Dear Editor, I am very sad to hear of the death of my former colleague and friend Barry Lankester who died on Sunday night last after a long illness.

Barry was known to thousands of Midlanders in the ‘60s as a newsreader and presenter on the old BBC Midlands Home Service later going over to Midlands Today to be the first presenter. He was known to a much wider radio audience as the ‘Voice of The Archers’ being the introducer of each evenings episode for many years.

He was one of the founding producers of the old Radio Birmingham later WM and I met him when I moved to the Midlands to join the production staff. He was famous for producing music programmes of all types, he produced the first community ‘all race’ programmes in local Radio – it even included a weekly news section in Esperanto!

Later we co-produced a famous series of brass band competitions.

He really was a great local radio producer getting literally hundreds of people on the air in the early days. Many people will have been part of his musical weekends at the old Pebble Mill studios where on weekends in the seventies and eighties they would troop in for various musical festivals and competitions. He also regularly broadcast commentaries of the matches of Moseley Rugby Club.

We all past and present in and outside the BBC owe him a great deal for what he did to make local radio work.

Pete Simpkin

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