Sunday, May 08, 2011

Radiobit: 'Big' George Webley

George Webley - known as Big George - has died suddenly.

George had two long-running stints with BBC Radio London, in its GLR and 94.9 incarnations - he was currently presenting overnights on weekdays - and a spell at Three Counties Radio on breakfast. He was 2002's Sony Music Presenter of the Year.

His time on GLR had come to a dramatic halt when he had a heart attack during a programme - although he finished the show, he took a long break from radio to recover; he also became patron of the Milton Keynes Community Cardiac Group as a result of his experience.

His other career was as a producer, arranger and composer - he worked for EMI producing chart hits during his 30s; a move into television came as bandleader for Derek Jameson Tonight, the short-lived attempt to turn Derek Jameson into a new Michael Parkinson.

Webley would go on to become a go-to guy for programmes in search of a theme tune or arrangement; his work still graces Have I Got News For You and the residuals from having done the version of Handbags And Gladrags used by The Office must have been quite nice.

George Webley was 53; the cause of his death has not been announced.