When I joined the BBC from school back in 1965, the then Head of Technical Operations gave my intake a lecture. One thing he told us was “You will make many acquaintances in this business but very few friends”. Paul Whiting was one of the very few real friends I made during my career in television.
Our paths first crossed in the mid 1980s by which time I had moved into management and had been appointed Head of Film and ENG at Central Television in Birmingham. Paul sold Nagra tape recorders and Sennheiser microphones for Haden Laboratories. The ITV Heads of Film held an Annual Conference in an ITV region. Invitations were much sought after as only 40 suppliers could attend but Haden could always rely on a place. Paul and the lovely Sue were normally in attendance and my wife Helen and I got to know them socially. This started an enduring friendship.
Our careers advanced onwards and upwards but we were always in touch and got together at industry exhibitions and socially away from work. I remember a time when Central needed quite a few new radio mics and Paul and Nigel Mann came to Birmingham to negotiate the deal. Nigel got very excited and exclaimed “You’ll need a pallet full!”. This became a much repeated expression, always ending in hilarious laughter!
Paul was an expert on pro audio equipment and marketing. He also understood the industry in which we had the pleasure to work. He always gave good advice that you could trust and sought to develop long term relationships. He justly deserved his eventual senior status at Sennheiser and in the global industry. He was one of the good guys.
When I was retired and living in Devon, we saw Paul and Sue during their regular holiday visits. Paul travelled widely and had high standards, so the shortfalls of the Devon hoteliers were sometimes a bit of an issue! It was always great fun to have a visit from Paul and Sue.
Since our move from Devon to North Hampshire we have had the pleasure of seeing Paul and Sue more frequently and exploring with them the local pubs and restaurants.
I was very lucky to meet Paul through business and to have him as a friend. I, along with many other colleagues and friends will miss him greatly. Paul has been taken from Sue and his family far too early and we send them our deepest condolences and love.
Sim and Helen