Tributes after third tragic loss at Midlothian radio station

Black Diamond's Brian Smith
Black Diamond's Brian Smith

Colleagues have paid tribute to Black Diamond’s Brian Smith who passed away last week – the third death at the station this year.

The 61 year old from Penicuik presented ‘Afternoon Delight’ as ‘Brian John’ for three and a half years.

He led a busy life, enjoying a varied career which included time as a professional golfer.

Brian’s death follows that of chairman/presenter John Ritchie in March and presenter Ted Comerford in May.

Friend and fellow Black Diamond presenter Jim Aird, who knew Brian for more than 40 years, led the tributes: “I have got a hole in my life that I don’t know how to fill.

“He has been there for so long and the more I think about it the bigger the space he has left.

“He had his own method of delivery. He was very professional in his presentation and he had another side to it too.

“For example Brian would conjure an image of his co-presenter and wife Carol being sent out in all weathers to gather in the weather forecast from the Pentland Hills!

“Brian was also proud to bring the stories of ‘Penrose the Bear’ to the airwaves. I believe it was popular with Midlothian taxi drivers.

“We used to go out before he was ill for meals in various places, we were good old friends.

“Brian was a steady kind of bloke, absolutely reliable and straight forward.

“If he said he was going to do something, he would do it.”

Brian was also involved with ethnic minority charity Linknet mentoring , chairman of Settlement in Bonnyrigg, a director of Midlothian Community Media Association and secretary of Edinburgh Thistle Golf Club for 26 years until 2010. He previously worked at Kelly’s Kitchens in Bonnyrigg and also had his own mobile disco business.

Brian had been in ill health since 2010, which led his old friend to bring him on-board at the Newtongrange-based radio station.

Jim said: “He had survived that and was on his way back.

“That was what brought him to Black Diamond, as he was no longer capable of playing golf to the standard he used to. So he started his own show on the station.”

Tributes continued to flow in from Brian’s former radio colleagues at Black Diamond FM.

Station director David Aird, said: “It is with deep shock that I heard about our dear friend Brian.

“I am sure we are united in our sorrow as we think about someone who was very special not only to us but to numerous others in and out of the studio.”

The station’s treasurer Caroline Crawford added: “People are really hurt right now. Brian was fabulous. For me, Brian was a wonderful man.

“The glass was always full not even half full with Brian.”

Black Diamond chairman Norm Dunk added: “This is absolutely tragic news – I’m a bit lost for words here.”

Secretary Gordon Clayton added: “Brian had a great sense of humour and was an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Brian Smith joined Black Diamond FM in March 2011 as Brian John, before joining the station’s board of directors in June 2012.

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