Australian born, Radio WM presenter, Ed Doolan, has died today (Jan 16th 2018) aged 76. Ed revealed that he was suffering from vascular dementia in 2015.
Radio WM paid tribute to him in the following announcement:
The following comments were left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Tim Manning: ‘I was Ed’s first producer at Radio WM when he moved to the BBC from BRMB in 1982. There was a bit of nervousness behind the scenes, as this was really the first time the BBC had poached a big name from a commercial rival for a local radio station. Bosses in London were reportedly a bit uncomfortable about the cost, and some staff at WM weren’t too happy, worrying that they were being pushed aside. Ed was also nervous, as he feared that his listeners might desert him and that Radio WM’s audience wouldn’t take to him. John Pickles, then the manager of the station, was convinced that the publicity coup of Ed’s arrival would lift the station’s profile, and that Ed would fit in; he was proved right.
In fact, Ed settled in really quickly, and Radio WM gave him space to grow. Ed was a great showman, with a style more akin to the big TV chat show hosts of the era than conventional radio presenters of the time, and he loved doing celebrity interviews. Nonetheless, underneath the larger-than-life on-air persona, he was a sharp current affairs journalist with a real sense of what mattered to his audience and he really knew and understood Birmingham and the West Midlands. I’m glad he was never spirited away to Network Radio (there was talk of it), as he was at his best skewering local and national politicians on behalf of his listeners. Few broadcasters have had such a lasting impact on their local community.’
Linda Flavell: ‘Ed did quite a lot on Regional TV too, although I thibhe was at his best on radio. Sad loss.’
Katie Cooper: ‘I’m so glad to have seen him at the last Pebble Mill coffee morning I got to. Lovely man.’
Ed and I were friendly rivals and he joined just as I left for channel 4.
he was what broadcasting was all about and gave dignity to the value laden description “regional”.