It is with great sadness that we record the sudden death of Noel Fletcher of Gemini Productions, advisor to the UK Bus Awards Management Committee and producer of our Presentation Ceremony annually between 1999 and 2014. Noel was taken ill on Thursday 19th January but did not respond to treatment and passed away on Friday 20th.
Recalling a long association, UK Bus Awards director Chris Cheek said, "Noel first worked with us on our fourth annual ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in London in November 1999. His professionalism and commitment delivered a huge boost to the event, and convinced us of the benefits of having a professional producer for the scheme.
"In subsequent years, his work for us after the move to the London Hilton set the standard for our events. His work was hugely important in establishing the look and feel of the ceremony - and establishing it as a hugely popular fixture in the industry's calendar. The films of the industry at work which he produced were ground-breaking at a time when video was relatively rare in the industry and he set the standard for how buses should be presented on screen."
His role evolved after the move to The Ballrooom in 2015, which provided an in-house production team and equipment. However, he continued to produce video material for the Awards and his last project, a video of the highlights of the 2016 ceremony, was completed in January 2017, shortly before he was taken ill.
Ray Stenning of Best Impressions - who worked with Noel after 2005 to establish the scheme's branding - recalled Noel's "total dedication to his craft." Tributes were also paid by former UKBA chairmen John Owen and Tony Depledge.
"Noel was very much a part of the UK Bus Awards family, and we shall miss him greatly," Chris said, "I am sure the whole industry will join us in sending our condolences to his wife Barbara."