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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 > John Leonard

John Leonard

John Leonard

John Leonard

John Leonard was a producer and presenter at Radio Sheffield from 1976 to 1982. He initially took on the Folk Show after Tony Capstick, and is now Managing Director of an independent radio company.

:: Johh Leonard
Presenter/Producer, 1976-1982

How did you come to work for Radio Sheffield?

I came in initially to present the Folk Show when Tony Capstick became too good to be tucked away on a specialist show and was promoted to the main daily output. I had all the essential attributes to be the folk presenter. I was available and cheap.

Since leaving Radio Sheffield what else have you done?

I left Radio Sheffield in the early 1980s to join BBC Network Radio in Manchester where I worked for Radio 1 and Radio 2. Around 1992 I left the BBC to join the independent company Smooth Operations. I'm now Managing Director of Smooth Ops and we produce things like The Radcliffe and Maconie show, The Mike Harding Show, The 2006 Radio Ballads and The Folk Awards for Radio 2 and The Bruce Dickinson Rock Show for 6 Music.

"Watching Dick Titchin ripping off his trousers and dancing round the garden in his pants is a memory that is somehow difficult to shake."

John Leonard

Proudest moment at Radio Sheffield?

Producing concerts like 'Feast Of Brass and Voices' at the City Hall. Three Brass Bands, a choir of some hundreds and a packed house. With hindsight, to say I produced those shows is a bit misleading. I sort of just hung onto the event's coat tails but I was certainly proud to be a part of the concerts and certainly learnt a lot.

Other good/funny memories?

During one hot summer there was a leaving party for someone in the garden of the old Radio Sheffield building at Westbourne Grove. During the speeches a bee flew up the trouser leg of Dick Titchin, then Music Producer. Watching Richard ripping off his trousers and dancing round the garden in his underpants during what was, up to that point, a very moving speech is a memory that is somehow difficult to shake.

Tony Capstick with Nellie the cleaner

Tony Capstick with Nellie the cleaner

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

The saddest occasion relating to Radio Sheffield was well after I'd left the station. I went to see Tony Capstick at his home in Wentworth, it was after he’d left Radio Sheffield and his illness had a good hold of him. We listened to The Carter Family, his favourite band, and talked about some of the daft things we'd done together at Radio Sheffield. He died only a few weeks later.

During your time here, who was your favourite presenter?

Without a doubt Tony Capstick. Probably, in his prime, my all time favourite presenter.

Favourite place in South Yorkshire?

Around Conisbrough Castle during the day. Ferryboat Inn in Mexborough at night.

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

Wonderful times, great learning experience and really nice people to be among.

last updated: 05/10/07

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