Fundraising launched for Simon Albu

The ATV senior cameraman became front-page news in the early 1980s when his daughter became a ‘soap first’.

“Unfortunately Covid-19 has effected my family, like so many others, financially very badly. My partner Tom and I work in events, doing children’s birthday parties and events such as sports days and theatre working with children with special needs. Sadly there is very little celebration right now and simply no work for us.” – Emily Albu

Simon Albu passed away unexpectedly on Friday 23rd October from stomach cancer. His daughter Emily notes that he ‘was not aware of how unwell he was and neither were we.’ With the ongoing global issues this year, it has also led to the family not being in quite the financial place they’d like to be – the television industry and performing arts hit hard this year – so are fund-raising to give Simon a fitting farewell in these difficult times.

“Due to Covid-19 I cannot give my Father the funeral he deserves. It will be as beautiful as I can make it however there are so many restrictions especially with the number of loved ones who can attend. I know a great number of his friends and work colleagues would want to be there and I would want you all there with all my heart.

“With this in mind we will hold a small family funeral on Friday 20th November and my plan is to hold a beautiful memorial next year when hopefully the Virus will be a distant memory and invite you all to that to celebrate my Father’s life. We are hoping to plant a tree for him with a plaque and possibly a memorial bench in his favourite place…”- Emily Albu

Emily, with mum Lynette at the Central studios. Emily’s character of Katy Louise was soaps first test-tube baby.

Simon, a senior broadcast cameraman at ATV and Central Television, became part of Crossroads’ story when in 1983 his daughter Emily was cast by producer Jack Barton to play soap opera’s first test-tube created baby following an IVF storyline. The plot starred Emily’s mother Lynette McMorrough – Glenda Banks in the show – along with actor David Moran who played on-screen hubby Kevin.

Simon, Lynette, Emily and David were thrown into the spotlight due to the ground-breaking nature of the storyline as well as the family connections behind-the-scenes proving a ‘good story’ for the press.

Emily with parents Simon Albu and Lynette McMorrough at the height of the media interest.

Several newspapers ran headlines about Simon and Lynette’s baby becoming a ‘test tube star’ and the plot, also controversial for the time, featured on ITV News. While it was a brief public outing for Simon he had long been part of ATV, joining the company in 1973.

He had studied television production at West Surrey College and first worked professionally as a stills photographer for research lab in the early seventies. Joining ATV at their Birmingham studios Simon worked on many of the programmes made at the centre and remained with the facilities through their change in 1982 into Central Television and remained with the ITV midland broadcaster and production company until 1991.

In recent years Simon had a spell with Ideal World television as a Director/Vision Mixer and a successful career as a freelance director, vision mixer and cameraman.

“It has been such a great source of comfort since his passing to have received such an outpouring of love and support from his friends and colleagues” – Emily Albu

To support the family at this time please visit the Go Fund Me page.

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