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Peter Massey (OS 1951)

Peter Kewley Massey

A tribute by Helen Keating, writer and friend of Peter & Shirley Massey.

“The much respected former BBC producer, Peter Massey, has died, aged 83, at his home in Gatehouse of Fleet. Born in the Isle of Man he grew up in Stockport, where, during his time at Stockport Grammar School, he had his first contact with the BBC: he co-presented ‘Out of School’ with Judith Chalmers and played several other bit parts.

After studying at Manchester University, where he met his future wife Shirley, a musician and professional singer, Peter joined the BBC on the technical side, working his way through several departments before turning to television.

It was there that his illustrious career led him to working on programmes such as the 1966 World Cup, the 1972 Olympics, producing the first televising of state banquets at Buckingham Palace, Royal weddings and funerals, the raising of the Mary Rose and Mastermind. His partnership with Magnus Magnusson on the latter was very dear to his heart. His encyclopaedic knowledge of and passion for trains, planes and ships would have qualified him as a contestant had he not been on the production side of the programme!

In 1999 he and Shirley, with son John, moved to south west Scotland where, in Gatehouse of Fleet, they became much loved friends of many. Shirley conducted the Gatehouse Singers for many years as well as singing solos (which I had the great pleasure of accompanying) while Peter became an Elder of Gatehouse Parish Church and was much in demand as a spaker on his BBC experiences for many groups around the region.

Sadly the advent of Parkinson’s curtailed his activities and a final fall and stroke left him virtually house bound, valiantly nursed to the end by Shirley and their daughter Caroline.

Peter Massey, born 01.08.1932

He is survived by his wife Shirley, John and Caroline.”

Also published in The Guardian’s Other Lives series, 12th October 2015.


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