BBC1 is sticking to what it’s good at with its new Consumer Show - part
of the revamped morning schedule replacing the dumped Good Morning with
Anne and Nick.
The 40-minute Consumer Show, which is still only a working title, will
broadcast daily at 11 am from 14 October.
Programme editor Huw Marks, has moved to Birmingham’s Pebble Mill centre
from London, where he was editor of BBC Radio 4 and 5 Live magazine
programmes. But he returns each weekend to London and his wife and three
It was Nationwide that gave Liverpool-born and north Wales bred Marks
his first foot in the door at the BBC when he sold the programme a story
about six firemen during the 1970s service strike. He had been working
as a reporter for North West Newspapers, which he joined straight from
school, and had covered the story for the Evening Leader in Chester.
The story resulted in Marks being offered a short term contract at the
BBC, and he has worked there sporadically for 15 years.
According to Marks, the Consumer Show will have shades of Watchdog, Top
Gear and the Clothes Show. He also wants to bring some of the strengths
of the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World and Countryfile.
‘It will be trying to provide information in its most general sense but
will go beyond what things do and cost. It will also be entertaining and
informative. The danger with consumer shows is the potential whinge
factor. There is always the slight danger that you can get to the end of
the programme and think that life is not worth living. I want people to
come from the programme and feel they have learned something,’ says
‘It will also be interactive TV as we will have helplines, references
to pages on Ceefax and on the Internet.’
The move to the Consumer Show is a departure for Marks, who has worked
mainly in news and current affairs. His previous positions have included
assistant editor for the Six O’Clock News, One O’Clock News and
Breakfast Time and current affairs film producer for Newsnight and
Nationwide. He also worked in Australia for commercial station Channel 9
and national broadcaster ABC.
He was part of the senior launch team on BBC Radio 5 Live, where he was
behind programmes such as Parkinson on Sport and Women on Top, and was
editor of Radio 4’s You and Yours.
‘What I enjoyed about Radio 5 Live was bringing the sports and news
teams together. If I was 15 years younger I would like to cover sport,’
says Marks, who is a huge Everton fan.
Marks says he doesn’t miss the constant grind of hard news and current
affairs and is enjoying the change of pace from the daily agenda
setting. On the Consumer Show he will be overseeing a team of 40 people
but is determined to contribute ideas to the programme.
‘Obviously I can’t get involved with the nitty gritty because I am not
tied to the day-to-day agenda, but I like to be involved with editorial
as it’s the most exciting part of the job - the bit that gets the
adrenalin going,’ says Marks.
1984 Film producer, Newsnight
1986 Output editor, BBC Breakfast News
1992 Output editor, BBC Six O’Clock News
1994 Launch team, BBC Radio 5 Live
1996 Editor, Consumer Show