Last night - or, more accurately, in the very early hours of this morning - we said an on-air fond farewell to someone I've been working with throughout my entire professional career at the BBC. Keith Skues, "Cardboard Shoes", who retired after 61 years in broadcasting with us, Independent Local Radio, BBC Radio 1, Radio Caroline, the British Forces Network and more besides.
Yesterday was Keith's final regular programme, and I was fortunate enough not only to be working on it to help say goodbye to him, but also to have been able to pay tribute with another feature in the Weekend supplement of the Eastern Daily Press on Saturday. They've also put it online, where you can read it here.
My first ever paid shift at the BBC - after a few months as a volunteer phone answerer on the old Action Desk - was working on Keith's Sunday night show in February 2007. I was his regular broadcast assistant for the next two-and-a-half years or so, and have often deputised ever since, as well as working with him from time-to-time on assorted special broadcasts and documentaries. One of my own personal favourite memories in radio will always be getting the chance to produce a show from Broadcasting House, when we did his Radio 1 50th anniversary special from there in October 2017.
So I owe a lot to Keith, a unique character who inspires a great deal of fond affection in many who have worked with and listened to him down the decades. Thanks to him, and thanks to the EDP for allowing me to put some of that on the record.