‘Meanness of spirit’: Anglia TV bringing back BC, but snubs his companion

PUBLISHED: 13:58 23 October 2019 | UPDATED: 14:09 23 October 2019

Helen McDermott with BC. 

Photo: Archant

Helen McDermott with BC. Photo: Archant

Archant © 2008

A former ITV Anglia presenter has spoken out after her ex-employer arranged to bring back a beloved character she introduced to the channel – but not her with it.

Helen McDermott and puppet BC from ITV Anglia's Birthday Club. Picture: ArchantHelen McDermott and puppet BC from ITV Anglia's Birthday Club. Picture: Archant

Much-loved puppet BC, known to viewers of the Birthday Club on Anglia TV in the 1980s, will be returning to screens for the broadcaster's 60th anniversary show on Friday, October 25.

But former ITV Anglia journalist Helen McDermott, who came up with the idea to include the puppet on the show and presented with BC for many years, has not been invited.

ITV Anglia said it was keeping the anniversary show "affectionate but concise".

Ms McDermott said Anglia's choice to involve BC but not her in the celebration had been "surprising".

Former Mustard TV presenter Helen McDermott. Photo: ArchantFormer Mustard TV presenter Helen McDermott. Photo: Archant

"It is a bit of meanness of spirit - after all, I am the one who introduced him," she said.

"At the time BC was something quite associated with Anglia and you would think that if they are going to bring it back they would bring back the person who introduced it.

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"I think it is a shame. Perhaps BC has moved on from me."

BC first came to ITV Anglia in late 1980 after Ms McDermott, then a continuity announcer at the broadcaster, pushed to introduce him to the channel's daily Birthday Club slot.

Ms McDermott recently approached ITV Anglia about resurrecting BC for an online Birthday Club, but she said she was told by Anglia staff that the broadcaster had "moved on" from the puppet.

"But clearly they have moved on from me, but not BC," she said.

Mike Talbot, head of news at ITV Anglia, said: "We're delighted we have managed to lure BC out of retirement to wish Anglia a very happy 60th birthday. He will play a cameo role in our programme at 6pm on Friday and he is looking forward to meeting one of our weather presenters, Chris Page.

"Anglia's 50th birthday celebrations included a host of the station's well-loved celebrities - including Helen McDermott. Ten years on, ITV News Anglia is treating its growing audience to an affectionate - but concise - glimpse back over its six decades serving the East of England."

But Ms McDermott disputed the claim that she had attended the 50th anniversary celebrations, saying she did not receive an invitation.

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