John Taynton and Muhammad Ali

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Radio WM presenter, John Taynton, with Muhammad Ali. The date will be around 1983-4, which was when John was still presenting with BRMB, before his move to Radio WM. BRMB Programme Controller, Bob Hopton is stood next to John.

Thanks to John’s son, Phil Taynton, for sharing the photo.

The following comment were added to the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

John Evans: ‘WM’s interview with Ali was done by the late Ed Doolan with me (as sports editor) alongside Ed in the studio, so I imagine the photo is at BRMB.’


Gyn Freeman and Nicky Steele, Radio WM

Photo by Rod Fawcett, no reproduction without permission












Co-presenters, Gyn Freeman and Nicky Steele in Area 2 of the Radio WM studio at Pebble Mill.

Thanks to Rod Fawcett for sharing the photo.

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

Gyn Freeman: Stuart Roper left, they brought Nicky to enable the station to still have a “double-header” – so I was the co-presenter of the show, as I was with Roper. Actually Nicky and I got on well together and the programme was popular but no way would either of these chaps let me drive the programme unless they took a break or I was doing the phone-in. Just to say that I am feeling just fine, but of course both Stuart and Nicky died so young. I did a double header on Radio 4 for a couple of series, the other presenter was Peter Purves, looking good and even older than me and the producer Peter Everett.’

Tim Manning: ‘If you look through the window, you’ll see that I was the producer, although not for the whole time that they worked together on air.’

Tim Beech: ‘Area 2. John Taynton always used that one for the shared evening show across the Midlands. Ed was always in 5, “driven” from Area 4. As was Tony Butler.’

Anthony Worrall: ‘I remember Nicky’s discos at Honiley Boot before his radio days!’

Gary Hudson: ‘I remember Nicky presenting gigs at Birmingham Town Hall in the 70s. He was already a star of BRMB, and – a day after the sad death of Ed Doolan – that’s a reminder that the commercial lot created all the major local radio personalities in those days – certainly in the West Midlands. Tony Butler was another contemporary, and of course Les Ross, who’d left Radio Birmingham for the glamour of the former Aston Hippodrome.’

Steve Jarvis: ‘I remember Nick when he was Nick Aire at Bishop Vesey School. He had the mot remarkable ten pin bowling style!’

Tim Beech: ‘Nicky of course sadly passed away many years ago – I just checked the date and it was 2001. Hard to believe it was that long ago.’

Chris Rolinson: ‘He was due to start at Saga in 2001, but he was already very ill and sadly died before we went on air.

He was slated to present the Saturday Afternoon show “The Saturday Alternative” from 2 till 6 and I had to sit in for him from launch.

It was very strange especially doing the first show that I knew a Midlands legend was due to present.

I hope I didn’t let him down…’


Ed Doolan 1941-2018

Ed Doolan receiving a lifetime achievement award in 2015





















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 Doolan accepts Lifetime Achievement Award

Ed Doolan lifetime achievement










Photo from Mark Newman, no reproduction without permission.

Veteran radio presenter, Ed Doolan, is seen here picking up a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Birmingham Press Club yesterday (16th Dec 2015).

Below is the release on the Birmingham Press Club website:

Press Club to honour radio’s “Consumer Champion”

“Legendary broadcaster Ed Doolan is to be made an Honorary Life Member of Birmingham Press Club – the oldest of its kind in the world – at the Club’s Christmas Lunch on 16 December.

“It is no exaggeration to say that Ed has established a reputation for himself as one of the ‘giants’ of regional broadcasting, much-loved by legions of listeners, said Press Club president Bob Warman, “and it is with much pleasure that we are able to honour Ed in our own way.”

Ed Doolan

Award-winning Ed came to the Midlands in 1974, joining commercial radio station BRMB after a ten year teaching career in his native Australia and a spell at Radio Deutsche Welle – the German world service – in Cologne.

In 1982 Ed joined the BBC – and quickly became the Consumer’s Champion as he pioneered social action broadcasting, tackling dishonest traders and injustice.

One of the most-listened to presenters on BBC WM 95.6FM, Ed has also written more than 950 weekly columns for the Birmingham Mail, interviewed hundreds of leading celebrities and eight Prime Ministers – and taken time out to raise thousands of pounds for charity. He has also been installed in Radio’s Hall of Fame.

Earlier this year, Ed revealed that he was now suffering from dementia, the reason that he had stopped working on live radio. However, his popular interview recordings are still being aired on Sunday’s at Midday on BBC WM 95.6FM”

Pete Simpkin broadcasts on BRMB

Pebble Mill News, March 1984

Pebble Mill News, March 1984




















Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission.

This article about Radio WM prodcuer/presenter Pete Simpkin broadcasting on BRMB, is from Pebble Mill News March 1984.

Thanks to Robin Sunderland for making the cutting available.

Pete Simpkin added the following comment on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

‘I remember it clearly!! BT had started what today would be an early attempt at social communications,by dialling a number you could get groups of people together but I was totally unprepared when l dialled it to find Les on his parallel BRMB breakfast show on the same lime!’