Radio Days News Archive

Jennings author Buckeridge dies at 92 (28 June 2004)
Anthony Buckeridge, author of the popular Jennings series of books, has died at home at the age of 92. Buckeridge's books grew out of the serial Jennings at School, which featured on radio show Children's Hour. The first book, Jennings Goes To School in 1950, was followed by 24 others, selling millions worldwide.
JCT Jennings was an accident-prone 11-year-old at the fictional Linbury Court School. Jennings was modelled on a boy called Diarmid Jennings, a year older than Buckeridge, who left school at 1928 and moved to New Zealand. Buckeridge never saw him again.
Daily Telegraph Obituary
The Independent obituary

Duncan Carse, the polar explorer and professional radio broadcaster and actor has died aged 90 (2 May 2004)
In the latter role he played Dick Barton, Special Agent, in the radio series which, in its heyday, attracted 15 million listeners. In 1949 he succeeded Noel Johnson as Dick Barton after 1,000 people had applied for the job. It was not lucrative work - Johnson said that, although he received 2,000 fan letters a week, he left the series with less money in the bank than when he started. Before the series finished (in 1951 it gave way for The Archers), Carse departed in order to prepare for his South Georgia Survey.

Norris McWhirter has died aged 78 (19 April 2004)
He was co-founder, with his twin brother Ross, of The Guinness Book of Records. In the Fifties he worked with BBC radio as a sports commentator, including the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He then switched to television as part of the corporation's commentary team for four successive Olympic Games: Rome (1960), Tokyo (1964), Mexico (1968) and Munich (1972). more....

Broadcaster Hubert Gregg mourned (29 March 2004)
Hubert Gregg was a unique broadcaster. As a musician he was responsible for memorable songs such as 'Maybe It's Because I'm a Londoner', and in Radio 2's Thanks for the Memory, he painted pictures of a bygone era with wit and style. He appeared in '50s TV series including Robin Hood (as Prince John) and 'Colonel March of Scotland Yard' as well as Radio series such as Auntie Rides Again in 1955.

Radio legend Alistair Cooke dies aged 95 (29 March 2004)
Following his retirement from his long running programme "Letter from America" earlier in March, it has been announced that Alistair Cooke has sadly died. After broadcasting 2,869 'Letters from America' on the Home Service, Radio 4 and The World Service. His programme was the longest running continuous radio series and lasted 58 years. As an American citizen, he was awarded an honorary knighthood in 1973. Sir Alistair was born in Salford, England in 1908.
A tribute
BBC Obituary
Telegraph Obituary

Vilem Tausky, the conductor and composer has died aged 93 (18 March 2004)
He estimated that he had conducted more than 125 operas but was best known for the BBC's
Friday Night is Music Night.
Tausky said that when he became conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, it killed his career "because people started looking at me more as an entertainer".
Vilem Tausky was appointed CBE in 1981.

Alistair Cooke has retired at the age of 95 (3 March 2004)
Sir Alistair Cooke has retired through ill health, after broadcasting 2,869 'Letters from America' on the Home Service, Radio 4 and The World Service. His programme was the longest running continuous radio series and lasted 58 years. As an American citizen, he was awarded an honorary knighthood in 1973. Sir Alistair was born in Salford, England in 1908.

Rikki Fulton, the Scottish comedian has died aged 79 (29 January 2004)
Rikki Fulton was a Jock-of-all-trades who mastered every medium in the entertainment business, playing every kind of role from pantomime dame on stage to private detective on radio.
He was the laconic compere of The Show Band Show (1953), a Light Programme showcase for Cyril Stapleton and his musicians and in July 1958 he received the first of many accolades - a booking for that year's Royal Variety Performance, in a predominantly Scots-flavoured cast which included Duncan Macrae and Stanley Baxter. An edited version of the show was broadcast on radio a few days later, and Fulton obtained more national exposure in 1959 on ITV when Bernard Delfont's Sunday Show, transmitted from the Prince of Wales Theatre in London, introduced him as "the new comedy personality".
There followed two Saturday night specials on BBC television in 1960 and 1961, The Rikki Fulton Show, scripted by its star, and with the comedy actress (and Fulton's first wife) Ethel Scott as his principal foil.

Patricia Burke has died aged 86 (26 November 2003)
Patricia Burke played Jimmy Clitheroe's Monther in the long running BBC Radio series. She was originally one of Britain's best known exponents of theatrical song-and-dance but decided in her 30s to switch to classical drama.

