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Page last updated at 08:03 GMT, Friday, 1 October 2010 09:03 UK
Your tributes to BBC Essex's John Hayes
John Hayes
John was a big supporter of Essex cricket

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of BBC Essex presenter, John Hayes, who has died at the age of 61.

John began presenting on BBC Essex in 1990 and during his time at the station made many friends both off and on-air.

He was for many years the commentator at the Southend Air Show and was big Essex cricket supporter.

For nearly 10 years he presented the music and memories Sunday show, John's Journey Back In Time.

This online book of condolence has now closed. Thank you for all of your messages.

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John Hayes: 1948-2010

As one of Sadie's loud women I was fortunate to meet John once or twice on a fri before his show went on air, also once when i was on the Steve Scruton show.

I knew he was ill but sadly he passed away on the very day that we flew to Spain. I would like my message to be added to his list of condolences and to say what a gentleman he was and he will be most definitely missed.

I used to love his 4 to 7 show in the evenings, it was always so informative and funny at times.

Please pass on my big heartfelt condolences to his wife Dawn and sons and wish them well.

Regards, Ruth Korth

I have been away on holiday and only recently learned of the sad passing of John Hayes. I feel shell shocked, he was such a lovely man, and reading the beautiful tributes sent in by other listeners it is obvious that we all feel we have lost a close personal friend.

I lost my own husband five years ago, and know only too well what his wife is going through, my deepest sympathy goes to her and his sons. Hopefully they will draw strength from knowing loved and respected John was.

My thoughts are also with his colleagues at BBC Essex.

Jackie, Hook End, Brentwood

I am so sorry to hear of the death of John Hayes, he will be sadly missed. I so used to enjoy the breakfast programme and when he went to the drive time programme, he always made my journey home so enjoyable.

I send his family and also all of his colleagues my sincerest thoughts at this sad time.

A loyal BBC Essex listener.

Joanne Cocklin

Although I had never met John I looked forward to hearing his calm voice on BBC Essex each day, & especially enjoyed his morning show with Etholle - they had such a great rapport together.

His 'Gladys' comments always brought a smile to my face & I often wondered how many listeners thought she was for real. His chicken update in the drivetime show was always fun too.

Like many, I will miss hearing him but am thankful that he didn't suffer for too long. I would like to express my condolences to everyone who worked with him, and to Dawn & all his family & will be thinking of you all as you try & come to terms with your great loss.

I also send these sentiments on behalf of my dad Ted (in Leigh) who listens regularly but doesn't have a pc.

My thoughts & prayers are with you,

Julie, Great Baddow

I would like to say how shocked and very sad I was to hear that he had died. I have listened to BBC Essex since 1986 and we have had the pleasure of his company on our radio since he began his career with you.

As a listener, contributor, volunteer, former member of the Advisory Council, and as a Receptionist at BBC Essex from 2001-2003, I would like to express my most sincere and heartfelt condolences to John's wife Dawn, his children, family, friends, staff and colleagues at BBC Essex.

John was a BBC Essex "treasure" and will be much missed by all those who had the pleasure of listening, knowing and working with him and will be remembered with great affection.

Barbara Carter and family xxx

After coming back from a short break I was very sad to learn of the death of John Hayes from cancer, my thoughts go out to all of you in Essex on my favourite station that worked with John and to all those of his immediate family.

May I say he will be very sadly missed by myself having listened to John's programme these past two decades since he worked for you as a presenter.

May I say that the record by Russ Conway called 'Always You and Me' says everything I want to say at present, but due to my extreme sadness, words are hard to put down on this e-mail at this time.

My deepest and sincere thoughts to you all in his loss, rest in peace John. God bless.

Mr A J Clayden, Gravesend

I am so sorry to hear of the death of John Hayes, he will be sadly missed. I so used to enjoy the breakfast programme and when he went to the drive time programme, he always made my journey home so enjoyable.

I send his family and also all of his colleagues my sincerest thoughts at this sad time.

A loyal BBC Essex listener.

Joanne Cocklin

I returned home on Wednesday from a 5 week holiday, this evening I heard on BBC Essex that John Hayes had died,

I am so very sorry, I am an avid listener to BBC Essex and my radio is on all day whilst I am in, John to my mind was a quiet un assuming man, I never heard him get angry, he was a thoroughly decent man in my opinion, he will certainly be missed, my heart goes out to his wife and family,

May he rest in peace.

Brenda, Stanford Le Hope

I was so saddened to hear about John. What a lovely man he was.

My husband wrote to BBC Essex asking if I could visit the studio as a treat for my 40th birthday when he and Etholle were presenting the Breakfast Show. I was made very welcome and managed to talk to both of them when I popped into the studio after they had finished the show. He presented me with one of the Breakfast Show mugs. It is still used regularly.

My other memory of him is hearing his velvet tones on a Sunday morning whilst soaking in the bath listening to John's Journey Back in Time. I will miss him. RIP, John.

Sara, Chelmsford

We still can't really believe that John has gone.

We loved his breakfast programme with Etholle and are still enjoying our coffee in our Et & John breakfast mug, although every mug is now tinged with sadness.

We hope that little Daniel will grow up to realise just how much his beloved daddy was loved and will be missed by the people of Essex and beyond.

