Sunday, 6 April 2014


The late Kevin Rowntree, Head of Metro Radio News.

It is with great sadness that the Metro Radio 261MW 97VHF Tribute website reports, via former Metro Radio presenter and Chief Announcer at Tyne Tees Television Bill Steel, the very sad news that Kevin Rowntree has passed away.

 Kevin worked at Tyne Tees Television and later became Head of News at Metro Radio in the 1970s. Visitors may also remember his always popular shows on BBC Radio Newcastle. His hobby was bee-keeping and apparently he was always arriving at Metro with a large throbbing nose where he'd been stung!

Speaking personally as a listener, I used to thoroughly enjoy listening to his Metro Phone-In each weekday between 2 and 3pm when I was on holiday as a teenager. Some of the callers did make him irate and they were admittedly annoying to say the least! He didn't take fools gladly, and I have a recording somewhere where he ended the show early with some music because of the poor quality of the calls. And that was it; he was the ultimate professional in journalism. It was a great show and I've always loved current affairs and politics, but sadly, as a sixteen year old I never quite summoned up the courage to phone in and talk to him!

His Special Report and Metro Documentary on a Friday evening were unique and of exceptional quality with some fascinating and engaging subjects under the spotlight. From a listener's point of view it all sounded the epitome of professionalism.

Like all of the presenters at Metro, he made you feel valued and you almost felt like a personal friend. I had the pleasure of meeting many of the presenters on my many guided tours of the station (I got away with so many because I was always bringing yet another friend!).

Simply put, from this listeners point of view Kevin brought hours of informative listening pleasure.

RIP Kevin, and thanks.

Audio Tribute

Kevin Rowntree. Trailer for Metro Radio's Special Report: North East Suffragettes, 1978. Duration: 43 secs.

The Afternoon Metro Phone-In with Kevin Rowntree, Theme music. Courtesy of Neil Siddaway of Middlesbrough, Teesside.


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  1. I was honoured to call Kevin my freind in 1977 he told me he had been approached by Granada TV to suggest canditates for a new game show called "The Krypton Factor" so he suggested me because as he put it "I was daft as a brush abd game for a laugh"! I appeared on the very first show and did 6 more game shows after that. Many thabks dear freind sadly missed.

  2. Hello Andy. The photograph you show of Kevin was one of thousands that I took at Metro Radio. I still have them all on file. I was commissioned by Metro to photograph every guest who visited in the 70s. It all started because I met Kevin for a pint in the Wellington at Riding Mill several times a week. He became a lifelong friend.