John

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John

I was born in 1931. I began working at the BBC in 1957, my final year at the BBC was 1991.


Education

Lyon Hall Prep School John Lyons, Harrow

Previous Jobs

Tennis club groundsman (awaiting National Service) Air Wireless Mechanic, RAF National Service Medical Lab Technician, Blood Transfusion Service

How I joined the BBC

I was told I would never earn much in the lab job, then my mother rang me to say the BBC was advertising for technical operators. Thinking I had no chance, I applied.

My first impressions of the BBC

I was bewildered at the depth of its activities, then I enjoyed it immensely.

Broad BBC career

Briefly in control room, then in recording unit at BH. Did a relief visit to Maida Vale Where my lunchtime table tennis led me to 7 years at the Radiophonic Workshop, Said I wanted to get away from London and was seconded to Bristol which became permanent and included music recording, particularly with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (which my son, Pete, now conducts). Attached to NHU (1973) which became permanent.

My training at the BBC

Special Gereral course, 1959(?), 2 six month Evesham operational courses, 1 TV course plus several other odd visits.




Periods at the BBC

1961 until 1967

After the continuous load of working in recording and radio studios, the Radiophonic Workshop was a dramatic change. Strictly there as a technician, my role was much wider and creative input was welcomed. ..

Main memories of the period

Just 3 of us were there to keep the place going technically but after that any thing went. Our 'customers' came with a programme need but often not sure what so we all contributed. Spare time was used to experiment. One lunchtime gap became a Parlaphone record (for the BBC). My most exposed output was, working with John Baker, I constructed the baseline of Ron Grainer's Dr Who signature tune.






I worked on the following programmes during this time at the BBC:

Living World, Wildlife, Natural History Programme, Bird of the Week and many others

From 1973 until 1991 I worked as a Producer on Living World, Wildlife, Natural History Programme, Bird of the Week and many others. Living World was a perfect outlet for my interests and it gave me the opportunity to meet so many naturalists, academics and ordinary people with a wildlife story to tell - and to visit wonderful places. Wildlife also did similar but was mainly studio-based.




Clubs

Links