Simon Cole


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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.