Derek Johnson

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Veteran Midlands Today film cameraman, Derek Johnson, sadly died a few days ago. He was in his mid-eighties. Derek was also a stills photographer and recorded mute films for Midlands Today.

Unfortunately I do not have a photograph of Derek, but please let me know if you have one, and could share it.

The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Jason Dean: ‘Very sorry to hear about this. Always grateful to Derek and his son Ian (his sound man) for being so helpful and patient with me when I was on attachment to Midlands Today in the mid 80’s as a rooky TV reporter. Particularly remember the time they put up with me doing endless attempts to get a piece to camera right in the centre of Leamington Spa!’

Wendy Lewis Edwards: ‘Derek was a one man film operator, going out relentlessly over very long days to pick up mute pictures of stories that otherwise would not have been covered. He made an enormous contribution to Midlands Today and was a delightful, reliable, modest man for whom I had great admiration’

Robin Latchem: ‘I think I did my first Midlands Today item with Derek and Ian. So glad they tolerated being a de facto mobile training unit. Such a helpful, gentle man.’

Kevin Latimer: ‘Derek was a companion on many cold winters news stories around Brum – remember him as a very contented cameraman’

James Roberson: ‘Very sad to hear about dear DJ – he was one of the stalwarts of the Midlands today team, along with his son Ian – both gentlemen and so helpful and kind to work with – happy days in the late 1980s at Pebble Mill ..’







One comment on “Derek Johnson
  1. So sad to hear of the death of Derek Johnson, with whom I worked for many years. When working for Birmingham Commercial Films (BCF) I used to process Derek’s 100′ b&w 16mm films that he shot for the BBC. Always consistently exposed. In addition, I worked as relief Sound Recordist on the BBC news programme Midlands Today when they were a Broad Street. When BCF lost the contract to supply crews and processing services to the BBC, Derek employed me as his Sound Recordist for a few years when taking over the contract. At the end of the contract, Derek returned to his freelance mute work, and I left to go to Africa to establish a film unit in The Gambia in January 1967, intending to return after one-year. However, I continued further employment with the British government and UNESCO, and worked internationally since then until my recent retirement. I kept in touch with Derek for a few years after leaving the BBC, mainly using him to develop and print my b&w 35mm still films and produce exhibition prints. Like many, I have fond memories of his professionalism and kindness, and remember him with fondness.

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