ABOVE - Ian Hyams, Sheri and Wally dress up for our Christmas day broadcast. In the studio with Michael Speake (with an E) as he used to say. TO VIEW PICTURES CLOSE UP CLICK ON THEM.
I lost two great mates this past week. Ian Hyams and Michael Speake.
Ian was the first news editor of BBC Radio Norfolk. I first met him at an open evening when all the young hopefuls went to the Maids Head Hotel on a blustery winter evening early 1980. He was the man who gave me my first taste of news reporting and who nurtured me through those early years of the station. Not big in stature he was a giant journalist who encouraged and inspied everyone who came into contact with him. He never forgot anyone even though in recent years he lived in Boston in the States. Hugely admired and respected. Not long back he became ill and returned to Norwich and we corresponded by e-mail. Sadly I didn't get to meet up with him because just as we'd arranged it, he was called away to Scotland to another porrly relative. Such was his nature and although he promised to re-arrange that visit upon his return, he himself wasn't well enough and I received the news of his death with a heavy heart. My love and sincere condolences go to his family who're spread worldwide and I'm sure that his memory will live long in the hearts of the thousands who knew him even if only briefly. I salute you Ian.
Then came the phone call to say that Michael had left us after a short illness. An Anglia TV announcer we first met in the clubs of Norwich where I worked and he played. Seeming to be almost a loner, he was happy with his own company but he had many friends in many different spheres. He liked to mend clocks, tinker with old cars ad was a knowledgeable film buff which led to him joining me on-air on Sunday afternoons for while. His movie phone-ins were extremely popular. We remained friends to the last. Our final day together was when he joined Sheri and I with other friends for a cruise to Norwich and back on New Years Day. He always had a ready smile and was always good company with never a bad word for anything or anyone. He told us proudly how he'd just put in a new central heating boiler single handed. He'll be sorely missed but we'll always remember him.