Monday, 10 June 2013

Mark Turnbull

I’m very sad to hear of the death of Mark Turnbull.

Best known as a presenter and producer on BBC Radio Cleveland (now BBC Tees), Mark was a truly remarkable and inspiring character and a sad loss will be felt in many areas of life. Aged 50, he passed away this weekend in hospital in Middlesbrough after a short illness.

Blind from birth, Mark made his name as a journalist covering County Durham courtrooms for local newspapers and reporting on darts and snooker for the Press Association. He became a well-known and respected presenter on BBC Radio Cleveland where he was perfectly able to drive his own shows. He was President of the NUJ for 12 months and was also the first blind chairman of a magistrate’s court in England, serving at Teesside Combined Courts.

He was passionate about radio and Teesside and had a great memory for contacts, names and voices. I remember when I was managing the rival TFM radio he would be able to tell if I had arrived at a local function just from the distant sound of my voice across a crowded room and would call out “Brian Lister has arrived”.  He would repeat this with others throughout the evening.

No mere local presenter, Mark had met, interviewed and was well remembered by many top national and international politicians but he still retained a friendly human touch in his dealing with local listeners. The world of radio is poorer without him.

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