A plaque to commemorate the life of Island showbusiness journalist and broadcaster, John Hannam, has been unveiled at Shanklin Theatre.
The official opening of the memorial took place at a tribute concert – Sunday Night at Shanklin Theatre – which was organised by John’s son, Sean.
The event (February 6) saw Island and mainland musicians and performers coming together to celebrate John’s life and raise money for charity. John died in September last year, following a short illness.
Sean and his sister, Caroline, unveiled the plaque, which is situated in the main foyer and was funded by Isle of Wight Radio in collaboration with Shanklin Theatre, ahead of the show.
Sean said: “Dad was a great supporter of local entertainment, and the theatre played a huge part in his life, so it was really important to hold the event in Shanklin. I’d like to thank Isle of Wight Radio and the theatre for donating the plaque. Now, whenever there’s a show at the venue, dad will always be there and people can share their memories of him when they’re going to the theatre.”
The tribute concert, which was hosted by Sean, was a huge success, with at least £1500 raised for the British Heart Foundation and the Wellow Ward, St Mary’s Hospital, Newport.
Two mainland acts, country duo My Darling Clementine and singer-songwriter, Matt James, who was formerly in ‘90s indie-rock band, Gene, made their Island debuts at the show.
The line-up also included several local musicians and performers who were friends of John’s and whom he’d supported, including Bobby I Can Fly, Amy Bird and Andy Strickland.
“Music is my passion, and it was so important to my dad – he liked a wide range of styles – so I felt the best way to pay tribute to him was to hold a celebratory night with an eclectic selection of sounds – from ‘60s ballads to Americana, pop and rock. While I was organising and compering the show, I kept thinking to myself, ‘dad would’ve loved this’”, said Sean.
The artists who appeared at the gig were: My Darling Clementine, Matt James, Andy Strickland (The Loft, The Caretaker Race, The Chesterfields), Brian Sharpe (The Cherokees) and Keith Roberts (Blue Moon), Bobby I Can Fly, Chris Clarke, Amy Bird and Bob and Bertie Everson.Singer-songwriter, Matt Hill, was unable to appear, due to ill health, but he recorded a video of himself singing a song by one of John’s favourite artists, Matt Monro. You can watch it here.