Sat 1 Nov 2003, 20:00 - 21:00 The Archive Hour - Radio's Lost Property
A further visit to the unopened packages and previously unplayable discs that have recently deluged the sound archive from collectors across the country. Radio 4's first dip into the treasure chest was a big hit. But it only skimmed the surface. This second collection offers both fascinating new material and a particular opportunity to enjoy more of some of the gems of radio comedy (and at greater length).

Radio presenter Robin Boyle has died aged 76 (1 October 2003)
Robin Boyle's lasting love was music and, during the 1950s, he was at his best presenting such shows as Night-Ride, Morning Music and Music While You Work.
Friday Night is Music Night also came his way in the 1950s. Boyle seemed to fall naturally into the job and carried on through the 1980s until he retired in 1987 at the statutory BBC age of 60. That, however, seemed to make little or no difference and he found that the producers would summon him as usual through the 1990s, although now as a freelance, and for a rather better fee. (Robin Boyle died in July 2003.)

Archers producer dies aged 84 (23 September 2003)
Tony Shryane produced the long-running radio serial The Archers from the first programme put out nationally on the Light Programme in 1951 until his retirement from the BBC 28 years later.
In due course Shryane took on other programmes, including the quiz shows Guilty Party, My Word! and My Music!, which he continued to produce on a freelance basis until moving to Cornwall in the mid-1980s.

Alan Keith, long-serving radio DJ, has died aged 94 (19 March 2003
He was the longest-serving disc jockey on British radio; his rich and mellifluous tones could be heard every Sunday evening for 44 years on Radio 2's Your Hundred Best Tunes, bringing a touch of solace and relaxation to the airwaves.
The programme, originally entitled The Hundred Best Tunes in the World, was devised by Keith in 1959 and first broadcast in November that year. It was a simple formula; Keith would choose a selection of light classical music from the BBC gramophone library and introduce each extract in his matchless modulated style.

Anthony Buckeridge finally awarded OBE (31 December 2002)
Writer Anthony Buckeridge, who created the hugely popular Jennings books for boys in the 1950s, is awarded an OBE at the age of 90.
They were broadcast on Children' Hour for many years. more....

"Tubby the Tuba" creator Paul Tripp dies aged 91 (16 September 2002)
Children today listen to the same records as their older brothers and sisters and it is not hard to find a 10-year-old who loves such controversial acts as Eminem or Limp Bizkit. But, before the Beatles, there was a separate record market for children and in the UK their records were played on a specialist programme on BBC Radio, Children's Favourites. The best children's records had a long shelf-life, as they appealed to one generation after another. A perennial favourite was Tubby the Tuba, the concept of the New York actor Paul Tripp.

Actor Maurice Denham has died aged 92 (26 July 2002)
After making his name on the wireless in the 1940s with comic voices in
ITMA (It's That Man Again) and Much Binding in the Marsh, he went on to appear in all sorts of films, from Huggett comedies to horror melodrama, and to become a commanding presence on television.
His ear for accent and dialect, and his gift for inventing voices was astonishing. He used to say that this came from his days at the BBC with Tommy Handley in ITMA - as Lola Tickle, the char, and as the announcer on Radio Fakenberg - and with Kenneth Horne, Sam Costa and Richard Murdoch in Much Binding in the Marsh. "They were always playing themselves," he said, "so I played everyone else."

Classic comedy stalwart Pat Coombs dies, aged 75 (27 May 27)
Miss Coombs, who never married, became one of the busiest actresses in the business after first appearing on TV in Hancock's Half Hour in 1956. She was working until two weeks ago when she starred with Roy Hudd and June Whitfield on the BBC Radio Four sitcom "Like they've Never Been Gone". Her most recent TV appearance was as Marge Green in EastEnders. more....

Charles Simon has died aged 93 (20 May 2002)
Charles Simon was a veteran actor of radio, television, the stage and, latterly, cinema. He played Dr Jim Dale, the husband of the genteel Mary Dale in the radio soap opera, The Dales (successor to Mrs. Dale's Diary) among many other roles.

New "Hello Children Everywhere" CD to launch on 27 May 2002 (9 May 2002)
This new CD from EMI contains many Children's Favourites tunes. You can see the list of tracks and preorder it from Amazon UK.

Comedian and writer Barry Took dies at the age of 73 (31 March 2002)
Barry Took wrote for TV and radio during the 1950s and '60s. He co-wrote "Beyond Our Ken" for the radio with Eric Merriman and later "Round the Horne". He also co-wrote several TV comedy series such as "The Army Game" with Marty Feldman and went on to present "Points of View" on TV and "The News Quiz" on the radio. more....

