Radio WM presenters early 1980s

Radio WM photo












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The picture shows from L to R……Ruth Davies, Ed Doolan, Alan Dedicoat, the late Stuart Roper, Gyn Freeman, Pete Simpkin, Steve Woodhall and in front Tim Manning.

Thanks to Pete Simpkin for sharing the photo.

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

Emma Taynton-Young: ‘Tim manning used to be my dad’s producer….can’t remember the year but I bet Richard Uridge would know’

Richard Uridge: ‘1981 or 1982 I reckon.’

Steve Woodhall: ‘More like 1982 or even later? I remember that beard though… The stickers say “WM” rather than “206” so it was after the name change.’

Philip Morgan: ‘What happened to Stuart Roper? I knew him at hospital radio and Radio Birmingham. Sad to hear he is no longer with us.’

Pat de Whalley at the radio desk

Pat de Whalley at the desk












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

The photo shows Radio WM presenter, Pat de Whalley in one of the radio studios, adjusting the faders. You can see the carts just behind Pat; these would probably have held jingles and sig tunes etc.

Thanks to Pat for sharing the photo.

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

Mark Jones: ‘It’s circa 1989/1990.. Pat moving onto afternoons at about that time. Carts for the fab WM jingles, trails and music beds.’

Andy Waters: ‘We had carts until 2001. WM Area 4’s Sonifex cart machine stack and carts as removed from the building are in a display case in the Mailbox open space along with a Uher portable reel to ree. Other items in shot are a BBC Designs Department Mk3 broadcast desk, Telecaster phone in system and a Technics SP10 gram. There are still stations using BBC Mk3 studios even though some are over 30 years old.’

Richard Uridge: ‘The cart (short for cartridge) was king. They held jingles, promos and signature tunes certainly. But we also used them for news clips. The “advantage” was that they were supposed to start instantly so no need for pre-roll of three seconds as with reel-to-reel but they quickly became obsolete (just like every other technology). When was this Pat?’

Pat de Whalley: ‘Hi Richard I think this picture was taken between 1991/92.’

Viv Ellis: ‘Mid ’80s on they had Public Service Announcements etc

Ken Dudeney RIP

Ken DudeneyKen Dudeney reverse









(Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission)

Radio WM presenter Ken Dudeney sadly died on 5th January 2015. He used to present Town and Country, a country music show on a Saturday lunchtime. Ken was the presenter who “closed” BBC Radio Birmingham and launched the new Radio WM.

Thanks to Stuart Gandy for sharing the photocard.

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

Pete Simpkin: ‘This is sad news indeed. Ken was a talented and terrific colleague. He also had an extraordinary collection of
Radio Birmingham/WM history and memorabilia. We shared several ‘on air’ near disasters and Ken was there to rescue broadcasts and keep the transmissions flowing smoothly. I remember having to get him to overrun his wonderful Country music show one evening because the news team had not turned up in my studio in time for the next programme and he just seamlessly carried us through till things were sorted.’

Richard Uridge: ‘A good bloke. I’d echo Pete Simpkin’s comments about his coolness in a crisis. RIP.’

Lorraine Randell: ‘This is very sad news…I worked in the production office with Ken for many years…he was a lovely man.’

Tim Beech: ‘Very sorry to hear this news. Ken gave many, many years of service to Radio Birmingham/WM and really loved his music. I seem to recall the last track he played on his Sunday show was “Happiness.” RIP Ken.’

Keith Upton: ‘I knew Ken from the very earliest days of his broadcasting when he joined us at the Brighton Tape Recording Club. He grew up in Brighton and because of his parents efforts attended the University of Cambridge. When he joined the club he took part in many activities using his skills as as a confident presenter in many club activities and recording. He presented our Journey into Sound for the Brighton Festival. Eventually he presented our weekly hi-fi programme on BBC Radio Brighton which was produced by the club free of charge by club volunteers. It was the longest running programme on that station. Then Ken left for London and worked for the BBC World Service. He always kept in contact. I went to his wedding in Birmingham and continued to keep in touch with him. he was a great guy very knowledgeable and a confident and professional presenter.’

Mark Whittaker 1957-2014











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You may already know that the journalist and broadcaster, Mark Whittaker, who worked for the BBC at Radio WM in the 80s and returned to Pebble Mill as a presenter of Costing the Earth in the 90s has died after a short illness. He leaves a wife, Jane Stimpson, who also worked at the Mill in the 80s, and two children.

Mark was a know it all in the nicest possible way. He had a huge brain full of stuff that could be deployed at work and at play. As I’ve reflected elsewhere I never lost a pub quiz with him and have never won one without him.

There is a very touching tribute to him on the Ariel page written by his colleagues on BBC World Service World Business Report where he’d been working for the last few years.

Richard Uridge

Here is the link to the article in Ariel about Mark:

Below is an excerpt from the article:

“World Service presenter Mark Whittaker has died suddenly of cancer.

One of the presenters of World Business Report and Business Matters, he had finished his last shift at the BBC about a month ago, on August 27.

He was diagnosed with cancer only three weeks before his death on October 1. He leaves behind two children and his wife Jane.

‘Mark was a radio genius who not only had brilliant ideas, but relentlessly executed them to perfection,’ said Martin Webber, editor of BBC World Service business news in an email to World Service staff.

‘We marvelled as he crafted beautiful scripts and then drew on his vast memory of music and sound, to turn a dull topic into a radio delight.

‘He regularly quietly re-edited interviews himself when the producer failed to do a perfect job.

His interviews connected effortlessly with the people he spoke to wherever they were in the world”

‘When Business Matters started with an hour-long format, he thrived doing the extended live interviews that the programme demanded. On location in India and Japan in the past year, he showed us all what could be achieved.”


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

Alex Fraser: ‘He was a lovely, lovely man’

Sue Welch: ‘Such a lovely man with a wicked sense of humour.’

Pete Simpkin: ‘Well said all of the above…in addition Mark seemed to want to break down the barriers of the time between news and general programme staff and he planted seeds that bore spectacular fruit.’

Lorraine Randell: ‘I worked with Mark in Radio WM’s News Room and I reiterate everything that has been said…one of the nicest people I have ever worked with.’

Joyce Miller

Joyce MillerThe death of Joyce Miller was announced in the Worcester News today, 4th March 2014. Joyce was a press officer at Pebble Mill, and was married to Stuart Miller, an engineer at Radio WM, and later at BBC Hereford and Worcester. Stuart passed away a couple of years ago.

Joyce was a regular phone in guest to Hereford and Worcester’s mid-morning show until quite recently.

Thanks to Mark Hellings, Assistant Editor of BBC Hereford and Worcester, for sharing this information.

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

Marie Phillips: ‘When I took over CIN [Children in Need] from Tony Raimont it was based in the Press Office because nobody really knew where it belonged !! Joyce was very welcoming and helpful and a true friend when I was threatened with “eviction” !! We shared a lot of laughs, none more funny than the story of the trifles. She and Stuart were active in their village life and Stuart arrived home from a Committee Meeting to tell her that she had been nominated to make 14 trifles for the next event. She begged and borrowed enough bowls, put in monumental effort and made them on the due day, taking them proudly to the venue, to be told by Madam Chairman that actually, it was “trifle for 14” !!! Stuart almost ended up wearing them. Happy memories Joyce – rest easy.’

Richard Uridge: ‘Joyce and Stuart took me under their wing when I was a cub reporter at Radio WM at Pebble Mill. A charming couple and a sad loss to the local radio “family.” Joyce, like Stuart, always had a twinkle in her eye. Both warm and mischievous. A wonderful combination. Happy memories.’