Radio and TV personality John Myers dies aged 60

Radio executive, presenter and television personality John Myers has died aged 60.

The man who launched CFM in Cumbria as well as four versions of Century Radio in the North East, North West, East Midlands and a short-lived Leeds version, has died suddenly aged 60.

The personality was also known under his DJ name of John Morgan and hosted several radio programmes across numerous networks. He was also a continuity announcer with ITV’s Border Television based in Carlisle with the notoriety of hosting Border Birthdays alongside puppet Eric the Monkey as well as being a regular personality on Tyne Tees Television’s Tyne Tees Weekend in the mid-1990s as one of the shows feature reporters.

CFM News report this morning that John’s son Scott announced his father’s passing on social media in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“John’s was the first voice heard on CFM as the original host of the breakfast show on April 14th 1993, and despite only being with the station for a year, made such an impact on listeners in Cumbria & South West Scotland, his name is still fondly associated with CFM to this day.” – CFM News

During his year with CFM he hosted the breakfast show as well as a phone-in. In September 1994 John launched along with John Simons 100-102 FM Century Radio with a mix of music from the 1960s to the then present day. Metro Radio dismissed Century as ‘bringing a format Metro had operated twenty years earlier’ however Century proved a huge success for John, who also fronted the early morning programme as John Morgan. His breakfast show saw spin-off books, tape and CD releases of his ‘wind-up calls’ and a locally released record Three Rosettes, a comedy song performed by Myres about an award winning pigeon.

The success of the Century brand in the North East saw a Century club launched which issued monthly newsletters as well as occasional meet the DJs events. A short lived attempt to gain a licence in Yorkshire saw a Leeds-based Century Radio transmitting across a month in 1998. Later in the same year Radio 106 based in Nottingham was taken over and re-branded as Century 106 with a final station under the brand Century 105 launching in the North West in September 1998.

With Century John brought on board well known names as well as local talent, this included in the North East James Whale, Paul Gough, comedian Mike Elliott, Tyne Tees presenters Paul Frost and Bill Steel and Scottie McClue; the on-air persona of Colin Lamont. There was also the hugely successful comedy soap opera The Bradshaws.

Following the sale of Century Network he became Chief executive of GMG Radio, developing the Real Radio, Smooth Radio and Rock Radio brands. In recent years he’s also acted as a broadcasting consultant which included producing, for the Government, a report on the future of local radio in the UK and reviewing the efficiencies of a number of BBC radio stations.

He has returned to CFM to host special shows many times over the years, the most recent of which was for CFM’s 20th birthday in 2013 while also keeping a keen interest in local broadcasting, showing a distaste for the lack of regional programming on some of the networks including CFM which he noted on social media on May 31st this year ‘My issue with Bauer networking CFM at weekends is that they are allowed to do so while there is no other local commercial / community service offering any alternative. Until that changes, CFM should be compelled (and want to) maintain present levels of local output.’

Myers started his radio career in 1980 as a Station Assistant for BBC Radio Cumbria working for other broadcasters including Red Rose Radio in the North West and Radio Tees (TFM) for Cleveland and Teesside.

Over the past year John was undergoing treatment after being diagnosed with cancer in 2018. ITV Tyne Tees report his sudden death came from a suspected heart attack while playing golf.

Myers was awarded a Fellowship in 2005 by The Radio Academy for his contribution to radio. In 2010 he was presented with an outstanding achievement award by The Radio Centre in recognition of his long service to commercial radio. John is survived by his wife Linda, his children Scott and Kerry, and two grandchildren.

“Our family is heartbroken to announce the passing of John Myers. Loving husband. Incredible Dad. Grandad. Brother. Amazing Friend. Biker. Golfer. Our Hero. He went through life with a smile, his glass was always half full and no matter how much life got you down, he always found the humour. We hope your memories are filled with as much joy as ours. We love you. We miss you.” – Son Scott Myers

John ‘Morgan’, (centre in the red jacket), entertains Century listeners at a club event, 1996. Image: ATV Archive/Century Radio.
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