Book of Remembrance
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TIM BLACKMORE. Not to be forgotten. When I worked for Decca Records and Carlin Music Publishers Tim supported our Music Artists
and Composers. When I launched Community Station Central London Radio for new entrants and later UK Light Radio Tim offered his blessing and support. Indeed he encouraged both professionals and newcomers throughout our Industry. Following our launch of Classic fM in 1992 Tim was one of the very first to wish us “Bon Voyage” Thank you. TIM BLACKMORE. You will be remembered.
I haven’t met many people in this industry whose name, when mentioned, is universally acknowledged with warmth and respect. Tim is right at at the top of that list. I am thankful that he was always there to offer me and others (at Smooth Operations /Unique /7digital) guidance over the years, when needed. His kindness will not be forgotten. I am so sorry to Tim’s family for their loss.
The first and best mentor I had. Knew everything, passionate and entirely genial and decent in his dealings with everyone. A very sad loss.
Tim Blackmore is quite simply the man without whom I would not have enjoyed the vast majority of my professional life.
The story of how we met is a good example of one of Tim’s great qualities – encouraging others.
As a young producer at Piccadilly Radio in the 1980’s, I had been responsible for a drama documentary on the history of the Hallé Orchestra. “Mr Hallé’s Band” won Sony Gold for “Best Classical Music Programme”. At the ceremony, Tim came over to our table to introduce himself as the Chair of the panel that had judged the category and congratulate me on the programme. He was already a legendary figure to me – I had recorded every episode of The Story Of Pop 10 years before as a young radio enthusiast – and I was beyond flattered that he had taken the time to introduce himself.
So started a friendship that, only a few years later, turned into a 25 year business partnership. We wrote a plan for what would become one of the UK’s first independent production businesses on a napkin in the Russell Hotel in London in 1989. “Unique” saw us spend the rest of our professional lives as business partners.
Many others have commented here on Tim’s creative abilities and I was incredibly fortunate to benefit from them. However, it was his personal qualities that made our partnership so enduring. In 25 years of working together every day, I can honestly say that, whilst we discussed and sometimes disagreed, we never argued once. For Tim, relationships mattered above all else and he was incredibly good at creating and maintaining them. He taught me much, but tolerance and respect for differences are the qualities that bound us together and which I carry with me as his legacy.
25 years after our first meeting, unannounced, he came into the office with a framed copy of his programme from that Sony Awards ceremony complete with his notes and presented it to me to mark the occasion. It was an anniversary date that I didn’t even have in my diary but so typical of him to remember and to mark it in such a special, personal way.
A wise counsel when I was just starting out in the radio industry. RIP Tim.
Tim was the best boss I ever had, working as his PA was a joy and privilege. My years at Unique were the happiest in my working life and Tim was vital to that experience. The world is a lesser place for him no longer being in it.
Tim remains quite simply one of the most important characters in British radio. He took time to listen. To have just the briefest of conversations with Tim was to learn from his unique combination of wisdom, insight, generosity and love, always delivered in a way that was hugely inspirational. Tim let me fulfil my dreams, and the enduring friendship of both Tim and Margaret has been an essential part of my life for more than 40 years.
Your positive influence on the industry will live on forever. You inspired me greatly by the talks we had when I was working on the Women’s Radio Project in Sunderland and whilst writing PhD work on the topic too. You will be missed.
I first heard the name Tim Blackmore as a listener to Radio One back in the days when producers used to get a mention. It was probably in the credits to his magnificent documentary series The Story of Pop.
A few years later I had the pleasure of working with him at Capital Radio. I was a very new inexperienced producer. He taught me so much. Tim was a joy to work with, and a great boss. We collaborated on other projects later, for the Radio Academy and Unique Broadcasting. Always a delight.
Only recently I received an email from him about a work opportunity which he thought might interest me. It didn’t (I’m very happy to be retired) but it is a mark of the man that even though he was seriously ill, he was still helping others. Tim was a one-off and will be greatly missed. My sincere condolences to Margaret and the family.
Tim (along with Simon) was who I looked up to when I started Wisebuddah as a radio indie in 94. We were competitors of course but he was always generous and gracious as a colleague too. Passionate about radio, deeply knowledgable and respected by talent and commissioners alike.
