1985 – 1999, 2007 – 2008, 2010 – 2012
(Revised February 2021)
Fountain TV – best known for running the giant Studio 5 at Wembley – began in 1985 with far more humble roots here in Cocks Crescent, New Malden (stop that sniggering at the back!) The name ‘Fountain’ came from a pub located near the studios on the town’s main roundabout. The building was originally a community centre before becoming a TV studio. It was about 55ft x 45ft (2,500 sq ft). The lighting grid was an unusual arrangement of catwalks with bars attached to each side of them – rather like a studio theatre.
Once Fountain took over, the studio was mostly kept going by one show – Ready Steady Cook – but Food and Drink was also made here for at least one series. Adam Paull tells me he worked on the children’s series Wizadora in 1996 and the pilot for Brass Eye was also shot here. Vision mixer Simon King informs me that he worked on 7 episodes of Rainbow here in December 1993, made by Tetra Films and directed by Paul Cole. Simon recalls that lunchtimes at Fountain were always a pleasure since the food was excellent and a glass of wine was included. Happy days.
In 1994 the business purchased Wembley studios but this studio remained in operation until it was closed in 1999. Ready Steady Cook moved to Capital Studios.
The building became the HQ of hire company Presteign from 1999 until December 2005. Presteign have now become Presteign Charter and are based near Gatwick Airport.
In 2007 The studio was taken over by Musflash TV and completely upgraded. They equipped it with 6 x Thomson LDK300 cameras. Musflash was a company that ran a music channel on Sky’s digital service. They made music programmes here for their own channel like Unsigned and Spotlight but also offered the studio for general hire. Sadly, the investment did not pay off and they went out of business early in March 2008.
The building was then purchased by Barratt Homes who intended to redevelop the site and build flats but the planning application was withdrawn in 2010. Barratt rented the studio to TV channel Revelation TV. This is an evangelical Christian channel originally run by Howard Conder who started his working life as drummer with the Barron Knights and Joe Brown and the Bruvvers. Fancy that.
Barratt drew up new plans and told Revelation that they had to leave by June 2012. The studio was demolished and flats constructed on the site. Revelation TV is now apparently based in studios in Spain.