Obituary: Stewart Cruickshank, 64

Stewart Cruickshank was a producer of iconic shows. Picture: comp
Stewart Cruickshank was a producer of iconic shows. Picture: comp
Have your say

Influential BBC radio producer Stewart Cruickshank has died at the age of 64.

He worked on BBC programmes for almost 35 years and he was passionate about all music genres, from folk to pop.

He was the mastermind behind such long-running Radio Scotland staples as Travelling Folk and Iain Anderson’s shows as well as rock programmes.

Mr Cruickshank also produced BBC Radio 2 series on stars including Ray Davies, the Sex Pistols and The Who.

And the popular figure spent time in the United States interviewing Jackson Browne and Lou Reed for shows that would be networked globally.

In 2000, he was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts for his contribution to UK music radio, and earlier this year he was honoured by Hands Up for Trad.

He started his early broadcasting career with an eclectic CV – having served time in a folk-rock band and achieved an honours qualification in librarianship. His interest in music and radio, however, went back to his earliest days in Edinburgh, where he would listen to his radio under the bed covers at night.

Leaving Trinity Academy in the Capital, he deferred going to university for seven years while he (under the pseudonym Gilmore Wines) and his friend Wilf Smarties became the core of Mowgli and the Donuts, based in East Anglia. Mr Cruickshank and Wilf were in the process of completing a new Mowgli project at the time of his death.

In 1980, Mr Cruickshank turned up at BBC Scotland’s former Queen Margaret Drive headquarters in Glasgow for a trial week as a “gramophone librarian”. The week would extend to some 35 years.

He first worked as a recorded music librarian while producing Radio Scotland’s Top 40 and researching for The Ken Bruce Show. The mid-Eighties saw him producing Beatstalking, a history of Scottish rock music presented by Muriel Gray, then founding and co-producing indie rock show Beat Patrol.

He became a contributing editor for John Purser’s series Scotland’s Music before he went on, with Rab Noakes and Donald MacInnes, to create Radio Scotland’s Be-Bop to Hip-Hop jazz programme, Original Masters with John Cavanagh, and pilot the series Celtic Connections. Further challenges included broadcasting T in the Park and the long-running Travelling Folk and Iain Anderson’s show.

He was also senior producer for Music Live 2000 from Shetland and for the 2005 G8 Summit rally at Murrayfield. He was on the boards of the Scottish Music Centre and the Burnsong scheme.

Mr Cruickshank left BBC Scotland nine years ago but continued to co-produce the Iain Anderson programme until he retired last year.

He is survived by his wife, Lorraine, whom he married in 1989.