About the Author
John Whitney left the Quaker school Leighton Park at the age of 17 to start a business recording bands at local dance halls in his home county of Buckinghamshire. Having been turned down by the BBC, he formed a small company with an ex-BBC producer Monty Bailey-Watson and a school friend Joseph Sturge, creating and producing radio programmes for use by sponsors advertising on Radio Luxembourg. The company proved a success, attracting major advertisers. With commercial radio in the UK becoming a reality, John founded the Local Radio Association with John Gorst as Secretary. Following The Sound Broadcasting Act in 1972 John became Managing Director of the London radio station Capital Radio, with a Board led by Richard Attenborough. While at Capital, he started Sagitta Productions with John Hawkesworth, and the company produced television series including Upstairs Downstairs, Danger UXB and The Planemakers, as well as a number of single dramas. And then, in 1982, John became Director General of the Independent Broadcasting Authority. In 1989 John left the IBA and became Managing Director and then Chairman of Andrew Lloyd Webber s company, the Really Useful Group Ltd. Since that time he has held numerous posts within broadcasting and was Chairman of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at his retirement in 2007, and in 2008 was awarded the CBE for his services to broadcasting and charity.