Dorset

Radio Solent studio named after listener John Martin

Steve Harris and Lord Tony Hall with plaque for John Martin studio
Image caption The handwritten card has been framed and installed in the studio where the show is broadcast

A BBC radio studio has been named after a listener from Dorset who sent a thank-you card to his local radio station after his death.

John Martin from Weymouth, a regular caller to BBC Radio Solent's Breakfast in Dorset show, arranged for the card to be sent to the team in Dorchester.

BBC Director General Tony Hall cut the ribbon on the studio where the show is broadcast on weekday mornings.

Lord Hall said he was "incredibly moved" by the story.

Mr Martin, 83, known to listeners as "John from Weymouth" had instructed his solicitor to send the handwritten card following his death in June, which read: "When you read this card, I will have departed this earth.

'Fantastic tribute'

"Just a message to thank you all for you programmes, full of local interest, news, travel, weather, interviews, brain teasers, music..."

After learning that Mr Martin had no relatives, presenter Steve Harris invited listeners to pay their respects, prompting dozens of people to attend the funeral at Weymouth Crematorium.

The handwritten card has now been framed with a plaque and installed in the studio named in his memory.

Lord Hall cut the ribbon to the studio live on air, and said: "I think it's a fantastic tribute to you and the team that someone should feel so strongly about what you do and that you should play such an important part in his life, as I'm sure you do in many, many other people's lives.

"I find it so moving that you didn't know where he was for some time, and then suddenly the next thing you get is a card from him, and the words that he wrote are a terrific tribute to what you do.

"Only local radio can be that close to the people that matter."

Image caption "John from Weymouth" was a regular listener to the Breakfast in Dorset programme
Image caption Dozens of people attended the funeral of "John from Weymouth" who had no relatives

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC