The 50th Anniversary of BBC Radio Leicester is on 8th November 2017.

This unofficial blog aims to tell the story of Britain's first UK mainland local radio station, and to celebrate its achievements with the help of former staff, their families and our listeners.

Please register below if you would like to receive occasional email alerts and RSS news feeds. You will also be able to contribute posts and images.

Roger Eames Obituary

PeoplePosted by Stephen Butt Tue, November 08, 2016 16:10:58
It is so sad that our Programme Organiser for eighteen years Roger Eames, will not be with us in body to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary; but we can still celebrate his career and his friendly presence.

The following is from former Station Manager Owen Bentley for whom Roger was 'second in command' for twelve years:

Music and especially jazz is the thread that connects all parts of Roger Eames’s BBC career. He joined the BBC as a studio manager in 1962 and his skills in balancing such outfits as the NDO in Manchester led to his appointment as a music producer, a job that encompassed Music While You Work, Those were the Days, Victor Sylvester and Round Midnight but also sessions with young groups destined to characterise the sixties pop sound. An accomplished double bass player who had played jazz and formed his own bands since his student days he was soon the producer of Radio 2’s weekly Jazz Club presented by Humphrey Lyttleton featuring top jazz artists from around the world and new talent unearthed by Roger. He was proud of having introduced Jazz Workshop to Radio 3 despite the Controller’s comment that he “didn’t understand a note of it”. During these years he was the British judge at the Montreux Jazz Festival and served on Arts Council panels.

By 1969 Roger had a young family and wanted a more settled life and Local Radio beckoned. Following a brief successful attachment as Programme Organiser on Radio Nottingham he was appointed PO at Radio Leicester in 1970 where with interludes elsewhere, all music related, he would stay until his retirement in 1988. There his wide interests and amiable personality were great assets on and off the station and he always had time to talk and encourage newcomers. His love of music showed in the airtime given to local musicians, choirs and brass bands. His contacts at Radio 2 led to a memorable Local Radio 10th anniversary show which he produced featuring talent from all 20 stations broadcast on the national network and on all 20 Local Radio stations.

His Local Radio duties apart Roger was in demand as a musician and could be found on occasions in the pit of the Haymarket Theatre for the musicals for which that theatre established a national reputation. Together with his wife Christine, herself a talented composer and conductor they formed the Radio Leicester Big Band which went on to win major awards in Radio 2’s big band contests garnering welcome publicity and prestige for the station.

By the late 80s Roger found the narrowing of the programme focus of Local Radio increasingly irksome and took early retirement establishing a PR agency for public schools before moving to Spain where he and Christine took their music skills to a new audience.

  • Comments(2)

Fill in only if you are not real

The following XHTML tags are allowed: <b>, <br/>, <em>, <i>, <strong>, <u>. CSS styles and Javascript are not permitted.
Posted by David Wilde OP Thu, February 23, 2017 23:23:15

Fun days on Sunday mornings at the BBC Market Place Studios poring over our lovely and talented musicians and then off to the County Arms for a pint. Christmas was a re-living of the famous film/movie about Glen Miller when we stood and posed on Roger's staircase at his home in the London Road area of Leicester for a photo op. I wonder who has or where that photo is now? Arrangements by some pretty big names including Roger's wife Christine. Her arrangement 'Above the Shadow of a Cloud' with High School solo French hornist Richard Bissell then still at the county under Erik Pinkerton with the Leicestershire Schools Orchestra.

Posted by Steve May Mon, January 23, 2017 19:24:09

Lovely guy Roger. When I confronted him at Owens retirement party with the words "Roger,do u realise you only paid me a tenner for presenting and producing the 3 hour live Saturday afternoon sport programme in 1979?" ( a GML package paid a fiver). Roger replied: "Was it that much?"