And it’s goodbye from Richard as broadcaster completes final bulletin

An era in Borders broadcasting came to an end on Friday as Richard Gordon handed back to Fiona Stalker for the final time.

Richard Gordon has completed his final news bulletin for the BBC at Selkrk.
Richard Gordon has completed his final news bulletin for the BBC at Selkrk.

The 68-year-old has been one of the Selkirk-based voices of Radio Scotland since the early 1980s.

But Friday’s local bulletins at 4.30 and 5.30pm, during the afternoon Drivetime show, were the former Jedburgh Provost’s final opt-ins and fade-outs.

Richard said: “I had always been interested in journalism – even as a young boy I was covering football matches for the local papers.

“I always thought I would end up being a print journalist, but when I graduated from Edinburgh University and went to a careers fair I was pointed in the direction of teaching. I enjoyed teaching, but I enjoyed journalism and broadcasting more.”

Richard first joined the then Radio Tweed in 1983 after impressing during a music show at Hawick High School, where he was the English teacher.

He explained: “Colin Wight had a Radio Scotland show called Keeping Tune and he came to do a piece on a punk band we had at the school called The Detonators.

“I was interviewed for the show, and later Colin asked if I’d like to do some radio work.

“That’s how it all started – my first piece for Radio Tweed was about Hawick Stamp Club’s annual exhibition.”

Although Richard continued teaching English at Hawick for a further three years, the draw of the airwaves led to a full-time switch of careers.

He said: “I was doing freelance work at weekends and at holidays, and I was really enjoying it.

“When I left teaching, I freelanced for many years with Radio Tweed – in those days we had a lot more time to fill.

“We would be live for five or six hours for Children in Need, and we also did extended Christmas Eve broadcasts, where he had the Salvation Army Band playing. It wasn’t until 2005 that I finally became a ‘staffer’, although it felt like I had been for many years before that.”

Richard shared the Radio Tweed studio on Selkirk High Street with many familiar names of the local airwaves, such as Anne Brown, Bob Burgess, Geoff Webster, Carol Wightman, Caroline Adam and Ninian Reid.

And following a rebranding, where the Tweed name was dropped by BBC bosses, and a relocation in 2005 to the current studios at Ettrick Riverside, he has worked with the likes of Angela Soave, Cameron Buttle and Grahame MacGregor.

Richard added: “There hasn’t been a time when I haven’t enjoyed my job – every day is different, and you get to meet so many interesting people.

“It’s been a really happy time for me, and I feel fortunate to have worked with so many kind, generous and professional people as I have.

“I’ve no plans for my retirement. There’s no bucket list, I’ll just see what comes along.”

Away from broadcasting, Richard and his wife, Pamela, have been active in the Jedburgh community with roles on the town’s community council.

Richard is also heavily involved as a volunteer with his town’s foodbank as well as the Old and Trinity Parish Church.

Radio Scotland’s Selkirk station manager Angela Soave admits her colleague for the past two decades will be a huge miss.

She said: “Richard has been with the BBC for almost as long as the BBC has been in the Borders.

“He is an excellent journalist and a fount of local knowledge – as well as esoteric facts, musical trivia and more than you could ever want to know about bygone TV.

“But mostly he’s our colleague and friend, and we can’t imagine the station without him.”