John Pantry, the longest serving national breakfast radio presenter in Britain, retired from his Inspirational Breakfast show on Tuesday after 24 years behind the microphone. The 73- year-old has been a listener favourite ever since he joined Premier Christian Radio, not long after it launched in June 1995.
Peter Kerridge, CEO of Premier Christian Radio said, "John Pantry is a living legend. He has been an integral part of the Premier family for the past 24 years and we are hugely grateful for the contribution he has given to so many during that time. To have become the country's longest serving national breakfast radio presenter, is just an incredible achievement. His loyalty and ability to empathise with the audience will make him very difficult to replace."
Pantry, who was born in Harrow, Middlesex and in 1993 was ordained as an Anglican vicar, joins an exclusive club of national radio presenters who have served with the same broadcaster for over 20 years.
Kerridge continued: "Listeners love John and I am sure the last broadcast will be bittersweet for many of them.Our hope is that our relationship with John will continue in some fashion going forward, I very much doubt that this is the last time you have heard him on Premier Christian Radio."
Before becoming a radio presenter, Pantry had a long and varied career in the music industry including producing the Bee Gee's. Many who worked alongside him said his passion and enthusiasm enabled people to make better music which raised the standard across the industry, labelling him as the 'George Martin of Christian radio.' As a singer, his landmark album 'Jesus on the Airwaves' along with his part in the tour was credited in the early 80's as being the launch of Christian broadcasting across the United Kingdom.
Les Moir, former colleague of John said, "John single-handedly pioneered the Christian music scene in the UK. After returning from the USA, his passion was to hear Christian music across the airwaves- and he made this happen. I am blessed to have worked alongside him over the years and wish him God's blessing as he moves onto his next chapter in life."
John said: "I feel incredibly humbled to have been given the opportunity to spend every day doing what I love. Over the years, the listeners and I have built a close relationship and it has been a privilege to inspire them with great music, talk with them through challenges in their life, and to walk together in a journey of faith. I will greatly miss each one of them."
John's last ever broadcast on the Inspirational Breakfast show was Tuesday in his regular 7am - 9am slot.