Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Tributes to Radio and TV Pioneer Alastair

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Tributes to Radio and TV Pioneer Alastair

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE ROBSON @Daverobson_gaz

TRIBUTES have been paid to a Teesside radio pioneer who "painted pictures with sound" and worked with some of pop's biggest names.

Alastair Pirrie, who has died aged 62, was one of the first voices heard on Radio Tees - forerunner of TFM - when the station began broadcasting from studios in Dovecot Street, Stockton, on June 24, 1975.

A former pupil of Grangefield Grammar School, Stockton, his afternoon show Pirrie PM - which was part of the opening day's schedule and ran for several years - established "The Big P on the Big T" as an innovative and hugely popular broadcaster.

And between 1981-87, he hosted cult Tyne Tees TV kids' pop show Razzmatazz, which aired nationally and attracted massive music names, eager to perform their new singles while enjoying the anarchic fun Pirrie loved. It also gave Lisa Stansfield her first national exposure as one of the show's co-hosts.

Married to Noi, he had three children - Tamasin, 23, Dominique, 20, and Atticus, 18 - and had lived in Streatham, South London, for the past 20 years.

After leaving radio and TV, he focused on more social work, including running video and radio workshops at The Community Zone in South London. He also worked with The Clink Institute, which focuses on rehabilitating prisoners to prepare them for when they leave jail.

Dominique told The Gazette that in recent years, he focused more on writing, with plans of finishing a novel he had started in the past, but in 2015, he suffered a stroke and heart attack. Then, in December 2016, he had a massive stroke which caused damage to the brain stem. His reduced heart function caused his organs to fail and ultimately led to his death on January 26.

Dominique posted on Facebook: "You were a cat with nine lives. Each and every time coming back strong after every illness. Unfortunately, this one caught up with you and we hate that it did. But you have always told us not to be sad if anything happens to you and to remember 'life goes on'. …

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