Preston’s John ‘Gilly’ Gillmore prepares for final BBC Radio Lancashire show

Posted on - 5th October, 2023 - 2:13pm | Author - | Posted in - People, Preston City Centre, Preston News
John Gillmore has been a mainstay of BBC Radio Lancashire through the decades Pic: BBC Lancashire

A legend of BBC local radio is preparing to put on his headphones one last time.


John Gillmore, best known as ‘Gilly’, will air his final show during Thursday (5 October).

Gilly has been a mainstay of BBC Radio Lancashire’s schedules over the decades and is leaving as the broadcaster makes sweeping changes to its local radio set up.

Read more: Chillin’ with Gilly: BBC Radio Lancashire presenter John Gillmore reflects on Preston broadcasting

Tributes and memories are being shared about Gilly’s incredible career which has spanned Red Rose Radio and many other stations.


A spokesperson for Preston’s Business Improvement District said: “We want to take a moment to pass on Preston’s thanks to Gilly for being a proud ambassador for our city, for decades.

“After almost 40 years of live radio, Gilly is hanging up his headphones tonight after his final show on BBC Lancashire.

“We send our sincere thanks and appreciation for his hard work, commitment and support for Preston.

“You’ll be much missed on air, but we look forward to working with you in the future.”

Gilly’s final show, from 10pm to 1am, is going out on the exact date when Red Rose Radio – where Gilly made his name – launched in 1982.

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A spokesperson for Preston City Council also paid tribute, saying: “Gilly has been a massive supporter of the city and our events programme. Thanks John and best wishes for whatever your future holds.”

Read more: Big PNE Sleep Out team speak with BBC Radio Lancashire’s Nishma Hindocha

Former Lancashire Post editor and now Publishing Editor with National World, Nicola Adam, sent her best wishes to Gilly.

She said: “The absolute legend that is John ‘Gilly’ Gillmore will present his last ever show tonight after changes to the BBC local radio structure. Gilly means many things to many people but is absolutely loved in the North West. The thing is he really cares, not just about his career, but radio itself and the extraordinary people here in the north.

“He helped me personally when I started at BBC as a freelance presenter – trying to teach a technically-challenged newspaper journalist the radio desk with utter patience. I already knew him of course – everyone does. But it’s not just media types who feel like they know him as most who meet him remember him. He is entwined in many community organisations across the north, has met many ordinary people who have a soft spot for him, and shone a light on stories that don’t always get an airing. Then there’s the music – you absolutely want him on your team in a pub quiz.

“I was due in the studio tonight to his last show but I am housebound with Covid so sending support and happy vibes to you Gilly. I doubt it’s the last we’ll hear of you! Make sure to tune in from 10pm on BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC Radio Cumbria. It’s sure to be emotional.”

Other Prestonians have been sharing their memories of being interviewed by Gilly down the years.

And fellow BBC presenter and Prestonian Steve Saul reflected on the pair’s dealings together over the years.

You can listen to John’s final show this evening via BBC Sounds.

Blog Preston would like to wish Gilly all the very best and thanks for each time he’s had us featured on the show over the years!


Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines

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