John Lawrence


Having been involved with discos etc from the mid 70’s, John was introduced to Tarka Radio to help out with a sponsored marathon broadcast to raise funds in May 1985 and ended up presenting a programme every week for the next twelve years, in addition to holding the role of Chairman of Tarka Radio for seven of those years until his work took him away from the area in 1997.

John spent 3 years working at BBC Radio Devon with Paul Hopper (also a Tarka presenter) on their “Out Of Order” programme as co-presenter, comedy script writer, voice over man etc in the early 90’s. It was during his time on “Out Of Order” that his on-air nick name of “Big JL” evolved has stuck with him ever since!

John also managed and promoted several local bands and singers during this time and subsequently returned to Tarka Radio in 2009 when his day job allowed him back to North Devon and he picked up the headphones once again to share some of the best music of the past 40 years and his hilarious sense of humour (subject to debate!) with the listeners.

John first presented Tarka Radio Classic Gold in 1988 when he set out to find a programme format that would be most likely to provide something for listeners of all ages and it has developed into the model that he uses to this day including quizzes and the “Where in North Devon Game” that continues to provide a local link for listeners. John continues to strive to play tracks that give you that “ooh, I haven’t heard that for years” feeling !


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