John Holmes retiring from BBC broadcasting after 53 years! 

After 53 years and 25 weeks John Holmes has finally left the BBC building and finally closed the studio door on his BBC career. 

The cover of his autobiography. 

The cover of his autobiography. 

It began as a studio manager in that iconic building, Broadcasting House in London, working behind the scenes for Radio 1 and 2. He suddenly found himself working alongside legends like Humphrey Lyttelton and Status Quo. He also had a spell in Birmingham on spot effects with The Archers. 

His next stop was with the fledgling local radio network, at BBC Radio Nottingham. It was perfect timing, working on sport in those halcyon days with Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean dominating ice dance and they remain good friends to this day. It was also the era when Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest were winning the European Cup. He travelled to Munich to cover that final and remains good friends with many of that team. It’s a similar story for Notts County in the Jimmy Sirrel era. He also made good friends at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, including Clive Rice and Richard Hadlee.   

At Radio Nottingham he also regularly presented and produced a children’s request show called Bran Tub, and Extravaganza, the station’s progressive music programme. He is particularly proud of that rock show.  

It was Nottingham’s first, it gave broadcasting debuts to bands like Gaffa, Cisco, Plummet Airlines and Nottingham’s first punk outfit, Some Chicken. Amazingly Radio Nottingham broadcast this on Saturday mornings. Extravaganza even organised live concerts in the Old Market Square, at the Bandstand on the Victoria Embankment, Nottingham Playhouse and in the Albany Hotel.  

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” data-medium-file=”×685-1.jpg?fit=300%2C201&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”×685-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C685&ssl=1″ decoding=”async” class=”wp-image-108115″ src=”×685-1.jpg?resize=480%2C321&ssl=1″ alt=”John with radio presenter Simon Mayo.” width=”480″ height=”321″ srcset=”×685-1.jpg?w=1024&ssl=1 1024w,×685-1.jpg?resize=300%2C201&ssl=1 300w,×685-1.jpg?resize=768%2C514&ssl=1 768w,×685-1.jpg?resize=600%2C401&ssl=1 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 480px) 100vw, 480px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>

John with radio presenter Simon Mayo.

Even in 2023 listeners still come up to John to thank him for the shows and for shaping their tastes in music.  

To find out more about John and his career, his autobiography, ‘This Is the BBC Holmes Service’ is now published, and available at Waterstones, Five Leaves and Lowdham bookcase.  

You can also find further information at or via email at [email protected]. 

Nottingham Local News