A 1967 series from Ulster TV called 'Zoom In', conceived by Gordon Burns of 'Krypton
Factor' fame, was originally planned to be two 'filler' shows called 'Zoom In' and
'Zoom Out' but was sufficiently successful to be given a run in the 7.00pm prime
time-slot. Co-produced by Tony Eames, it featured both Irish showbands and visiting
English artists with two regular go-go dancers and the studio audience. The show
also contained comedy sketches featuring DJ Hendi (Michael Henderson).
Michael "Hendi" Henderson is a Northern Irish broadcaster, best known for his voiceover
work on UTV and a weekly radio programme on Belfast-based radio station U105.
Henderson began his broadcasting career in the mid-1960s, working for the BBC Northern
Ireland Home Service on various programmes, mainly as a presenter on a programme
called Soundings. He became a well-known figure on the local club and disco scene,
as well as a guest presenter for many BBC Radio 1 roadshows in Northern Ireland.
In 1968, he made his television debut, starring in an Ulster Television music series
called Zoom In, produced by Gordon Burns (later presenter of The Krypton Factor)
and Tony Eames.
About the question "who devised Zoom In on UTV?" Well, er, I did! Brilliant wasn't
it? Originally it was just two programmes to fill a couple of spare slots so I called
them Zoom In and Zoom Out - pretty slick huh? They were deemed a success so a series
followed in a peak 7pm evening slot. I hauled in my old East Antrim Times mate and
very good friend Tony Eames to co produce, decided on Zoom In (rather than Out) as
the permanent title and it proved to be a success. It was a sort of Top of the Pops
style show. We featured Irish showbands like The Freshmen and visiting English groups
( I remember we had the Equals and the Foundations amongst others). There was dancing
in the studio with Ulster's young set turning up in their micro mini skirts to shake
it about. We only wanted the good-lookers near the cameras so we designated a "grot
corner" to where Tony and I, watching on a monitor from an office, directed the floor
manager via his headset to despatch all ugly women! (Would never be allowed to today!!).
The programme also featured funny sketches written by Tony and me and starring DJ
Hendi (Michael Henderson). It was the best fun in the world and ran for two series.
Oh yes, and we also had two regular go-go dancers who did a slot each week - usually
terrible but they had VERY short skirts and we shot it from VERY low angles. I have
pics somewhere! Those were days of pioneering TV huh?