Gavin Lawrence passed away recently of a long-standing illness. He was 46. He’d worked as a distributor for software supplier Broadcast Software International and as an air talent and broadcast technician in the United Kingdom, making a name as a jaunty presenter for BBC Radio in the 1980s, remembered for a fresh-faced, enjoyable approach to his stories. He also created the radio software company Broadcast Computers.
According to an obituary by friend Lawrence Galkoff, Gavin Lawrence was an electronics tinkerer from an early age and was involved as a teen in London’s pirate radio scene. He later worked for BBC Radio Kent and was heard on BBC Essex and BBC Radio London. He also worked for the BBC Travel Unit and the bilingual Channel Tunnel Radio. He had a studio at home and would make jingles and features. “He had ISDN lines before anyone else had them at home, and of course computers,” according to the account. Lawrence registered the online address “broadcast.co.uk” and sold software via the Broadcast Computers website; he did other on-air work and technical support for stations in England.
He wrote software for the National Prison Radio service in the United Kingdom. “His skills allowed the service to rapidly expand and bring a vital service to many thousands across the country giving access to education and information and helping to bring down the suicide rate in prison by providing companionship,” according to the obituary. He also wrote custom software for radio stations in various countries.
An early devotee of using computers in broadcasting, he was a distributor for BSI and worked for a time at the company’s West Coast headquarters in the United States. “Gavin’s extreme intelligence and work ethic was matched only by his love, care and respect for his friends and colleagues and his ‘brilliant’ sense of humor,” BSI Sales Manager Marie Summers told Radio World. He did technical work for the company including software enhancements and rewriting manuals.
“Gavin loved the art of broadcasting and he cherished the relationships he formed through radio. We are deeply saddened by his passing and he is very much missed by us all.”
Lawrence continued his association with BSI after relocating to the east coast of Spain, where he joined the English expatriate community, including local English-language broadcasters.
Gavin Lawrence returned home to London when his illness grew too strong. He passed away April 10 at home with his family in attendance.