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…’


Birmingham Superprix, Gina Campbell interview

Copyright Rod Fawcett, no reproduction without permission














This photograph shows Gina Campbell being interviewed by John Taynton, for Radio WM, during the Birmingham Superprix, circa 1987. Gina comes has a long racing pedigree, her father was Donald Campbell CBE, and her grandfather, Sir Malcolm Campbell. Gina won the UK Off-shore Boating Champion in 1984, as well as holding the Women’s World Water Speed Record, in 1984 and again in 1990. She was obviously affiliated to the Renault team at the Birmingham Superprix.

Thanks to Radio WM engineer, Rod Fawcett, for sharing his photograph.

The following comment was left on the Pebble Mill Facebook page:

Pete Simpkin: ‘John Taynton was a great interviewer and human being and is greatly missed.’

Radio WM Christmas Greetings

Radio WM Christmas card PdW











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

Radio WM Christmas card, probably dating from the early 1990s. The card lists the week day, Radio WM presenters’ times, including: Chris Humphreys, Tony Butler, Gordon Astley, Ed Doolan, Pat De Whalley, Paul Brighton and John Taynton. Jenny Wilkes and colleagues from the weekend team receive an honourable mention.

Thanks to Pat De Whalley for sharing the Christmas card.

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

Nick Hennegan: ‘Brilliant. Although they missed out ‘Heartlands’.’

Mark Jones: ‘Probably 1991 … After Heartlands opt had ended.’

Chris Humphrys: ‘Don’t think I’ve ever seen this – or the original…would have mentioned they’d spelt my name wrongly otherwise! 1991 is a pretty good guess I think…’

Radio WM – John Taynton

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

John Taynton used to present the Late Show on Radio WM.  Sadly, he died in Feb 2011, after a battle with cancer.  The show he presented was current affairs and consumer based, and was one of the first shows to be syndicated across the Midlands network.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for making this Radio WM Photocard of presenter John Taynton available.

Sparks, Andy Frizzell adds the following memory of John:

“One thing stands out for me. During the electricians strike in 1987 John came out to us on the picket line and handed us a bag for our hardship fund. It was full of cash from a collection organised by John and WM. Totally unexpected but very much appreciated. Came over as a kind and generous man and fully sympathised with us.”

Series producer and director, Kath Moore adds the following comment:

“John was my first boss. His 11am WM show circa 1987 was my chance to make tea, answer his phone-in phones and do the intro/ outro durations on the vinyls that he chose with consummate care and knowledge. He carried them to studio in a wire …supermarket basket I recall …. A real People’s Champ, he was tirelessly supportive and encouraging to those starting off – and there were many of us…. He set the bar high too on standards – and taught us to do the same, for which I’m grateful, daily. A lovely, feisty man.”

Producer, Rebecca Skidmore remembers listening to John’s show as a teenager:

“His show was my escape when I was being bullied at school in my teens. I used to lie under my duvet with my walkman on and listen to this very kind man helping people, and it just made everything seem better….”

Darren New travelled with John:

“I had the most amazing trip with John to Rwanda as part of Midlands Aid, Richard Uridge’s idea to raise money for the innocent people caught up in the genocide. His back pack never made it to Africa so we had to lend him some of our clothes. He was a great guy and a brilliant broadcaster.”