16th November 1998


A frustrating twenty-year wait has come to an end for John Butcher, a graduate of the University of Lincoln’s Media Production course.

The BBC has sponsored John (49) to produce a six-and-a-half-minute audio play, ‘Radio Man’, and even paid the university for the use of the state-of-the-art facilities in its new Media Production Centre.

John, who has lived in Hull since 1979, graduated this summer with a degree in Media Production - and almost immediately he had a radio script accepted by the BBC after twenty years of trying!

“We try to equip our students with skills which they can use in the outside world,” commented course lecturer Deborah Wilson. “John was bursting with ideas but went twenty years without selling a single one of them. We helped him to put these ideas into a coherent form which would grab attention.”

John worked for several years as a radio operator on Britain’s offshore oil rigs and has drawn on his experiences to produce his audio work - a “dramatised reminiscence” about short-wave radio.

“The British coastal radio stations used to maintain a continuous listening watch on the maritime distress and calling frequency,” he explained. “But on New Year’s Eve last year that all ended, and the system went over to satellites instead. It was the end of an era and a landmark in the history of radio. It almost passed unnoticed, so I thought I’d have my little say!”

John’s striking audio play is made up of high-tech sound effects and a narrative which is reinforced by the voices of Tim Bendink and Terry Mallon (David Archer and Mike Tucker of ‘The Archers’) and BBC Radio 4 newsreader Peter Donaldson.

The play will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on December 10th at 11.30pm.

For more information contact:

Jez Ashberry

Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside

Tel: 01522 886042

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk