Pictured above: Bob Warman and Chris Tarrant
A very special fun evening at Birmingham Repertory Theatre has raised a substantial sum for the Journalists’ Charity, with the receipts still being counted.
Billed as a Night of Stars, it featured a Jasper Carrott and Friends compilation marking ITV newscaster Bob Warman’s near 50 years in television.
A legend in the regional media, the now retired ‘Mr Midlands’ has seen it all down the years.
His life and times were reprised with tributes, anecdotes, iconic moments, embarrassing escapades, a spotlight on the mischief and mayhem behind big personalities, and a trawl through all our yesterdays.
Performers included Jasper himself, Chris Tarrant, Tony Christie, Ruby Turner, Don Maclean, Alistair McGowan, Bobby Davro, Nick Owen, Gary Newbon, Des Coleman, Llewela Bailey, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, tribute band Strictly ABBA, The Theatre Workshop, based at Harborne Academy, plus video links with Roy Wood, of Wizard, and Sameena Ali-Khan, from Central News.
It had a hugely enthusiastic, spellbound audience swaying and singing along to the music and convulsed in laughter at the jokes.
The Centenary Square venue was simply humming. The 850 tickets had sold out within 24 hours of going on sale, something of a record for the Rep.
Also in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice, like the Journalists Charity, dear to Bob’s heart.
Bob, who retired last summer, was one of ITV’s longest-serving news anchors and had presented regional news in the Central/Midlands region since 1973. He is a long-standing member of the Journalists’ Charity Midlands committee and is a Vice President of the Charity
He joined ITV in the days of Central’s predecessor ATV, the same year that saw the end of the American war in Vietnam and Britain joining the Common Market, subsequently covering every kind of story – from the Birmingham pub bombings to the closure of the Longbridge car works as well as fronting up charity marathons.
Along the way, there was a two-year spell on Yorkshire Television, and being co-presenter of the very first breakfast television programme, a three-month pilot that led to the establishment of TV-AM.
He said: “It has been quite a journey and I loved every minute of it. This was a chance for me to reminisce with friends, give something back and make a bit of cash for those who need a helping hand.”
Jasper, whose wife Hazel, like Bob, started out in regional newspapers, added: “Bob is a pal. Generations of viewers have admired his calm demeanour, authoritative presence and impeccable manners. We felt it right that those of us who tread the boards should mark his television curtain call.”
Main sponsor was recruitment group Pertemps whose president Tim Watts – who has been a generous supporter of the charity for many years – and wife June attended.
Producer was ITV reporter Andy Bevan.