I'm on holiday - and certainly didn't intend to spend any time blogging.
But the news today of the untimely death of Dave Hickman has touched me rather badly and I wanted to say a few words in praise of one of the great unsung heroes of West Midlands radio.
I remember getting Dave on board when we launched Xtra in 89, and then hiring him again when we launched Heart in 94. Alan Carruthers reminded me on twitter we had to pay a release fee to get him out of his Xtra contract in time for the launch. He was worth it though. He'd previously worked for brmb, and was for a while the voice of travel for Les.
He didn't possess one of those great "radio voices" (we'd hired Ted Elliott for that!) but what he did have by the bucketful was warmth, an engaging tone, a sense of humour, and a passion for the music he played. He was also a hard worker - a utility player who could do a decent job no matter what was thrown at him.
He met his wife Bev whilst working in radio, and together they were one of the nicest couples you could ever hope to meet.
Dave carried on working in radio - for a long time as the "voice" of the Arrow, and pulling a stint on Smooth too. He was a regular on air from Brum for almost two decades.
No one today on twitter or Facebook will have a bad word to say about Dave, because there wasn't one to be had - he was just a really nice guy we all had the pleasure of knowing, who did his bit to make the airwaves of 96.4, 100.7, 1152 and 1359 and others fizz and crackle, keeping West Midlands listeners entertained for the best part of twenty years.
His wife and kids will miss him terribly I know - but everyone who worked in radio round here and who knew Dave will miss him too. I had the honour to employ him not once, but twice - which shows how much I rated him. He was the same age as me - much too young to leave us.
RIP Dave Hickman