The 30th Awards were shortly after the 80th Birthday of one of the North East's TV legends...
...so it was decided to mark the occasion with a Special Award. Mike Neville started life as an actor at the Newcastle Playhouse, but joined Tyne Tees TV as a reporter in the early sixties. In 1964 he moved to the BBC's 'Look North' team, and after 32 years became the longest serving main anchor of any BBC regional news programme. Further spells at ITV sealed this, and in June 2006 he retired having (notably) refused to be lured away from his native North East. He was appointed an MBE in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to broadcasting.
His Award was presented to him by Dianne Nelmes, who said:
lt's my absolute privilege to be here marking the landmark birthday of one of the real legends of British broadcasting. He and l first met when I was a reporter on 'Look North'. He was such a mentor and support for me and so many other people who started out in Newcastle and went on to further success with the networks. He was already a big star here in the North East when he joined 'Nationwide' on BBC One, and the rest of the country got to see his amazing talent for ad-libbing and his uniquely warm presentation style.
So, what to get him to mark his landmark birthday? What about a Royal Television Society National Journalism Award to celebrate his unique achievements as a news presenter across five decades? Well, he's had that. What about a Best News Programme Award from the prestigious New York TV Festival? Had that as well. Of course, there's always the Royal Television Society Outstanding Contribution Award. Well, you've guessed — Mike's got that too.
So, Mike, we have this exquisite trophy for you, made specially by Kalki Mansell at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, and it's presented with love from us all in this your 80th Year!