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BBC Points West

The latest news, sport, weather and features from the West of England.

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07/02/2011

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Broadcast today, 18:30 on BBC One (West only) and available soon on BBC iPlayer.

The latest news, sport, weather and features from the West of England.

Featured

Latest weather forecast - Monday to Friday only

Presenter profiles

More on the people who bring you BBC Points West.

Chris Vacher

Chris is the BBC's longest running regional TV presenter having fronted Points West since 1983. He's been named Regional TV Personality of the Year by the Royal Television Society and recognised with a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chris was brought up near Axminster on the Somerset-Devon border. He was educated at Sherborne School and the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth where he joined the Navy in 1969 as a seaman officer.

Among the skills he acquired during his time in the Navy were ocean navigation, aircraft control and Russian interpreting. He also completed a course in resistance to interrogation. Something, he says, that has become useful since becoming a TV interviewer!

In 1982 after a year in the Radio Bristol newsroom, Chris turned to television and became a freelance reporter while also doing some basic newsreading. He became one of the team presenting BBC Points West in 1983.

Alex Lovell

"There never was a master plan for my career," says Alex. "Other than to work hard, enjoy it and make the most of opportunities as they came along - but in the event it has followed a logical sequence."

The result has been a long, hard apprenticeship with a rich variety of experience.

After working on a live shopping channel, Alex became host to Channel Five's Brainteaser.

By now, her work was centred in Bristol and she was spending more and more time away from her base in London, so Points West became part of her routine relaxation after work.

"When I heard there was an opportunity to join the team, I put in an immediate application. The BBC has always represented, for me, the peak of my ambition and I was ready for another sharp learning curve, this time into the field of journalism. I thought I could demonstrate the dedication and experience necessary to do the job and was over the moon to be given the chance to prove it," says Alex.

She especially enjoys the job when she has the chance to interact with West Country viewers. "They certainly know their own minds and provide the most wonderful responses," adds Alex.

David Garmston

After a few hopeless years working in insurance, where he managed to lose his company a small fortune, David persuaded a local newspaper editor to give him a job as a trainee reporter.

There followed a stint at the Sevenoaks Chronicle where he did obits, fetes and parish council meetings, before he moved to a bigger newspaper, The Gloucestershire Echo, where he reported on much the same things.

David managed to pass his professional qualifications, amazingly coming joint top in the UK, and felt emboldened to leap into broadcasting. His first port of call was at Radio West, a commercial station in his home city of Bristol. He reported, read the news and left shortly before the company folded. By luck, David was offered three weeks work at BBC Points West in 1985 and nobody seems to have noticed that he should have gone.

During that time he has enjoyed a front row seat as the history of the West Country has unfolded, covering many of the region's biggest stories for nearly 30 years.

These days he divides his time between reporting and presenting Points West during the week and the Politics Show on Sunday afternoons. When off duty, he spends much of his time day dreaming, thinking up ideas for novels and promising that he will run a half marathon... but not just yet.

Richard Angwin

Your expert guide to the weather, local events and even the goings-on in the night sky. Richard covers a lot in his forecasts and also in his day: Four TV broadcasts in the studio and out, plus updates on BBC Local Radio in the West and online too.

Richard's interest in the weather started during geography lessons at grammar school. After A levels he joined the Met Office as a weather observer in 1979 and spent the first 10 years of his career at RAF Lyneham, Exeter Airport and RAF Honington.

During this time Richard gained further A levels and an HNC in Maths and Physics. He started a forecasting course in 1990 and then spent the next 10 years as a forecaster for the Bristol Weather Centre.

When the centre closed in 2000, Richard became permanently based at the BBC. He began his broadcasting career in 1994 and in addition to four daily television forecasts on BBC Points West, he also provides radio broadcasts for the BBC's Local Radio stations and websites in the West.

Andrew Plant

Andrew presents our weekend bulletins and started working in the West Country in 2006.

He had worked in several different places before - Nottingham, Birmingham, Cambridge and the Channel Islands.

He grew up constantly 'borrowing' his grandad's video camera and filming little films - and then making his family watch them back! So he knew he wanted to work in television from an early age.

Andrew took a masters degree in journalism at Nottingham Trent University and then freelanced as much as he could to get his first job in news. Now he gets to use those camera skills for real - often filming and editing television news stories for Points West. Andrew also loves the presenting side of his job though - live television and breaking stories are an exciting part of working for the BBC. The hours are long and there is real pressure - but Andrew says that he wouldn't swap it for any other career.

When he's not working he can often be seen puffing and panting his way round Ashton Court - or trying to play football for the BBC five-a-side team.

Points West Recipe Challenge

Alex Murray - Head Chef at Bordeaux Quay in Bristol has created a "Winter Warmer" West Country recipe especially for Points West viewers. If you want to try making it at home - here's a step by step guide.

PAN FRIED GLOUCESTERSHIRE PORK LOIN WITH A SOMERSET
CIDER SAUCE, PANCETTA & CABBAGE

Approximate preparation time 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 4 people):
600-800 g pork loin cut into steaks
1 ½ shallot, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 small Autumn King Cabbage, sliced
2 slices diced pancetta streaky bacon
1 cup double cream
1 pint Somerset Cider
Lemon Juice
Chopped parsley
Capers
Salt & Pepper

Method:

1. Sweat off 1 ½ shallot and 1 garlic clove. Add cider and reduce.
2. Fry pork loin approximately 3 minutes on each side. Cook to safe. Leave to rest. Keep pan.
3. Fry pancetta in oil. Cook cabbage with garlic in water. Add to pancetta.
4. De-glaze pork frying pan, add to sauce.
5. Finish sauce by adding double cream. Simmer to thicken. Add capers and parsley. Season to taste, lemon juice to lift.
6. Put cabbage on plate, pork on top. Drizzle sauce around.

Contact Us

Telephone: 0117 973 2211

E-mail: pointswest@bbc.co.uk

BBC Points West
Broadcasting House
Whiteladies Road
Bristol
BS8 2LR

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