remembers Tony Shryane
Shryane, a former producer of The Archers, including its first episode,
was 84 and had been ill for some time. He died peacefully at his
home in St Austell in Cornwall.
in Harbourne in Birmingham on 20 January 1919, Tony Shryane declined
his father's offer of a gold watch if he went to grammar school
(he'd passed the entrance exam) as he was anxious to start work.
first job with the BBC was in the Effects Department. As a junior
producer's assistant at the Birmingham studios, Tony began to learn
the secrets of giving life-like sounds to programmes in the days
when everyone listened to the wireless.
served in the Second World War and when he was demobbed in 1945,
went back to the BBC, working on the very first radio soap, The
Robinson Family, as well as Mrs Dale's Diary and Dick Barton.
1 January 1951, Tony produced the very first episode of The Archers
and went on to produce more than seven thousand episodes over the
next 28 years.
Archers is now the world's longest running broadcast drama serial.
well as working on The Archers, Tony Shryane also devised Guilty
Party (1954), a crime quiz; My Word (1956), a literary quiz for
radio and television with Nancy Spain, Dilys Powell, Frank Muir
and Denis Norden; and My Music (1966), again for radio and television,
chaired by Steve Race.
1961, Tony was awarded the MBE for services to radio and when the
then Director-General of the BBC, Sir Ian Trethowan, wrote to Tony
on his retirement in 1979, he told him that reading his file covering
45 years - during which time he'd never missed a day through illness
- was like reading a history of broadcasting.
retirement was really only on paper as freelancing as a 60-year-old,
Tony went on producing My Word and My Music and having completed
50 years service in 1984, he finally hung up his headphones.
Whitburn, editor of The Archers, says: "We are saddened to
learn of the death of Tony Shryane.
was incredibly important in establishing the foundations of The
Archers which has lasted for more than fifty years.
leaving, he remained a friend of the programme and kept in touch
with Archers' actors and production team over the years, and we
owe him a great debt of gratitude.
sincere sympathy is extended to his wife, family and friends."
adds: "I met Tony when I first worked on The Archers in the
1970s. He kept a supportive and gentle eye on me - an enthusiastic
young producer who was so thrilled to be working on the programme."
Painting, who has played Phil Archer since it began in 1951, says:
"I first met Tony 54 years ago, before The Archers began, and
he always had a phenomenal amount of enthusiasm. I shall always
remember him for his enormous energy and tremendous imagination,
as he was always having new ideas.
BBC has never employed a more hard working and loyal man, as Tony
always believed in doing everything to the letter."
Abramsky, Director of Radio & Music, says: "Without Tony
Shryane, some of the most iconic programmes on Radio 4 would not
have been created.
is a lasting legacy and while his contribution to The Archers is
rightly regarded as hugely important, we also remember his contribution
across a whole range of BBC programmes such as working on My Word
and My Music."
leaves his wife Valerie and their sons Dominic and Michael. Their
daughter Elizabeth died in 1992 in a road accident. Tony also has
a son, Paul, from his first marriage.