Timothy John Byford

Last updated

Timothy John Byford (Serbian : Тимоти Џон Бајфорд/Timoti Džon Bajford; 25 July 1941 – 5 May 2014) was an author, film director, translator, and educator.


Byford was born in England, but spent most of his life in Belgrade. He became a naturalized citizen of Serbia in 2004. [1] [2] He directed children's television programmes, first in the UK for the BBC, and later in Yugoslavia, for TV Belgrade and TV Sarajevo. His children's TV series enjoyed great success in former Yugoslavia, and continue to be popular. [1]


Born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, Byford started his TV career directing films for the BBC Blue Peter programme. [1] His first TV documentary "I Want to Be a Showjumper" won a BAFTA Harlequin "Rediffusion Star Award" (for Children's Programmes) in 1970. [3]

In 1971 he moved to Yugoslavia, where he married [1] and continued to write and direct children's television programmes during the 1970s and 1980s. [1] He is best known for his children's TV series: Neven ('Marigold'), Babino unuče ('Granny's Boy') and Poletarac ('Fledgling'), [1] all for TV Belgrade, [4] as well as Nedeljni zabavnik ('Sunday Magazine'), 'Musical Notebook' and Tragom ptice Dodo ('On the Trail of the Dodo'), all for TV Sarajevo. 'Fledgling' won a Grand Prix at the Prix Jeunesse International Festival in Munich in 1980. [4]

He spent his last fifteen years teaching English, writing and translating. In 2006, after 40 years of working with children, he joined the Children's Cultural Centre Belgrade, where he wrote and directed programmes, taught English and translated. He has written and published a self-portrait trilogy, "Pigs Do Not Eat Banana Skins", completed a collection of seven short stories under the title "The Golden Candlestick", and completed his official autobiography, "Warts and All". [ citation needed ]

His name is also associated with a park in the southern suburbs of Belgrade, Banjica Forest, as during the late 1980s he campaigned for it to have special protection because of the large number of nightingales and other species of birds that nest in it. The wood is now an officially protected natural habitat and has its name changed officially to Byford's Forest in 2015. [5]

On 1 April 2010, Byford celebrated the 50th year of his artistic career with the opening of his photograph exhibition, Joy in 100 Pictures, consisting of photographs he took at the 'Joy of Europe' festivals in 2008 and 2009. [4] The same year, he appeared on screen as a cricket umpire in a television advert for Mivela water during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The ad featured players from the Serbia national cricket team and Serbian footballer Radosav Petrović. [ citation needed ]

Pension issue

Byford moved to Belgrade, Serbia, former Yugoslavia in 1971 and as a foreigner he was not allowed to participate in the state's pension fund system. Since his wife was from former Yugoslavia (now Serbia), he should inherit the citizenship right after a certain number of years spent in marriage. He received Serbian citizenship only at the age of 65 after intervention of Serbia's then president Boris Tadić. It was too late to become a pension fund participant, since he would be at the age of 80 before he gains the right for a minimal pension. [ citation needed ]

On 1 January 2011, Serbian newspaper agency Blic wrote an article about Mr. Byford being rejected [6] for a national recognition award for his contribution and previous work (which effectively provides the right to a national pension), despite being nominated by several of his colleagues as described in an interview. Rejecting Mr. Byford's requests for the pension caused significant discontent among people who remember his work from their childhood. Two weeks later after the original article was published, Mr. Byford applied for and received a regular pension, giving him the right to apply for a National Pension. [7] In a later article Byford thanked many supporters who offered their help and started a petition on a Facebook social network. As a result, Mr. Byford received several job offers, but many of them he had to turn down due to his specific health issues. [7] Mr. Byford eventually returned to RTS as a consultant in the Children's Programmes Department. In January 2012 he received national recognition and was awarded a National Pension. [8]


In 2005 Byford was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. He died of the illness on 5 May 2014 in Belgrade. [1] Byford was cremated at the Belgrade's Novo Groblje cemetery on 12 May 2014. He was survived by his former wife Ljudmila "Mila" Stanojević; wife Zorica and three sons : Justin, Jovan, Andrej. [9]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tomislav Nikolić</span> President of Serbia (2012–2017)

Tomislav Nikolić is a Serbian former politician who served as the president of Serbia from 2012 to 2017. A former member of the far-right Serbian Radical Party (SRS), he disassociated himself from the party in 2008 and formed the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) which he led until 2012.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ivica Dačić</span> Serbian politician

Ivica Dačić is a Serbian politician serving as first deputy prime minister of Serbia and minister of foreign affairs since 2022, roles which he previously served under governments of Mirko Cvetković, Aleksandar Vučić, and Ana Brnabić. He has been the leader of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) since 2006.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Čedomir Jovanović</span> Serbian politician and businessman

Čedomir "Čeda" Jovanović is a Serbian politician and businessman.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Milan Gutović</span> Serbian actor (1946–2021)

Milan Gutović was a Serbian and Yugoslav actor, cabaret performer and television personality. He is best known for his portrayal of Srećko Šojić in Tesna koža and Bela lađa.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bebi Dol</span> Serbian pop-rock singer-songwriter

Dragana Todorović, better known under the stage name Bebi Dol, is a Serbian and Yugoslav singer and songwriter. Born in Belgrade, she made her solo debut in 1981 with the single "Mustafa". Bebi Dol rose to further prominence and nationwide popularity with her debut album Ruže i krv. She represented SFR Yugoslavia at the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest with "Brazil". She has released four studio albums to date and had a number of hit songs in Serbia and former Yugoslavia.

