The last Word

Panel game creator dies

The creator of radio panel games My Word and My Music has died at the age of 84.

Tony Shryane, who also produced the first episode of The Archers, died peacefully at his home in St Austell in Cornwall after a long illness.

Born in Harbourne in Birmingham on 20 January 1919, Tony Shryane declined his father's offer of a gold watch if he went to grammar school (he'd passed the entrance exam) as he was anxious to start work.

His first job with the BBC was in the effects department.. He served in the Second World War and when he was demobbed in 1945, went back to the BBC, working on the very first radio soap, The Robinson Family, as well as Mrs Dale's Diary and Dick Barton.

On 1 January 1951, Tony produced the very first episode of The Archers and went on to produce more than 7,000 episodes over the next 28 years.

He also devised the crime quiz Guilty Party in 1954, as well as My Word in 1956, which featured comedy scriptwriters Frank Muir and Denis Norden as regulars; and My Music in 1966.

In 1961, Tony was awarded the MBE for services to radio.

Vanessa Whitburn, editor of The Archers, says: "We are saddened to learn of the death of Tony Shryane.

"Tony was incredibly important in establishing the foundations of The Archers which has lasted for more than 50 years.

Jenny Abramsky, director of radio and music at the BBC added: "Without Tony Shryane, some of the most iconic programmes on Radio 4 would not have been created.

"His is a lasting legacy and while his contribution to The Archers is rightly regarded as hugely important, we also remember his contribution across a whole range of BBC programmes such as working on My Word and My Music."

Tony leaves his wife Valerie and their sons Dominic and Michael. Their daughter Elizabeth died in 1992 in a road accident. Tony also has a son, Paul, from his first marriage

Published: 23 Sep 2003

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