My Top Five: Celebrity Encounters

As you might imagine, working at a TV station like UNC-TV allows a person to meet any number of celebrities, big and small. Some have appeared as guests on original programming we produce, others have assisted with on-air fund drives to promote their own shows. Some have stopped by to take part in events and others were just passing through. Regardless of how they got here, an encounter with someone whose name recognition far exceeds my own can range from run-of-the-mill to downright thrilling.

So I thought I’d put together My Top Five Public Television Celebrity Encounters. These only include folks I met in person – someone I talked with face to face, rather than just stood with in the same room (otherwise Julia Child and Bill Nye would be on the list). Also, the list does not include people with public broadcasting connections whom I met outside of work at, say, a Doctor Who convention (Elisabeth Sladen and Jon Pertwee, for example). And I obviously do not include celebrities that stopped by UNC-TV if I did not meet them in person (oh so close, James Taylor and Nathan Lane!).

Regardless, it’s a fun list. All these lovely people I did get to say hello to at least once. So enjoy MY TOP FIVE: PUBLIC TELEVISION CELEBRITY ENCOUNTERS. Continue reading

Hey, It’s Photo Friday

A little piece of UNC-TV’s past (in fact, I’m not sure exactly how far back this goes) – it’s a Woodwright’s Shop smock! Just perfect for holding tools while you lathe.

If memory serves, this was a promotional item found in a box of Woodwright’s Shop goodies that was given away to underwriters, donors and the like – probably as long ago as the early 1980s. Sadly, the box and other items are long gone but the smock remains.

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Hey, It’s Photo Friday!

One of the key jewels in the UNC-TV crown is The Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill. Now in its 35th season, The Woodwright’s Shop is produced here at UNC-TV and presented on PBS stations throughout the country. However, in the off season, the Woodwright set sits idle – idle but never boring.

I snapped these pictures of the Woodwright Shop sans the usual woodworking activity. And, yes, that is a cardboard Roy standing guard.

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Hey, It’s Photo Friday!

I don’t know who owns it. I don’t know where it came from. I just know that this Roy Underhill bobblehead is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my time here at UNC-TV.

It currently occupies a space in our Network Operations Center and if we haven’t offered this thing up as a premium during pledge we’ve made a serious error in my opinion.

The Classic Cut-Up In Miniature.

The Classic Cut-Up In Miniature.

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Axing Philosophical

Wow. Where does the time go? For those of us who have been with UNC-TV for an appreciable amount of time, numbers like this hit us hard. However, it may surprise more than a few to know The Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill begins its 35th season this weekend.

Thirty-five years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive (don’t fact check that – my ego can’t take the blow). But that’s a fantastic milestone for any series. That The Woodwright’s Shop is a UNC-TV production only adds pride to the mix.

For my money, a successful how-to show has to appeal to viewers that have absolutely no interest in the technique being shown. And for three and a half decades, Roy has crafted traditional woodworking projects with skill and humor, making exceptional TV for anyone who works with wood or just enjoys a skillfully constructed half hour of television.

Join public television’s classic cut-up, Roy Underhill, as he celebrates 35 years in The Woodwright’s Shop. Saturdays at 4 on UNC-TV.

The Woodwright's Shop with Roy Underhill begins its 35th season on UNC-TV.

The Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill celebrates 35 years on UNC-TV.