We send our love & prayers to Dawn and family and friends. Rest in peace John.

Jill, Billericay

We were so sorry, on returning from holiday, to hear the very sad news about John Hayes - it's so hard to believe.

We remember him from his early days with BBC Essex, broadcasting from the Southend studio near where he used to live in Westcliff. We especially enjoyed his morning breakfast shows with Etholle and Roger Buxton and later with Sadie Nine - they were always so much fun.

We will also remember him for his tank-tops, his excitement about his marriage to Dawn and the recent birth of his son, his dancing lessons, keeping chickens and his great encyclopaedic knowledge of pop music from the 60s and 70s. We could go on. He was a great radio professional and gave us so much listening pleasure.

Our sympathy goes out to his wife and sons.

Paul and Irene, Brentwood

I am devastated to hear upon return from holiday that John has passed away. I only heard the week we went that he was suffering from lung cancer.

He has entertained me for many a year both in the mornings and on Sundays with his Journey Back in Time. He was like a very close friend. He had such charm and grace and he and Etholle made a great twosome. I am not sure that he hit off quite so well with Sadie. She was a shock to the system when she arrived but we are fond of her too now.

I would like to send my sincere condolences to John's wife and family, whom I feel I know, and also to everyone at BBC Essex as they are like one big family. It only seems the other day that Chris Bard passed away and that too was a shock but John Hayes was something special that you don't come across every day.

Thank you to him and to BBC Essex for such great company and entertainment.

Carole, Chelmsford

Why do I feel so deeply sad at the loss of someone I never met? I can't explain it.

I've listened to John on Breakfast and enjoyed his banter with Et and Roger, his wonderful John's Journey Back in Time and then Drivetime. It was only three weeks ago I found out what had happened to him over the summer, and couldn't believe what I heard.

I'm sure by now he's already negotiated with The Boss to set up his own radio station and will be waiting up there for us all to join him.

All our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.


My husband and I have listened to John's warm voice over the years and will miss him so much now.

He will be very much missed by us and so many people especially at the Southend Air Show too.

RIP to a great man.

Rose and Derek, xx

I listened to John from when he joined the station in the 1990s right up to 2002 when I left Essex.

I have noticed his absence over the past few weeks, as I often keep an eye on what's happening at BBC Essex by looking at the Radio Times listings and the website.

I was extremely saddened to read the news about John's death. He was such a nice guy and an excellent presenter. My thoughts go out to his family, particularly his wife and young child.

RIP John.

Gareth Burrell

I had the pleasure of meeting John at a Charity Fund Raiser. He was as warm and funny off air as he was on air. A true star who will be sorely missed. My sympathy goes to his family as I know they will miss

that famous velvety voice and cheeky sense of humour.

Pam, Ashingdon

So sad to hear of the passing of John. John was a first class presenter and I enjoyed travelling to work with him in the mornings and more recently travelling home with him in the evening.

My sincere sympathy to Dawn and the boys, Johns footsteps will always walk beside you.


I was one of the lucky ones who secured tickets for the BBC Dancers in Need event at the Shire Hall a couple of years ago. John was dancing with his wife who it had not long been announced was pregnant. He looked so happy and had a smile on his face all night.

I used to love waking up to his calming voice in the mornings, 1st with Etholle and then with Sadie and then driving home with him. He always laughed at his own jokes which made me smile. John was one of life's true gentleman who clearly loved his family very much. My thoughts go out to his wife Dawn, his young son Daniel and the rest of his sons and family.

Lisa - Halstead, Essex

We were saddened to hear of John's death. What a shock! His out-standing voice! His knowledge of songs & music when he did the Sunday morning show... so missed!

God bless you John.

Pam & Cyril Billings

So Sad to hear of Johns passing. Never meet him, but as I'm his age, I related to his great radio programmes.

R.I.P John, God Bless

John Rea

May I add my sincere condolences to John's family, friends and work colleagues over the sad loss of John.

John's voice was a pleasure to listen to, his smooth talking, always a gentleman, was a calming, fun and wonderful time to listen.

He gave us an insight to his home life, with his lovely wife Dawn, his boys and the wonderful news, that Dawn was expecting and the subsequent birth of their son Daniel (appropriately, whether intentional? 'DJ Hayes').

I especially loved the way he involved you in the introduction of his chicken run ready for the arrival of the rescued chickens to Hayes 'Towers' and updates on their progress, and of course his lovely cleaning lady 'Gladys'. Not forgetting the dancing of course.

John will be sadly missed

Denise - Colchester

I would like to say how saddened I was to hear of John Hayes's death.

I used to listen to his drive time show when I was travelling to Royal Mail mail centre in Chelmsford, he was so entertaining always talking about his family and his chickens that laid him lots of eggs, as we to have chicken.

It was a lovely show plenty of road reports, he really will be sadly missed by lots of people, I am sure, and send my heart felt condolences to his family at this sad time. Lots of love to you all.

Mary Howe

I remember when john was on the Saturday morning show where he had someone in from Tesco i believe who used to have a tasting test for john. One day she brought in snake for him to try which didn't go down to well.

I always made sure i listened to this part of the show as it was so funny rip john we will miss you.

Bob, Colchester

Radio presenter dies from cancer
01 Oct 10 |  TV & Radio


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