Tim Blackmore MBE has died, aged 78


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The family of Tim Blackmore have announced that Tim has passed away, aged 78.

Tim, who has passed away today aged 78, was a leader in the UK radio industry for over 60 years.

Originally trained as a technical operator and studio manager at the BBC, Tim joined the BBC’s Gramophone Department as part of the team charged with launching the new pop music service Radio 1, in 1967. It was there he went on to produce DJs Tony Blackburn, Noel Edmonds, Stuart Henry and later Alan Fluff Freeman, the Radio 1 Roadshow and landmark documentary series The Story of Pop.

He left the BBC in 1977 to join London’s Capital Radio, where he soon became Head of Music and later Head of Programmes. It was while in this role in 1981 that he delivered a major speech to the Edinburgh Radio Festival, an event which would go on to become the new Radio Academy’s flagship annual conference.

Tim left Capital in 1982, and it was at that year’s Radio Festival that BBC Director of Radio Sir Dick Francis proposed the idea of a new body to bring together the BBC and Commercial radio industry. Through the work of a team including Caroline Millington, John Bradford, John Whitney, Peter Baldwin, and Jimmy (later Lord) Gordon The Radio Academy was formed. It was launched in 1983, and incorporated as a charity three years later.

Through the early 1980s Tim led numerous initiatives to bring the Radio industry together for celebration and debate. When the Sony Radio Awards was formed by Alan Zafer in the same year as The Academy, Tim was on the committee - later to Chair the awards for 13 years. He devised and chaired the annual Music Radio conference for a decade. And as The Radio Academy grew in stature and scope, in 1987 he became its first paid Director.

In 1989 Tim, having met Simon Cole at one of the first Sony Awards ceremonies, co-founded Unique Broadcasting with him. Unique became one of the early pioneers in the independent audio sector, starting with sponsored programmes on commercial stations and then being part of the BBC’s first experiment in independent production.

Unique – which later became the UBC Media Group and listed on the London Stock Exchange - produced radio, TV and events. The company was a pioneer in DAB Digital Radio, creating the Oneword channel at the launch of Digital One and owning the Classic Gold radio network.

Tim is survived by his wife Margaret and children Simon and Joanna.