My Up-bringing and Background
My name is Ian Pennell and I live and work near Alston in the lovely North Pennines. I work as a part-time Bookkeeper. I live at the farm where I grew up with my elderly father. My mother passed away in January 2021.
I lived and worked in Lancaster after graduating with a degree in Environmental Science at Lancaster University in 1992. Since then I had a number of jobs, most of which did not make use of my degree. After completing an Accounting course in 2017, I do freelance Book-keeping for local clients.
Experiences with BBC1 North West Tonight in Lancaster and Cumbria
I grew up in rural north-east Cumbria and also lived in or near Lancaster for many years. I am thus familiar with issues affecting rural life and communities in northern North West England. This gives me an insight into what folk in this rural northern half of North West England think about. City-based corporations like the BBC and ITV.Plc (ITV1 Border being the one exception) have limited understanding of rural Northern Britain: Regional TV broadcasters often overlook large rural areas like Cumbria and the rural issues. This is simply because their populations are lower and they do not vie for the attention that populated urban areas get.
I have sought trying to rectify the short-comings in Regional Television in large rural areas of the North like Cumbria for years. My concern was first raised after seeing BBC1 North West Tonight chop Cumbria off the map back in 1991: That was when I was studying at Lancaster University. Thereafter I could not find out what was going on nearer home (in North Cumbria) from BBC1 North West Tonight. Moreover, there was also little coverage of North Lancashire and South Cumbria, but much of coverage of Manchester, Liverpool and Cheshire!