Alright leaving me!
An all purpose get out for those moments of forgetfulness that cause potential mayhem.

Times and dates I can’t remember but it was a quiet afternoon on shift 1, so Nigel Cook and I decided to try a bit of edit practice. The only free machine with editing capability was VT14, the AVR1 instant start 2 inch. Now this machine was never used for editing so it would be an interesting technical exercise to see if we could line it up to edit. We found a tape and turned on the editor. “Did BBC1 just frame roll” “Funny it seemed to do it when you turned the editor on. Try turning it off”. Predictably BBC1 did another frame roll! Just to be sure it wasn’t a coincidence we checked again and sure enough every time the editor was turned on or off BBC1 did a frame roll. “Might be a good idea to stop pressing that button and look busy elsewhere for a bit” The cause was: VT14 had earlier transmitted titles for a horse racing OB and rather unwisely the OB had stayed locked to VT14 for the rest of the afternoon.

John Ramsden

Recording on one of the two machines (with very cloggy tapes) an episode of the original "Forsyte Saga", for some fifteen minutes with the Kellogg key switched to Sawtooth and Tone. Before I had a chance to reveal my sins to the Eng.Man, the director had  exploded in anger with the actors and ordered the Production back to top and restarting. A very sweaty TA slid under the desk mouthing "There is a God".
Denis Kelly

I have to add another of my confessions to that of Denis (above). I was in VT 2, VR2000, super new desk, recording from the Brighton Conference (that one) and an interview had been set up between Robin Day and George Brown. We turned over and the interview started. I checked the sound incoming and all was well. However, listening at machine out, there was tone!!!!! A quick check revealed that I still had tone selected - I rang the OB and asked if they could re-start as 'we had a problem'. Robin asked George who went potty and stormed out! Doug appeared from the control room as Stanley Hyland had telexed him to find out what had gone wrong
Chris Booth

The date is a bit hazy but I think it would be the early 70’s. I was condemned to a spell in Tape Servicing as per rota for TA’s in those days.
My partner in this crime I think was one of the Pete’s, either Pete Sandison or Pete Spink, not sure maybe someone else will confirm.
Well we know how boring a job this was so when it got to that point I decided it would be a good idea to use the rather wobbly machine that had appeared at the back of the room which was colloquially know as ‘The Italian Job’. For the benefit of others, this was a dodgy Italian made contraption, which was meant to service 2” videotape by spooling it at some speed past some air blown columns and some fixed heads. I don’t think it ever worked, but my main interest in it was the rather powerful spooling motors which we could use to spool off tapes onto a flangeless hub and junk them.
Of course it would have been too easy and equally boring just to lace it up and do that; so a challenge was envisaged to thread the tape around a bit before wrapping onto the flangeless hub. Sooo, first it went across the room and through a handle on a 19” bay door, then onto the front panel of the first VR1000 and through the chrome handles and then onto the second VR1000, across the room again to another bay and finally through the loop handle on the entrance door before going onto the take up spool. It all looked reasonably feasible so I pressed the go button and stood back to see what the out come would be.
Well there was a fair bit of friction in this arrangement so even the Italian Job had a bit of a struggle winding up to speed but as it did so the tape started flapping a bit and the machine was shaking about quite a lot. Just when I was beginning to loose my nerve on this enterprise, and before I could stop it, the entrance door opened to reveal Dah..Dah…Daaa; Charles Paton the Head of the Department. Was it his reddish complexion or just his Scottish-ness which made him always seem angry and formidable? Anyway this time luck was on our side, as the door opened it broke the tension on this preposterous loop and the tape snapped; by the time he saw into the room it was wildly thrashing around in all directions. CP characteristically said something like, "eeh what’s going on laddie". For once I summoned up an instant excuse and said we were just using the machine to spool off a tape and it seemed to have gone wrong!! He responded by saying we shouldn’t have been using it as it hadn’t passed safety tests and ordered it to be covered up until it had. Unbelievably we seemed to have got away with it. At least I think we did, who knows, he may have sussed the jape all along and decided to say nothing rather than sack us both.

Alan Dixon, still a BBC Editor.

The Irish Video Disc. A regular booking for the Video Disc engineer was horse racing. This was generally quite a relaxing booking, often with the added bonus of Harold Anderson buying teas after a successful betting session. This particular event here was racing from Dublin which, I think, Grandstand was taking for the afternoon (it might have been bad weather conditions over here). At the end of the first race the PA cued up on the final corner before the finish and waited on a freeze for the studio to cue him. They cut to the disc, but hardly had the words "....and run" come over the talkback than the whole replay sized up and collapsed into an amazing stepping error (flashing alternate frames from all over the four surfaces of the discs). Studio cut away and the investigation started. It turned out that the Irish OB had taken our replay ....... off air from the Northern Ireland transmitter - quite a sync howlround!!!
Chris Booth

Another incident from the 1960s. It was Saturday and Grandstand. This was before things like hexaplexers and sync working were invented and in the days when everyone (even me) maintained the machines. VT7 (VR1000C) had been on maintenance for the morning and was due to join the programme after lunch. The engineer for the day (I think it was Clive Dobson) had been having his sandwiches and watching an incoming OB: when time for lineup came he turned up the talkback and sent lineup to VT Control (sawtooth and tone in those days). As soon as he did that the talkback erupted and the Grandstand studio output went to sawtooth and tone. Clive cancelled lineup and the studio output returned to normal. It turned out that the studio were taking their feed of the OB via VT7, not direct!
Chris Booth