Thursday, September 7, 2006


Anne Gregg, one of the first TV personalities from Northern Ireland to make it big on national television, has died. Anne lost a battle against cancer on September 06 2006; she was 66.

Anne was a presenter on UTV's local news magazine programme 'Roundabout'; she was also an announcer at the station. She left Ulster Television to join Anglia TV's 'About Anglia' in 1962, before moving to the BBC in London where she was an in-vision announcer from 1963 until 1964.

She was well known for her work on the 'Holiday' programme from 1980 until 1991. She was also a BBC Radio 4 announcer in 1982.

She returned to Northern Ireland in 1995 as part of the programme 'Places Apart', which she presented.

Gloria Hunniford worked with Anne at Ulster Television and said she had fond memories. "I used to love it when I heard her doing reports about Northern Ireland and speaking so happily of it," she said. "I think she was very proud of her roots."

She took part in 'Going, Going, Gone', an antiques quiz show that resembled America's 'To Tell The Truth'. Three celebs describe the item and give their price for it; two of them would be lying, one would be telling the truth about the object and the price it went for. The players had to decide who was telling the truth. Once decided, there would be recorded coverage of the auction where it was learned what it actually went for. If they were correct they'd win points.

Perhaps due to her connection to 'Holiday', Anne Gregg wrote various travel pieces for magazines, special interest publications, and online sites.

Here are examples from two of her pieces.

On traveling to France by train:
"For me, being able to take the train to France is a revelation. So smooth is Eurostar's exit from Waterloo and zoom under the Channel that there is hardly any sensation of travelling at all. One moment it's the oasthouses of Kent, the next the green swathes of Pas-de-Calais.

You stretch, walk about, buy a coffee, then settle back in comfort to sightsee. Lines of poplars, crops and copses, the spire of a village church, a turreted chateau on a distant hill - La Belle France is unrolling past the window at 186mph without so much as a clickety-clack. You arrive in Paris or Lille, relaxed and ready for anything."

On the open market of Columbia Road:
"Half-seven on a Sunday morning and I'm up, dressed and waiting for my friend's buzz at the doorbell of my Pimlico flat. "Why am I doing this?" I ask myself, looking back longingly at my bed as I shove bad hair under a baseball cap. The answer is Columbia Road - the best plant and flower market in London, and unless you get there soon after 8.00am you risk missing the bargains.

All I want are pots of herbs and fresh flowers, but the lure of this street goes beyond its greenery. Columbia Road, Bethnal Green, is 'Eastenders' in bloom. I go as much for the camaraderie as the camellias, as much for the doughnuts and bagels as for the herbaceous plants ("Three-fifty each, love, two for six quid!")."

I think you can pick out why I chose that second selection.....


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