Tim and I worked together in the early days of Radio 1. Indeed, he took over from me producing Tony Blackburn’s Breakfast Show after I decided getting up at 5am every day was too much like hard work. Our careers ran in parallel in those early days when Tim and Margaret lived in New Ash Green near his friend Noel Edmonds. Tim was responsible for much of the shaping the BBC’s “new” popular music network, and working with Keith Skues he produced the major 26 part series “The Story of Pop” These programmes did a terrific job informing our young audience more about the background and history of the music we played. He was always a great lover of that music and it was the BBC’s loss when he decided to spread his wings and fly off to Capital Radio to work alongside his friend Aidan Day. He managed the career of another friend, the late Alan Freeman, and his contributions to the Radio Academy, The Sony Awards and the Unique Broadcasting Company are well documented. Suffice to say he was one of the giants of our industry and I am proud to have known him as a friend for more than sixty years. My thoughts are with his wife Margaret and his children Jo & Simon at this sad time. Your husband and Dad was a man of whom you can be truly proud,
Nicky just called to let me know your news. I’m so very sorry.
I wanted to let you know what happy memories I have of that extraordinary time we all shared at Capital. I wanted to let you know how much it matters that you were so bloody good at your job, a job you clearly loved with a passion. It matters that we all laughed a lot. It matters that you set such a fine example. It matters that within the industry you loved your reputation is second to none. It matters that you were such a skilled, patient mentor to me and countless others. It matters that you’ve made a huge difference to many, many lives. So I’m sending you this brief and inadequate note, filled with gratitude and fondness and yes, even love. Because when all is said and done, that’s all that really matters.
For those of us who encountered you, listened to you, learned from your wisdom or were otherwise enriched as enthusiasts or contributors to the industry we all love – thank you with the greatest sincerity.
When I first met you at Unique through Classic Gold, I was both slightly overawed and simultaneously reassured by your warmth, understanding, humility and perception. After so many years in it, your enthusiasm for giving pleasure to an audience of unseen listeners seemed completely undimmed and untarnished by any hint of corporate cynicism or dogma – you understood people both outside a studio and, supremely, inside one. You treated everyone with respect but also familiarity and understood both. You were always approachable, informal, engaged and engaging without any edge.
How we could do with you and your wisdom now.
Rest well sir – you have earned it.
Throughout my time in ILR either as MD of Moray Firth or later as Scottish member of the Radio Authority – Tim was just – ‘there’ – a constant. Whatever his job at the time (or mine) we seemed to pick up our friendship with ease – I imagine most of you found the same! When I moved on to other things I didnt miss the radio business (shock horror) but I did miss some of the people. Tim was a prime example of that. Proud to call you friend. Cue for a song?
As a young man Tim gave me my first radio job, as a record librarian at Capital Radio. He never knew how much getting that job meant to me . Working at a radio station I loved . It became a solid foundation, for building a career.
I spent long hours at the station, watching learning and gaining invaluable experience.
Tim always seemed like a calming influence around the building, and he was a massive part of the magical years of Capital Radio.
I stayed at Euston Tower for six years, before leaving to start my own radio show on Essex Radio.
I didn’t speak to Tim, or see him, for 30 years !
We finally communicated again, when I heard of his illness, and I wanted to write to him.
I opened my letter by saying , I doubt you will remember me Tim, as it was a long time ago I worked for you .
Tim then told me that he had followed my work, often listened to my shows, and knew exactly about my successes and what I had been up to, since 1986 !
That says so much by itself, about the substance and genuine personality of Tim !
How can such a man not be missed ? However , those that met him and worked with him, will I hope, continue to display his honesty and work ethic.
So pleased I met Tim Blackmore. Lovely man . My love, good wishes and Gods strength to Tim’s family .
Tim was a pioneer, an innovator and a driving force for good in radio for over 60 years. Above all though he was dignified, fair, led by example with huge integrity and put people first – in simple terms he was a true gentleman.
He had an enormously positive and generous impact on my life and career during the 12 years I was lucky enough to have him as a mentor at Unique Broadcasting and UBC Media, and since then as a valued friend and confidant. Rarely does a week pass where I’m not making a decision that leads me to consider ‘what would Tim do’. Invariably the answer is, quite simply, ‘the right thing’. Tim would always take an approach which wasn’t short term, or purely commercial but one which considered the bigger picture, the best possible outcome for the people who it affected, and the industry that’s been so important to both of us.
