Ed Harwood 1955 – 2003

Ed Harwood (right) relaxing at a Creative Training Day

8 years ago I was in Northampton and about to go into a training session with Tracey Reed, my boss and Head of Creative for GWR when we heard of the death of Ed Harwood.

We were stunned.

It didn’t seem real. We couldn’t carry on with the day and cancelled the training.

Ed was a larger than life character. The big Geordie guy in the Terminator trench coat.

When Ed disagreed with you, he told it to you straight.

He was one of those people that you thought would always be around… bringing you back to earth with a bump, challenging the way you thought about things. He could scare sales people and put them at ease within seconds.

It was Ed that told me when the twin towers had been hit, it was Ed that I worked with at Beacon Radio as a fellow Freelancer before taking full time positions at GWR.

I first met Ed at Metro Radio in around 1989…. Where he’d come in to voice a commercial for an anti-smoking campaign supported by the guys at Viz…as the Character “Biffa Bacon”. His line in a strong Geordie accent… “Divvent smerk tabs… or a’ll knock ya heed off!”

Alongside the likes of Mike Hurley he’s one of those great characters from commercial radio advertising, and one of those people who’s advice, conversations and occasional rants, have helped me in my career. It’s strange that Ed came to mind today, a conversation with a sales exec this morning just reminded me of a session we ran at Beacon Radio. It suddenly took me to that day in the Northants FM, the day Ed was in a motorcycle accident. Taken away from his new wife whom he adored. To see some tributes click here.

Thanks Ed…. And no….a coke is fine! I STILL don’t want a beer!

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