Iconic Midland radio presenter Ed Doolan dies, aged 76
Iconic Midland radio presenter Ed Doolan has died, aged 76.
The BBC WM DJ died this morning following a battle with dementia.
Ed passed away peacefully in his sleep while at home in the early hours, his agent and manager Paul Vaughan confirmed. Ed's wife Christine was with him.
The Australian-born presenter and philanthropist began his radio career at Birmingham's BRMB (now Free Radio Birmingham) back in 1974. He then moved on to BBC WM in 1982.
Head of local and regional programmes for BBC West Midlands, David Jennings, today described Ed as 'the people's champion'.
"Ed was a broadcasting giant loved by generations of radio listeners in the West Midlands," said David.
"On his daily show, he was the people’s champion - tireless in his pursuit of truth and fairness for all.
"Ed faced dementia with indomitable spirit and bravery, raising awareness of the condition and continuing to broadcast on BBC WM every week.
“His contribution to broadcasting is immense and will continue to inspire presenters across local radio now and in the future.
"All our thoughts are with Ed’s wife Chris and their family.”
His agent Paul, who has represented Ed since January 1978, added: “We have lost a great champion and a truly skilled and popular broadcaster and newspaper columnist.”
Since giving up his daily show in 2012, Ed’s Sunday programme on the station has remained a firm favourite with listeners, featuring interviews with stars from his extraordinary personal archives.
In 2004, Ed was the first BBC Local Radio presenter to be inducted into The Radio Academy's Hall of Fame.
He was also awarded the MBE for services to broadcasting and charity, won a Sony Gold Award and was the first person to be awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Birmingham, the University of Aston and Birmingham City University.
In 2015, Ed told BBC WM listeners he had been battling dementia for some time. Last year, the BBC broadcast a documentary following Ed's battle with the disease, showing how he continued to enjoy presenting his weekly Sunday show.
BBC WM is paying tribute to Ed Doolan across the schedule today, including special programme in his honour between 5 and 6pm.