In early 1994, I was approached by a man named Sir David English, one of the greatest newspapermen and journalists in British history.
He was going to build the first 24-hour TV news channel in London.
It would be called Channel One.
It was going to be all-VJ.
By August 1994, I was in London, taking the VJs through a very intensive 12-week training course to get them ready for air.
No one had ever done anything like this before. Many of the VJs, while journalists, had no prior TV experience. This was the way we wanted it. Today, 14 years later, most of them have gone on to very impressive careers. Rachel Ellison, one of our first VJs, is now an MBE (Member of the British Empire – this is a very big deal), Rachel now runs her own executive motivational presentation consultancy after many years at The BBC. Julia Caeasar is a BBC Business correspondent. Marcel Theroux is a broadcast journalist working with a number of independents for Channel 4. Just last week he reported a special on Art and Russian multi-millionaires. And Nick Pollard resigned from head of sky News in 2006. David Dunkley Gymiah has gone on to become the pre-eminent VJ in the UK.
I have been following David’s career for years, but yesterday I got an email from him.
Julian Aston (who ran Channel One – along with Nick Pollard, who today runs Sky News), had a small reunion of some of the original Channel One VJs.
David wrote about it in his publication Viewmagazine.tv
He also appended a video that I had never seen before.
It’s a rough cut (with time code burn ins) of the launch of Channel One.
Fourteen years ago.
It’s pretty funny to watch.