Spike Milligan, Last of the Goons, dies at 83 (27 February 2002)
One of Britain's most respected performers, he was known to millions as one of the founding members of The Goons. Together with Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine and Harry Secombe, the quartet helped redefine comedy programmes for a generation. He went on to star in the Q series of television shows and also wrote several books, including Adolf Hitler, My Part In His Downfall. more....

Jennings follows Potter's success with TV return (24 February 2002)
Talkback Productions is negotiating to serialise the adventures of the fictional schoolboy who first surfaced on a BBC Children's Hour radio play in 1948. For decades Jennings was Britain's most popular scholboy and became a successful TV series in the 1960's. The author of the Jennings books, Anthony Buckeridge now 89, is said to be delighted.

Spain sinks Finisterre (23 December 2001)
The shipping forecast, the national institution adored by generations of BBC radio listeners, is to lose one of its most evocative names to comply with the wishes of Spain.
From noon on February 4 2002, Finisterre will disappear from the famous litany of areas such as Dogger, Fisher and Rockall, to be replaced by a new name: FitzRoy - chosen in memory of the 19th-century admiral who allegedly committed suicide because he forecast the weather incorrectly.

Cliff Adams dies at the age of 78 (27 October 2001)
Cliff Adams died on 22 October 2001. He joined the BBC Show Band Show in 1954, and formed a group of singers which became known as the Cliff Adams Singers. Five years later the singers appeared for the first time on Radio 2 in 'Sing Something Simple' which is still going today.

Elton Hayes dies at 86 (29 September 2001)
Elton Hayes was well-known to radio and television audiences of the 1950s as "the man with the small guitar". After making his radio debut on Children's Hour, Hayes occupied the guest star slot on every major radio variety show including In Town Tonight, Workers' Playtime, Variety Bandbox, Terry-Thomas's Top of the Town and Eric Barker's Just Fancy. He occasionally presented Housewives' Choice; and on Children's Hour, he sang Edward Lear's nonsense rhymes. Hayes's version of The Owl and the Pussy Cat was recorded by Parlophone and became a regular item on Children's Favourites.

They Shoot Arrows, Don’t They?
Stars of BBC Radio 4's The Archers, Charles Collingwood and Judy Bennett, also known as Brian and Shula, bring Ambridge to Scarborough. A rare treat for all Archers fans and radio buffs; an interactive, comical and fascinating look behind the scenes at the secrets of the world's longest running soap. Celebrate its 50th anniversary with the creators of two of its central characters.
28 Sept at 7.30pm - 12.50/10.50/9.50 & 29 Sept at 11.00am - 10.50/9.50/8.50 -reductions available-
BOX OFFICE: 01723 370541

What about the Workers? (17 August 2001)
A new weekly four part Radio 4 series looking at Workers Playtime, the classic radio variety show which was broadcast live to factories all over Britain, begins on Tuesday 21st August 2001 at 11:30 am. Destined to run for six weeks in 1941 it eventually finished in 1964 and featured such entertainers as Eve Boswell, Tommy Handley, Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, Diana Coupland, Peter Goodwright, Nicholas Parsons, Janet Brown and Sheila Tracy.

Joseph Cooper dies at 88 (6 August 2001)
JOSEPH COOPER, the pianist and broadcaster who has died aged 88, was best known as the chairman of the BBC Television programme Face the Music. In 1959 he joined the Calling the Tune quiz on the BBC Home Service as chairman.

Nan Kenway has died aged 96. (25 June 2001)
Nan Kenway was one half of the husband-and-wife comic team Kenway & Young, whose light satiric sketches enjoyed much success on the wireless in the 1930s. Nan was one of the first contestants on 'One Minute, Please', the forerunner of 'Just a Minute' in 1951. more....

Sir Harry Secombe has died (11 April 2001)
Sir Harry Secombe, the entertainer from Swansea famed for his work with The Goon Show, has died aged 79. more....

'Children's Hour' returns to radio as 'Go 4 It' (18 March 2001)
Radio 4 has chosen Go 4 It as the name for its new updated Children's Hour. Radio 4 which replaced the Home Service in 1967, removed all of its children's programmes three years ago after research revealed that they attracted only a few thousand listeners. Now it hopes that the weekly Sunday programme, at 19:15 after The Archers, will draw a new generation to listen to more than just music on the radio. Reviews and showbusiness gossip will be mixed with educational segments and the show will end every week with a reading from a children's novel. The new programme starts on Easter Sunday. more....

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