News: Tributes Come In for Comedy Producer

Tributes have been coming in today for John Pidgeon, who has died aged 69.

After a successful and varied career as a music journalist Pidgeon became head of BBC Radio Entertainment in 1999. During his tenure hits such as The Mighty Boosh, Little Britain, Dead Ringers and Flight of the Conchords got their early radio breaks. 

Pidgeon was also the head of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards panel in 2005. I was on the judging panel that year and found John to be kind and thoughtful and, most of all, a true comedy enthusiast, happy to queue up in the rain outside tiny venues in the Pleasance Courtyard in the hope of spotting the next big thing. He later went on to compile crosswords for the Daily Telegraph under the name of Petitjean.

Comedians Al Murray, Susan Murray, Robin Ince and John Moloney were among those that expressed their condolences on social media. Director of BBC TV hit Stag Jim Field Smith, who was in sketch group Dutch Elm Conservatoire wrote on Facebook: "John was a wonderful, gentle, supportive, irreverent influence when I was starting out and I know countless people who would say likewise. Very sadly missed but I'm sure he's creating some hella tricky crosswords in the next life. RIP JP x" Fellow former Dutch Elm Conservatoire performer Rufus Jones wrote: "John gave us our first ever meeting I think. Made BBC radio feel like an exciting, supportive place. Many condolences xx"

Writer David Quantick wrote: "Goodbye, John Pidgeon. Commissioned shows by me and lots of my friends and colleagues. A lovely man who will be very much missed."

Tracey Oberman wrote: "RIP John. I always remember him being so very welcoming and positive at R4."

John Pidgeon's family posted the sad news on his Facebook page, writing that "In his own words: 'I feel like I've been asked to leave a really good party a bit early'."





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