My former colleague Freddie Slade, who has died aged 91, was the principal film dubbing mixer with Associated-Rediffusion and Thames Television from the beginning of ITV in 1955 until his retirement in 1984.
Today dubbing is computerised, so it takes just moments to do what used to take hours. Back then, each 10-minute reel of film had to be dubbed in one continuous run: if there was one error of judgment, one finger fluff, you had to go back to the beginning. Freddie's concentration never faltered: time and time again, he saved the day.
Freddie worked on programmes including This Week and the 1973 documentary series The World at War. Sir Jeremy Isaacs, executive producer of The World at War, wrote about working on the series: "With music, effects, voice tracks mixed and laid and now final commentary to be added, we are off to the dubbing theatre, where another unsung hero, the dubbing mixer, Freddie Slade, will put the icing on the cake. On his fingers depend the final audio balance of the film, and the articulation of each sound element in its own right. With Freddie Slade we get it."
Freddie began his career in films at an early age. He was born in Harrow, Middlesex, and as a teenager his first job was as a "button boy" at the Odeon cinema. In his smart livery, and with some wit, Freddie would promote the current film of the week. He soon became a projectionist and developed a lasting love of film – and of an ice-cream girl called Phyllis, whom he married in 1941.
He later joined Denham Studios and then Pinewood as a sound recordist before going to Associated-Rediffusion as principal film dubbing mixer, responsible for many fine soundtracks on major programmes and film dramas. In 1980 Freddie was nominated for a Bafta award for his work on Hollywood, Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's documentary series about silent cinema.
Phyllis died eight months before Freddie. He was cared for by his daughter, Glenna, who survives him, along with a granddaughter, Emma, and a grandson, Paul.