Thursday, 28 April 2016

I once made a programme about that for Radio 4

BBC Radio Norfolk boss and regular presenter of Treasure Quest - a mad dash around the county by car in search of clues but without the Anneka Rice jumpsuit - has retired after 35 years at the station. 

David Clayton stood down as Editor last month and presented his final Treasure Quest last Sunday. Whilst not part of the Radio Norfolk launch team in September 1980 he started to guest as a showbiz expert and appeared on Juke Box Jury before being offered a Sunday breakfast slot in 1981. In 1983 he moved to a weekday mid-morning show, The Norfolk Airline, co-presenting with Neil Walker. They won a Sony in 1986 for Best Magazine Programme before graduating to national radio on Radio 4's The Local Network (1987-91).

In The Local Network David and Neil  linked up with "BBC Local Radio stations to investigate issues of common concern around the country" covering everything from tourism and bridge tolls  to puddings and pools winners. Years later there was a long-standing joke at Radio Norfolk that David would often claim "I once made a programme about that for Radio 4", much the way that Uncle Albert would preface his "during the war" anecdotes. 

A Radio Times article introducing the new 1987 series of The Local Network described the duo as the 'Timpson and Redhead' of Radio Norfolk. "Some people define it as chemistry and that's the basis of all good double acts", said David. "But it may have something to do with the fact that we have very little in common and rarely meet off the air."      

Also broadcasting from Norwich David briefly appeared as an in-vision announcer on Anglia TV and read the news on Look East for several years in the mid-80s. He also co-presented, again with Neil Walker, two short series for Radio 4 called Today's the Day (1990-92) that sought to "explore extraordinary days in people's lives".

Returning to Radio Norfolk in 1991 he was first Programme Organiser (what would now be called an Assistant Editor) and then Managing Editor in 1998. Although now management he still couldn't be prised away from the studio and continued to appear on air, usually on Sundays. When Treasure Quest started in 2008 David took over the 'Kenneth Kendall' style role

David had a big on-air send-off last Sunday in Goodbye to all that. The previous week one of those The Local Network shows got an airing. Last heard on Radio 4 in February 1988 it investigated regional differences in comedy. It's still online here.

You can hear another edition of The Local Network that I posted in 2012 here.

My thanks to Paul Hayes, aka The Questmaster, at BBC Radio Norfolk for his help with this post. 

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