The Butchers


A 1961 visit to the film editing department at Television House

From Fusion 19, Associated-Rediffusion’s house magazine, published June 1961


The butchers is the nickname commonly given to film editors by programme directors. It is, of course, untrue. They only carve things up (either themselves or film). They make joints but don’t sell them. Here is the chief butcher, Charlie Squires, supervising editor. He wears the hat on ‘bubble’ (overtime). Fusion’s photographer caught him saying: ‘Of course they can have it in two minutes’. He meant the hat not the film.

Film editors earn a fantastic salary – ‘a table for two’, says Beryl Wilkins to the Savoy.

Film editors enjoy a joke, especially when they have lost the neg. (Ray Jordan, Stewart Hall, Bob Hathway, Ray Helm).

Film editors are always ready to oblige. ‘What’s out of sync’, asks David Gill as Rosemary MacLoughlin (who has heard it all before) looks on.

Film editors always see the sunny side – even when working on a feature programme (Johnny Zambardi).

Film editors are never surprised. ‘Who put cyanide in my tea?’ asks Ena Davidson.

Film editors thrive on work (Mike Taylor).

Film editors dislike interruptions. ‘I’ll give you 10 seconds to get out of here then I start shooting’, say David Hodgson while John Bevan carries on regardless.

Film editors never have a moment’s relaxation. Mike Batchelor feels his pounding heart while Brian Freemantle sympathises.

About the author

'Fusion' was the quarterly staff magazine for Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion Television employees.

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