Tributes have been paid to the first ever programme controller of both Capital Radio and Classic FM, Michael Bukht, who has died at the age of 69.
Michael was also known to millions of TV viewers as Michael Barry for his work as presenter of the BBC’s Food and Drink programme.
He became known as the ‘Crafty Cook’ for his technique of highlighting shortcuts in cooking and presented a daily recipe slot on Classic FM from launch in 1992, alongside being the Programme Controller until 1997.
Classic FM’s Managing Director Darren Henley told RadioToday.co.uk: “Michael was absolutely instrumental in making Classic FM a huge success when we launched. It’s easy to forget now, that in 1992, Classic FM completely redefined how classical music radio could sound. Michael was the key creative force in making that happen. His brilliant mind, coupled with an amazingly forceful personality, made him the right sort of person to reinvent classical music radio. A generation of listeners owe him a great debt of gratitude.”
Michael also worked at Invicta FM and was Principal of the National Broadcasting School for a time.
Interviewed by the Telegraph in 2005, Michael said: “As Michael Bukht, I was very much the senior broadcasting executive. If you’re dealing with a board of investors who are proposing to lend your radio station millions of pounds, you don’t speak to them in quite the same way as you do when you’re telling housewives how to make a cheese pie. When you’re a cook, people require you to exhibit a certain bonhomie; you’re expected to be cheery and positive all the time.”
On Twitter, David Kid Jensen paid tribute: “Very sad. I remember Michael Bukht well from his Capital Radio days and I always enjoyed both his compaany and also his wit.”
Former colleague Clive Jones wrote: “Sorry to hear Michael Bukht has died, my old boss at Classic FM. Had a personality that dominated a room. Scary, but great to work for.”
Former LBC producer Jonathan Perry added: “Just heard Michael Bukht has died. He was my boss and gave me a great job at the National Broadcasting school in the eighties. #verysad”
Orion Media’s David Lloyd has posted an audio clip of Michael speaking about the launch of Capital Radio here.
You can leave your tributes to Michael below.