Remembering Vernon Corea

Vernon Corea


Vernon Corea

‘ Vernon was a pioneering influence in the BBC and helped to lay the foundation for the work we are continuing to do to make sure our staff and our programmes are truly representative of our nation’s diverse population. ‘

We remember with gratitude and pride his launching of London Sounds Eastern on BBC Radio London, and his generosity in mentoring and training people from ethnic minority backgrounds for the BBC.

Vernon will be greatly missed for his warmth, his integrity and his commitment…..’

Greg Dyke

Director-General  BBC

‘ His sense of loyalty to his management and to his profession and his compassion and concern for those who worked under him were exemplary….’

Neville Jayaweera

former Director-General

Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation

‘ Mr.Vernon Corea was a veteran broadcaster in Sri Lanka who had contributed immensely for the progress of our Institution, the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation….’


Deputy Director General SLBC

Those Golden Voices

They were truly great, and rarely intrusive:

‘ Vernon Corea: Radio Ceylon’s pioneering broadcaster, he was instrumental in introducing Sinhala music into the English Services…….’

The Hindu Newspaper


‘ Corea was a born broadcaster and racy raconteur, prone to making outrageous remarks with a straight face. But behind his frivolous manner was a generous and large-hearted Christian…’

Reginald Massey

The Guardian


‘The BBC at this time was striving to be more inclusive, and Corea found himself at the forefront of an increasing thrust for diversity. His importance both as a figurehead and a consultant was recognised by his appointment as the first ethnic minorities adviser in 1978.’

The London Times

‘Vernon became more than the Radio Journalist to me. He was to become a friend, not only he, but his entire family. I remember the hours spent with them in their home in Maha Nuge Gardens in Kollupitiya. The friendship picked up again when the family moved to London . Vernon now had become the ‘ international ‘ broadcaster with the BBC. The stature he had received was no bar to his personality. He was still the same, friendly and always ready to help…

Nimal Mendis

‘Vernon Corea will always be fondly remembered by his colleagues and friends as a man who gave freely of his time to aspiring “artistes” and other radio personalities alike…’

Des Kelly

‘His GOLDEN VOICE will always be remembered when Radio Ceylon is mentioned. His legacy will live on.’

Bill Forbes

Great men such as (Clifford) Dodd and (Vernon) Corea in the founding days of Radio in Sri Lanka left a marvellous legacy and those coming thereafter have a grand tradition to follow. At one time all of Southern India tuned into Radio Ceylon. We were considered premier broadcasters in the whole of the sub-continent area….’

Nigel Kerner