Tommy Vance

Jul 02, 2011, 08:08 AM

What a voice. Destined only for radio. Would have been frightening had he worked in a call-centre or even behind the bar at your local.

Tommy Vance was not actually Tommy Vance at all. After Richard Hope-Weston had played at being Rick West, he arrived in Seattle where the station had some spare 'Tommy Vance' name-check jingles. The rest is history. I gather Tony Blackburn was very nearly Mark Roman too.

Then it was off to KHJ in Los Angeles (they had great jingles too); and back to the UK. Well, almost. It was to the Radio Caroline South ship, poised delicately outside our territorial waters. Radio Luxembourg and the pirate Radio London also played host to TV before he joined the BBC World Service for "Pop Club".

Tommy was then to be one of the huge crowd of ex-pirates signed by BBC Radio One for its 1967 launch. From 247 to Capital and also Victory in Portsmouth; before returning to Radio One for 'The Friday Rock Show'. Amazing how the most mundane of show titles can later sound meaningful. You'll probably also remember Tommy from the Top 40 too in the early eighties. GLR (Greater London Radio) took him on in 1988; and he left Radio 1 in 1993, later joining Virgin.

Tommy died, aged 64, on 6th March 2005.