First Piccadilly Radio programmer Colin Walters has died

Piccadilly Radio’s launch Programme Controller, Colin Walters, has died.

Colin started his radio as a Producer Presenter in the late 60s on the newly launched BBC Radio Nottingham. In 1970 he became Deputy Manager and by 1972 was Manager.

When commercial radio started in 1973 he famously wrote to all his staff warning of the dire consequences should anyone be as foolish as to apply for a position at the likes of Radio Clyde or Capital Radio. Shortly afterward in 1974 he was appointed to the job of Programme Controller at Piccadilly Radio in Manchester – where he remained till the station was bought-out in 1989.

John Evington, who Colin hired at Piccadilly, pays tribute: “Colin was one of the legendary characters in the early days of commercial radio, famous for taking risks and giving new broadcasters their first break – myself included.

“So many of today’s famous names in media started out on Colin’s watch and I’m sure the tributes will flow. My thoughts are with Petrina and Colin’s close friends and family.”

Since leaving Picadilly in 1989 Colin worked as a consultant in the radio industry before retiring in 2002.

Editor-in-Chief of Bauer Radio News, John Pickford tweeted: “Really sad to hear that Colin Walters my first Programme Controller at Piccadilly Radio (now Hits Radio) has died. He was a talented and inspirational leader and put commercial radio in Manchester firmly on the map.”

Former Piccadilly Radio presenter James H Reeve said: “This might mean something to someone: Colin Walters, the first Programme Controller of Piccadilly Radio, in 1974, died yesterday. I owe him a great deal.”

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3 Comments
  1. Lee Morrison says

    I worked at Piccadilly Radio from 1985-1989 just as the Caretaker/dogs body, but Colin was so nice to me and never condescending, despite my lowly position. He’d usually lend me his Jaguar XJS to go and pick some engineering equipment up as well, which was a nice treat for a 20 year old! He did a lovely little presentation for me on my 21st Birthday, which included a present of £100, which was a decent amount of money back then. Top bloke who really revolutionised Piccadilly Radio/regional radio and nurtured some incredible talent there along the way. A visionary, fond memories. RIP Colin.

  2. David Baker says

    Watching that interview with Colin makes you realise the difference between radio then and now He knew how to make it tick and tick well and find the right people for the right jobs . Now I need say no more.

  3. Stephen barnes says

    Been a sad week Tony emerson died this week too. Definitely need a piccadilly tribute station now.

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