Saturday 13 February 2016


It seems like the UK's film and television studios are closing thick and fast... falling victim to the housing boom that makes the land they're sitting on worth more than their income from being media production centres.

I took a walk down the river last year to take these pictures of the former Thames Television studios at Teddington just after they closed but just before the demolition work began.

The studios were originally built for film but were converted for TV use when ITV opened for business. They played host to Thames Television from 1969 until the company lost its ITV franchise in the early 1990s. Although the company continued as an independent producer,  it no longer needed these riverside facilities and they became an independent business. They were later purchased by Pinewood... and then, thanks to their prime position, sold for redevelopment. 

Most Thames TV shows were made in these studios (and often utilised the surrounding area for handy locations) although they also had smaller studios, along with offices, near Great Portland Street tube station on central London's Euston Road (Capital Radio were their neighbours and ITV Publications not far away on Tottenham Court Road). Weirdly, I sat exams in those former Thames offices because my university (pressed for space during extensive refurbishment works) hired them as temporary exam "halls" after Thames moved out. They were demolished shortly thereafter. My university library was located opposite the former ITN House, vacant at the time but now (you guessed it) flats. 

For a look inside Teddington in the late 1990s, seek out the episode 'Hostage' from CI5: THE NEW PROFESSIONALS. The long overlooked revival of the LWT original used Teddington as a production base and, to save money, one episode revolves around a hostage situation that just happens to take place at a TV studio. Interiors and exteriors are seen throughout. 

1 comment:

  1. One time I visited a TV studio and I am really amazed how creative they are and the design was awesome. It was really amazing and there's a "wow factor".


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