We had a mini BBC Radio WM 80s/90s reunion today (10 Jan 2022).
Sadly we were together for the funeral of our friend and colleague Paul Brighton at Tettenhall, but it was lovely to see Carole, Kasel, Louise and Claire after so many years.
I never knew that Paul had once reached the Semi-Finals of Mastermind.
Lots of laughs and good memories, just as it should be. RIP Paul.
(The following obituary was written by Paul Brighton’s friend and colleague, Tim Beech. Paul sadly died in 23 Nov 2021).
I am very sad to report that the former BBC WM presenter Paul Brighton has died at the age of only 62.
Paul was part of a Golden Age for WM in the 1990s during which he presented the “Coming Home” programme. He had previously produced Ed Doolan.
A highly intelligent man, Paul was originally a Wolverhampton Grammar School boy who went on to study at Cambridge. He was fascinated by politics, serving at one time as a local councillor, and he continued to satisfy his love for journalism and broadcasting as the Executive Principal Lecturer and Head of Media and Film at Wolverhampton University, a post he held for several years.
I got to know Paul extremely well during the many years he sat opposite the WM sports team, and later also had the privilege of giving a number of talks to support his course at Wolverhampton, as well as partnering a student placement programme for some of his cohort while I was managing BBC Radio Shropshire.
He is gone far too soon at a young age and his death will sadden a great many former colleagues and friends who enjoyed both his bright company and his great intelligence for many years. RIP.
Thanks to Simon Harris for sharing these photographs. They date from May 1986, and were taken on the last ever episode of Pebble Mill at One. The photos show the Royal Navy Sea King approaching Pebble Mill with the roof of the network radio studios in the foreground. Anne Barker, a Radio WM news producer is seen on the roof using a lip mic to give a live commentary. WM producer Conal O’Donnell, pint in hand, poses next to the Sea King. He and fellow producer Robin Brittan are pictured outside the club watching the Lynx take off.
Radio Birmingham and Radio WM presenter and producer Pete Simpkin sadly died on 29th June 2020.
The following comments were shared on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:
Gyn Freeman: He really was Radio Birmingham then newbies arrived with “ideas” change of name for the station and other changes. He was loved by his listeners and years after I found him being kind and help elderly residents – so a real Brummy a decent chap.
Clive Payne: I knew Pete when I joined WM in 1989. In those days the BBC invested heavily in training people and Pete did a lot of that as well as being a highly acclaimed and established producer and presenter too. He taught me everything I knew and it is down to him that I have the radio career that I have today. Without him, I know it would not have happened. I grew up in Shirley; Pete lived there with his wife Pat, so I used to see them around anyway. Pete and I used to come home together on the 49 bus sometimes and used to put the world to rights. He taught us all on our course about the ‘red light rule’ i.e. not entering a studio with a red light glowing, an ethos I am a stickler with today. On the odd occasion where people have come into my studio through a read light – they have had a reality check from me not to do it again! Pete taught me to edit on quarter inch tape, like we all did in those days and how to research an item and importantly not to over -research it. He also taught me how to deliver speech on air and the importance of articulation and comprehension. Speech based radio is still by far my favourite form. I am glad that I and other like me knew him not only as a colleague but a friend too and received the value of his many years of experience and training. My career and I are far better off with it.