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Countries
(For further details of Peel shows for non-UK audiences, see Planet Peel. See also category: Places.)

Peel travelled to many countries outside his home in England as part of holiday trips and his work with the BBC and other media companies, despite his fear of flying. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland along with England are considered countries of the United Kingdom, hence why the first three are included in the list below, as Peel's trips outside England.

Europe

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  • Andorra: Peel mentioned visiting the country in 2001 especially the town of Les Escalades in an article in the Radio Times (later published in the Olivetti Chronicles).
  • Austria: Peel presented shows for Austria's Ö3 radio station between 1989 and 1994. On his 05 August 1991 (Ö3) show Peel relates a visit to Vienna, during which he went to see John Lee Hooker, and took exception to the contributions made by the organ player in the band, each of whose solos "in the manner of Keith Emerson" caused John to scream abuse at him. A year later he visited the country again as part of the BBC's Radio campaign on work opportunities in Europe.
  • Belgium: Peel visited Brussels during the Eurovision Song Contest in 1987 and met the Royal Family at that event on Peel 060 (BFBS). He was also present at the Heysel stadium disaster in the same city in 1985.
  • Bulgaria: Peel first visited Bulgaria in the summer of 1991 which was reflected in two BBC World Service programmes, devoted completely to the Bulgarian rock scene: 01 August 1991 (BBC World Service) and 08 August 1991 (BBC World Service). He also claimed on his show on 22 November 2001 to be one of the few people in the country to have visited Bulgaria twice (1991 & 1994):

"The second time I went … I gave a press conference in something like the grand hall of the congress of the people. There were about 100 journalists in there and none of us knew why we were there. And one of them said, ‘Is it perhaps because you’ve been to Bulgaria twice?’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s as good a reason as any.’ So we kind of accepted that was why it was."

"As I said at the beginning of the programme, just come back from a couple of weeks or about 10 days driving around in Scandinavia. People warned me before I went there that it was very expensive, and indeed this turned out to be the case. What they hadn't warned me about too was that everything is shut, and when I say "everything", absolutely everything was shut: nothing was open whatsoever, even like the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, which are world famous, Easter Bank Holiday, you think they'd be teeming with people: shut. Everything shut: quite extraordinary. Except actually there was a record shop I found that was open, but the prices in there: it was like £9 for one of those Peel Session EPs, so I didn't buy any records."

  • Estonia: On his show from 17 April 1993, Peel mentioned visiting the band Röövel Ööbik in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia during a 1992 BBC World Service documentary on the music scene of Russia and the Baltic states.
  • Finland: Peel first presented shows for Finland's Rockradio (later changed to Radiomafia) in 1987 but only first visited the country in 2001, where he broadcast his show on BBC Radio One on 09 May 2001.
  • France: Peel took holidays in France over the years.
  • Germany: Peel visited the country in 1995 as part of the TV documentary Travels With My Camera: Autobahn Blues, which was broadcast on Channel 4 in 1996. He also regularly travelled there to record his shows in the studios of Radio Bremen.
  • Greece: Peel went on holiday to Crete in April 1985 (see Peel 010 (BFBS)).
  • Hungary: Peel visited Budapest on his European road trip that was broadcast on 16 October 1992 as part of the BBC's Radio campaign on work opportunities in Europe.
  • Ireland: Peel took his first holiday with Sheila in Ireland in 1969 with Andy Roberts and Adrian Henri of The Liverpool Scene. He also spent a day in Dublin in February 1979 [1], returning there that summer to see Status Quo headline an all day music festival [2].
  • Isle Of Man: Not part of the UK, but an internal self-governing Crown dependency. Peel and Andy Kershaw both regularly visited the island during the TT Races. However in 1996, Peel had to rush home from the island when his wife Sheila suffered a brain haemorrhage, from which she slowly recovered.
  • Italy: Peel and Sheila with John's brother Alan took on a driving holiday in mainland Europe in the summer of 1969. The holiday included their first trip to Venice. (Margrave Of The Marshes, Corgi edition, p237)
  • Latvia: Peel visited Latvia in the summer of 1992 as part of his trip to Russia and the Baltic States with the BBC World Service. On the 09 October 1992 show, Peel relates how he was speaking to a DJ in Riga and that "the word Belgium was like a religious word to him – a sacred place". In 2002, Peel played some tracks from a Latvian band called Depo on his shows and made their album Alepo, his album of the month in August 2002 (Peel's Record Box).
  • Lithuania: Peel visited Lithuania's capital Vilnius via a double decker bus that travelled from St Petersburg into the Baltic states and described it as a beautiful city on his 24 July 1992 show:

