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Radio pioneer and lecturer dies aged 55

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Published on 10 February 2021

Fred Marden
Fred Marden

A former University of Sunderland lecturer and radio presenter has died at the age of 55.

Fred Marden had worked as Head of Radio at the University, and had also been Station Manager at Spark, playing a pivotal role in establishing the popular station.

Fred worked in radio his whole life after attending Swansea University where he became Station Manager of the student radio station.

During his career, he was a presenter at County Sound, MFM and BBC Southern Counties, and spent almost 20 years at Eagle Radio.

He was also Programme Controller at Star FM and Lantern FM, and held many positions sharing his love of radio in Education, including spells as Head of the School of Media at the Farnborough College of Technology, as well as his time at Sunderland

He also ran Farnborough Airshow Radio and was a Visiting Tutor at the City of Westminster College.

In more recent months, he signed up to host shows on Radio Biscuit.

Former Sunderland students of Fred took to social media to express their sadness.

Rebecca Charlotte Broad said: "Such sad news. He was such an inspiration. You would see him walking over from the Media Centre and you knew your day was about to get better

Ames Pywell said: "Really sad news. You'd find it difficult to find many more people as passionate about radio as Fred was. He was always throwing nuggets of advice at me when we passed in the corridors."

Shane Conway said: "I was fortunate to know him for a brief period with my time studying at the University and I thoroughly enjoyed the advice, banter and the endless reminiscing of Ireland. Even years later he was a great mind to ask for advice. Such a gent, even a decade later I fondly remember him such is the impact he had."

Lee Sevenoaks said: "This is so so sad. He was a huge part of university life for me, and the success of Spark. His knowledge and expertise were second to none, plus his good humour, i’ll never forget."


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