(Jim Dumighan has shared the information below about John Kenyon)
John Kenyon has died, at his home near Skipton, Yorkshire. He was 83.
John headed the Farming Unit at BBC Midlands for two decades before Gardeners’ World was added to his CV. His stewardship of the weekly Farming programme over such a long period was testing, given that his output was always closely scrutinised by the powerful farming lobby, led by most rural M.P.s.
In 1978, John took over Gardeners’ World, but still retained responsibility for Farming. Eventually, he opted for the single post of Executive Producer, Gardening Programmes, and remained there until retirement.
Away from farming and gardening, John enjoyed a lengthy attachment in London with the Horizon programme.
A Tynesider, John joined the BBC in Birmingham after graduating in agriculture at King’s College – which later became Newcastle University. He will be remembered as an energetic and resourceful producer, as well as being a loyal and supportive colleague.
The following comment was added on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Andy Frizzell: ‘A lovely man with a wicked sense of humour. Worked on GW during his tenure and always a joy to work with.’
John was my mentor over the years from 1967 when I came on an attachment from BBC Bristol for three months as a Production Assistant. The three months became six, and eventually I stayed on in the Unit as an Assistant Producer until 1972. It was the most exhilarating experience – John let me have full rein very quickly at a challenging time when the UK was in the throes of entering the Common Market! Agriculture was in a period of considerable adjustment as a consequence, and our programming always tried to reflect that.
Much of the knowledge in production that I gained working there is due in no small way to the guidance and encouragement that John gave me. He was also extremely tolerant of the fact that I was a non-golfer!