Mike Fentiman, 1939 - 2017
We have learnt, with regret, of the death of Mike Fentiman on 22 February. He was an English student at the University of Leicester who would go on to become a successful television producer and writer, championing the idea of ‘community programming’.
A senior producer on BBC2’s Late Night Line-Up in the sixties and seventies, Mike had a significant influence over the philosophy of the topical chat programme. Beginning as a collection of reviews and previews of the channel's output, it soon incorporated live music from some of the biggest artists of the day, film and book reviews, interviews and comedy.
It was the start of a long association with the BBC that Mike continued until his retirement in the 1990s and saw him challenge many established assumptions about public service broadcasting within the institution. As editor of the Community Programme Unit and Disability Production Unit, he gave community and special interest groups freedom to make their own programmes.
He was also a writer and penned three comedy series for Radio 4 and contributed to the award-winning radio series Lines from My Grandfather’s Forehead.