Election '87

Battleground Computer / Gill Smith / Steve Walmsley / Antony Reynolds / Jim Easterbrook

In 1987 I worked in the Computer Graphics Workshop at TV Centre for four months on the "Election '87" programme. This featured a "battleground" display, used by Peter Snow to show the progress of each party on their hit lists of marginal constituencies.

The display comprised 6 high brightness video back projectors, seamlessly illuminating a large screen. These projectors were connected to a MEiKO "computing surface" with 6 video cards and a few more processors. As one of the few people in the BBC who could write OCCAM (I'd been on a course a few weeks earlier) I was asked to help program the beast.

Working on a real TV programme was a huge contrast to normal life at Kingswood Warren. I'm used to much more flexible deadlines. The picture shows a still from the closing credits from the Friday afternoon followup programme. Many people worked on the election coverage, and I was struck with the professionalism and dedication of them all.

Disclaimer: these are my personal views and not those of the BBC.