Tim will be sorely missed by all those who were lucky enough to have known and worked with him. Long may the fundamental values that he consistently stood for be upheld by the UK audio industry as it continues to innovate and lead the world, in no small part due to his wisdom and guidance over the decades.
My thoughts are with Margaret, Simon, Jo and the rest of the family Tim was clearly so proud of.
I had the good fortune of meeting Tim during the early days of the Radio Academy when it was led by Peter Baldwin. Tim seemed to have unlimited knowledge about all things, radio, and he was unfailingly civil and polite to this Yank seeking to learn his way around the nacent and dynamic commercial radio industry. Definitely a one off.
Tim Blackmore was the titan of our profession, but everyone reading this knows that. I can only express my profound personal gratitude for his life. He asked me to become the host of both the Ivor Novello Awards and Sony Radio Awards, which I did for 34 and 10 years respectively, providing me with career highlights in both cases. We worked together on the first nationally syndicated sponsored radio show. Even now I broadcast PICK OF THE POPS produced by Seven Digital, of which he was co-founder. At all times he managed to be a complete gentleman. Personally and professionally, Tim was tops.
As a newly trained sound engineer working for BFBS, during my first week I was asked by Charles Foster to work with Tim Blackmore. What followed was an absolute masterclass in package making and radio production – how lucky was I!
It was the first of many collaborations with Tim and beautiful Bethan Davis for Unique Broadcasting.
Tim was a wonderful man, ‘Mentor to Many’, and I wish him love and healing for his onward journey and his next ‘Big Adventure’ and I know that wherever he is, he’s hitting the vocals in the most perfect way! 🙂
It was a privilege to know Tim, albeit just a little. A great radio man.
Forever, a kind, thoughtful, compassionate soul and professional. Benedicite, Tim.
I’m not a radio industry person but a lifelong aficionado of the craft. I’ve known of Tim for over 40 years, from The Story of Pop to his time at Capital and beyond. Last year I heard he was living in my home town of Cheltenham and read that he gave occasional talks to local groups. I emailed him and asked when his next talks would be. He replied promptly, telling me candidly about his prognosis and that there would be no more talks. I’m sad that I never got to hear one of Tim’s talks, but it’s clear from the wonderful tributes how many industry professionals he nurtured and guided over the years. Thoughts with Tim’s family and friends.
Often overused, but the terms legend and iconic are barely enough to describe one of the smartest, kindest and most generous of men. It is right that the industry is in mourning for one of its greats who defined not only what was possible, but also that it was possible to be so impressive while having such integrity.
And so so many people have talked about how important he was in their careers and also to them personally. And I am no exception. Tim, for no gain to himself, took me under his wing when I had no experience and no standing in the industry. And he encouraged me to get involved in the Radio Festival – he taught me that being in the BBC was not enough. That understanding and being part of the industry as a whole was the only way to be. And he did exactly that – he stood bestride the BBC and commercial radio, admired by both equally. I learned so much from him over the years and I constantly told him that – but he would never take the thanks. Helping people was just in his DNA. It was just who he was.
It is important that he was admired – but even more, that he was loved. So loved. And he will be so missed.
When, just over a year ago Tim sent an email telling a few friends and colleagues of his devastating diagnosis, I sent him this email which I paste below.
I am so terribly sorry to hear this devastating news.
I want you to know how much respect and affection I have for you and how important you have been as a mentor, boss, teacher, confidant and friend.
I think back to all of the great work we did at Capital; Help A London Child weekends with you sitting by my side, a calm presence amid the chaos, and from those events the strongest memory I have is your laughter – we did laugh a lot didn’t we ?
“Six Of The Best” would never had happened had it not been for your vision, your support and, once again, your sense of humour ! It was groundbreaking programming, evidenced by the fact that it has been copied ( but never equalled) by countless less gifted programmers than yourself many times over.
Tim, you have not just been a huge influence on my professional life but you are a role model to me in so many other ways. Decency, honesty, integrity,principle, probity,virtue and candour are just some of the qualities you have shown me and others.
In an industry where those admirable qualities are sometimes seen as unimportant or even a sign of weakness, you showed us that great success can be achieved without having to jettison those principles.
You showed us that good guys can win.
You are a giant of our industry.
It has been a privilege to have you as a colleague and a friend.
I count myself so lucky that our paths intersected.
Please keep in touch when you can.
With warmth, affection and respect,