Aleksandar "Aca" Nikolić was a Serbian professional basketball player and coach. He was also a professor at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Sport and Physical Education. He is often referred to as the Father of Yugoslav and Serbian Basketball.

<i>Blic</i> Serbian newspaper

Blic is a daily middle-market tabloid newspaper in Serbia. Founded in 1996, Blic is owned by Ringier Axel Springer Media AG, a joint venture between Ringier media corporation from Switzerland and Axel Springer AG from Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Philip, Hereditary Prince of Yugoslavia</span> Member of the House of Karađorđević

Filip Karađorđević, sometimes referred to in English as Prince Philip Karageorgevitch and unofficially titled Philip, Hereditary Prince of Serbia and Yugoslavia, is a Serbian business manager, a member of the House of Karađorđević, and heir apparent to Crown Prince Alexander. He is the second grandson of the last King of Yugoslavia, Peter II.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lidija Vukićević</span> Serbian actress and politician

Lidija Vukićević is a Serbian film and TV actress and politician.

Haris Brkić was a Yugoslav basketball player. He achieved greatest results in Partizan and he is still remembered by fans for his great contribution to the club.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maja Nikolić</span> Serbian singer and television personality (born 1975)

Marija Nikolić, better known as Maja Nikolić, is a Serbian singer and reality television personality. Born and raised in Niš, she pursued a singing career in the early 90s by competing on music festivals. Nikolić has released six studio albums.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Palestine–Serbia relations</span> Bilateral relations

The Palestinian–Serbian relations are bilateral relations between the State of Palestine and the Republic of Serbia. Relations between Serbia and Palestine have been very close and friendly. Even though Serbia had reestablished relations with Israel in 1991, its relations with Palestine still remain excellent.

Ratko "Raša" Radovanović is a Serbian former professional basketball player who competed for SFR Yugoslavia, at the 1980 Summer Olympics, and at the 1984 Summer Olympics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Radoslav Pavlović</span> Serbian writer (born 1954)

Radoslav (Lale) Pavlović is a Serbian writer. Pavlovic authored numerous theatre plays and film/TV scripts popular with the audience and acclaimed by the critics. He is best known for his theatre plays Šovinistička farsa, performed more than a thousand times across ex-Yugoslavia, Mala, and Moja Draga performed for hundreds of times in Belgrade theaters, as well as movies Balkan Rules (1997), Living like the rest of us (1983), Hajde da se volimo 3 (1990) featuring ex-Yugoslavia mega-star Lepa Brena, and TV series Moj Rodjak sa Sela (2008) scoring record viewership of over 3 million viewers per episode.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boško Obradović</span> Serbian politician

Boško Obradović is a Serbian politician who is the founder and leader of the right-wing political party Dveri. He was the party's nominee for the 2017 and 2022 presidential elections.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kazakhstan–Serbia relations</span> Bilateral relations

Kazakhstan–Serbia relations refer to bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and Serbia. Serbia opened an embassy in Astana in June 2011, and Kazakhstan opened a consulate in Belgrade in June 2015.

Stefan Đurić, better known as Rasta, is a Serbian rapper and singer from Priština. He gained mainstream recognition with his singles "Kavasaki" (2014) and "Cavali" (2015), and is additionally known for popularizing the Auto-Tune pitch correction effect in the western Balkans and for often promoting marijuana in his songs.

The 2018–19 Basketball League of Serbia is the 13th season of the Basketball League of Serbia, the highest professional basketball league in Serbia. Also, it's the 75th national championship played by Serbian clubs inclusive of nation's previous incarnations as Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro.

Milorad Erkić, was a Serbian professional basketball coach, player and executive.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Staff (5 May 2014). "Umro Timoti Džon Bajford" [Timothy John Byford Dies]. b92.net (in Serbian). B92 . Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  2. Staff (30 November 2004). "Uskoro nov zakon o državljanstvu" [New Citizenship Law Soon]. b92.net (in Serbian). B92. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  3. Staff. "WINNER: I Want To Be A Showjumper, Tim Byford". awards.bafta.org. BAFTA . Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 Šulović, Sonja (1 April 2010). "Život posvećen deci" [Life Dedicated to Children]. blic.rs (in Serbian). Blic . Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  5. Tanjug (15 September 2015), "Banjička šuma je od danas "Bajfordova šuma"", N1 (in Serbian), archived from the original on 7 July 2018, retrieved 22 May 2018
  6. Nikolić, Aleksandar (30 January 2011). "Bajford bez penzije i ikakvih prava" [Byford with no Pension and no Rights]. blic.rs (in Serbian). Blic . Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  7. 1 2 Nikolić, Aleksandar (9 February 2011). "Penzija za Bajforda" [Pension for Byford]. blic.rs (in Serbian). Blic . Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  8. Staff (5 January 2012). "Lepa Lukić, Usnija, Ratko Božović, Timoti Džon Bajford..." blic.rs (in Serbian). Blic . Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  9. Bajford: "Pamtite me po pticama". Danas.rs, 12.5.2014.