John Cushnie

by Pippa Greenwood

Even though listeners couldn't see that super-wicked grin of his, they could sense it. John delivered what I think of as 'visible radio'.

John CushnieOn New Year's Eve, my family looked to the future for brightness, cheer, health and happiness. I'm not sure I had a single negative thought in my mind. But 2010 was to start with some enormously sad, ungraspable news: John Cushnie, a friend and colleague for many years, died of a heart attack.

We last worked together on the Gardeners' Question Time Christmas programme. I now realise how lucky I was to have been there. John was on classic form, full of that eyebrow-raising, side-splitting humour that came so naturally to him. I can't bear forced or calculated attempts at wit, but his spontaneous humour always bought a smile to my face - and to the faces of millions of listeners.

His forcefully expressed dislike of certain plants - mostly veg! - was always amusing. I believe that if you say something with a sufficiently wicked grin, you can get away with it. Even though listeners couldn't see that super-wicked grin of his, they could sense it. John delivered what I think of as 'visible radio'.

We'll all miss him so very much, in so many ways. My kids (who once came on a gardening-themed cruise that he and I hosted) still call him "the John with the green tights". He said they were Leprechaun's tights and produced them with a flourish at the start of his rather serious gardening talk!

John was seriously special, and I know that we all send our very deepest sympathy to his family. I've lost a friend and colleague, and gardening has lost a magical talent. I thank the Cushnie family for sharing him with us all.

Discuss this blog post

Talkback: John Cushnie
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 04/01/2010 at 17:41

Not since the untimely death of Geoff Hamilton have I been so saddened by the news that yet another of my gardening friends has gone. For John Cushnie, although I had never met him, was a good friend, always reliable and funny as he delivered his advice. He called a spade a spade - "It's had it. Bin it and buy another"! He had the power to amuse, to enthuse and to entertain. His so easily recognisable voice was a delight to the ears of an exiled Irish person. His many radio friends will miss him greatly. My condolences go to his family, and my thanks to John for years of enjoyment.

Gardeners' World Web User 05/01/2010 at 14:41

I was on the gardening cruise when we got left behind in Edinburgh.He was so helpful.He recommended plants for my garden and they will always remind me of John. GQT will never be the same.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/01/2010 at 19:48

I shall miss the dear man enormously when listening to GQT. He must have been a joy to be around. Warmest wishes of sympathy to his loved ones.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/01/2010 at 20:24

He made me laugh out loud with his to the point advice. I will miss him on GQT and my thoughts go out to his family.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/01/2010 at 22:39

How I will miss that lovely voice and lilt. We need characters in our lives but sadly we have lost one more. 2009 was a sad year for me and 2010 didnt start so well. My thoughts are with all his family.

See more comments...