmes viewable online.  Check out their website and Freeview’s programme guide for scheduling.

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