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Tributes paid to presenter Barry

MIDLANDS Today’s very first presenter, who lived in Solihull, has died at the age of 76.

MIDLANDS Today’s very first presenter, who lived in Solihull, has died at the age of 76.

Barry Lankester, of Buryfield Road, enjoyed a long and successful career in broadcasting.

The presenter joined the BBC in 1955 and went on to become a familiar face across the region.

He presented the BBC Midlands Home Service and later went on to present the first edition of Midlands Today - going live from a tiny studio in Broad Street in 1964.

Six years later, he made history again - launching Radio Birmingham (the forerunner of Radio WM).

For a decade, Mr Lankester could also be heard introducing Radio 4’s drama The Archers, Pete Simpkin, a friend and former BBC colleague, said: “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.”

Mr Lankester died at Bramley Court Nursing Home, Yardley Wood, following a long illness. He is survived by wife Marigold and children Rupert and Rachel.

 

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