By Tim Ridgway
Brighton’s very own local TV station is to be blessed ahead of its launch later this month.
Latest TV will go live on Freeview Channel 8, as well as Virgin and on demand online on TV Everywhere, on Thursday 28 August.
Before the launch, the Reverend Martin Poole, of St Luke’s Prestonville in Brighton, will bless the channel’s new studios on Monday 11 August – the day of St Clare, the patron saint of television.
Bill Smith, founder of Latest TV, said: “Brighton is a quirky, vibrant and ultimately a fun place so we wanted to think of something appropriate ahead of our launch.
“When the idea of a blessing was suggested from the Diocese of Chichester we jumped at the chance.
“Ceremonies like this have become very common in people’s homes and work places with even Brighton and Hove Albion getting their stadium blessed.
“We want to thank Martin for taking time out to do this – but we also want to make clear that Latest TV will represent all those in the city, both with faith and without.”
The multi-faith blessing will take place at 2pm on Monday (11 August) in Latest TV’s studio in Manchester Street, Brighton.
As well as saying a blessing in the venue’s two studios and the TV gallery, Mr Poole will bless some of those who make up the Latest TV team.
Mr Poole, who worked in TV for more than 30 years, said: “It’s great to be able to bless our local television station ahead of its launch in Brighton on the very day when the church remembers the patron saint of television.
“St Clare is also patroness of those with sore eyes so I shall be praying that this will not afflict any of those who work at or watch Latest TV. ”
Latest TV in Brighton and Hove was one of the first of 25 cities in the country to be awarded a 12-year local TV licence and will broadcast from studios just yards away from the Palace Pier.
It will be on air seven days a week and up to 24 hours a day, with news and sport at the heart of the channel.
Broadcasting on Freeview Channel 8 and Virgin 159, as well as on demand online, Latest TV will be accessible to 400,000 people across the Greater Brighton area and online on any device to everyone in the UK through TV Everywhere.
Just over a week before Latest TV goes on air for the first time it plans to hold an open day at its Brighton studios.
The station is opening its doors to everyone from TV producers and professionals to local businessmen and women and members of the public on Tuesday 19 August.
The open day, from 10am to 8pm, is intended to give people the chance to find out what local TV offers, to see the new studios and even to be on TV.
For anyone wanting to network over a glass of bubbly, pop in at 6pm.