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24 September 2014

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Radio Sheffield's 40th Birthday

You are in: South Yorkshire > Radio Sheffield's 40th Birthday > Michael Barton

Dave Sheasby and Michael Barton

Dave Sheasby and Michael Barton

Michael Barton

Michael Barton was BBC Radio Sheffield's first managing editor, from 1967 to 1972. To this day, he's proud of his team there and the great things they achieved.

:: Michael Barton
First Editor of BBC Radio Sheffield Editor, 1967-74

Since leaving Radio Sheffield what else have you done?

I became Controller of BBC Local Radio for 13 years. Then went freelance - running a travelling radio festival for the BBC followed by being director of the BBC Experience - an exhibition in the basement of Broadcasting House.

Proudest moment at Radio Sheffield?

The day we went on air when all the staff were so brilliant and enthusiastic.

Michael Barton

Michael Barton

Other good memories?

The day Nellie the cleaner unplugged the studio to use her vacuum cleaner. And the gardening programme I was introducing live from the Sheffield Show when I described "botty-ritis" as a nasty problem.

What was your worst on air (or off) moment?

Directing the local election programme while my wife was in labour and not being able to ring the hospital.

During your time here, who was your favourite presenter?

Michael Cooke who, sadly, died some years ago. He had a brilliant way with callers to his regular phone-in.

Michael Barton with the team at Radio Sheffield

Michael Barton with the team at Radio Sheffield

How do you spend your free time?

Gardening, tennis, theatre, and playing with the grandchildren.

Looking back now, how would you sum up your Radio Sheffield experience?

The most exciting period in my entire BBC career.

The city council under Ron Ironmonger couldn't have been more supportive (they had to pay for our first two years). And the freedom to "get on with it" given to us by the BBC meant that we could experiment, make mistakes and not feel under central pressure. How else would we have held our annual pantomime with the leader of the council, the chief constable and other city dignitaries letting their hair down?

And I feel proud that so many of our team went on to do great things - like becoming the Managing Director of all BBC Radio (Michael Green), presenter of the World at One (Michael Cooke), the boss of Children's TV for ITV (Janie Griffiths), the Head of BBC Training (Tim Neale) and many others.

last updated: 05/10/07

You are in: South Yorkshire > Radio Sheffield's 40th Birthday > Michael Barton

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