"I would recommend if you ever get the chance to visit Vilnius particularly, you should go before it's touristified you know, because at the moment it is a stunning beautiful place, a beautiful place I've ever been in my life."

  • Netherlands: Peel did reports for Dutch TV in late summer/early autumn of 1967 and also visited at least one festival in Amsterdam, then a centre of hippy culture, during that year. He regularly visited Groningen during their Eurosonic / Noorderslag festivals in the early 21st century. As well as being an announcer at the Pink Pop festival in the late 1970s and early 1980s, he also visited the country regularly during the mid-1980s for the programmes he presented for the VPRO station.[3]
  • Northern Ireland: Peel visited Ulster in February 1979 [4], where he took part in Round Table broadcast from the province. He returned in 2001 to make a TV documentary about the Undertones called The Story Of The Undertones: Teenage Kicks.
  • Norway: Peel revealed that he drove inside the bottom corner of Norway during his Scandinavian road trip on his 27 April 1987 show where he mentioned seeing the beauty of the Norwegian lakes and countryside with no people around. He also wanted to go back there to explore more of the country, but was advised that it was more expensive than Sweden and Denmark.
  • Portugal: Peel visited Portugal in March 1984, which coincided with Liverpool contesting the Milk Cup Final with Everton. Before visiting the country he was quoted as saying:

"I've chosen to go to Portugal in the week of the Milk Cup final, so I shall be lying motionless in the sun like a beached whale while the lads are battling at Wembley." [5]

  • Russia: JP seems ebullient in the first half of his 24 July 1992 show following his trip to Russia and the Baltic States. Peel had previously made a trip to Russia in 1988, recording a radio documentary later broadcast as John Peel In Russia.
  • Scotland: Peel would often visit Scotland with his roadshow, especially Glasgow and Edinburgh. Additionally, he hosted some of his BBC Radio One shows from there. On Sounds Of The Suburbs, broadcast in 1999, Peel visited Bellshill in southern Scotland to interview artists including Sean Dickson of the Soup Dragons and High Fidelity.
  • Spain: Peel first mentioned travelling to Spain in 1988 through France by car to the city of Pamplona, which he described as the Manchester of Spain on his 16th September 1988 Peel 090 (BFBS) show. Between 2001 and 2004 Peel regularly visited Barcelona to attend the Sonar festival.
  • Sweden: Introducing the final Top Gear of 1967 with Tommy Vance, Peel talks of his "international travel in international times" and says he'll be boring his listeners with stories of his visits to the Netherlands and Sweden. Peel visited Sweden as part of his family road trip in 1987 reaching the town of Huskvarna where they abandoned their attempt to reach Finland. Peel also visited the country when it hosted the European Football Championship in 1992. A lucky listener accompanied the DJ to the final as their prize in a phone-in competition held on his programme of 16 May 1992. Peel also mentioned coming back from 10 days in Denmark and Sweden on his 29 October 1993 (BFBS) show, where he was recording a BBC Radio One documentary called John Peel In Scandinavia.
  • Switzerland: Peel visited Lausanne for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1989, an experience captured in a BBC Radio One documentary [6].
  • Turkey: Peel was in Turkey as part of a music documentary on 19 November 1994 (BBC World Service).
  • Wales: Peel had family links to Wales: His grandfather lived in Anglesey. John himself attended prep school near Conwy and spent his National Service in Ynys Môn.
  • Yugoslavia: Peel and Sheila went to the former Yugoslavia on a road trip in 1975 with their local youth club, which had been established by the couple. There are no details on which part of the former Yugoslavia they visited. (Margrave Of The Marshes, Corgi edition, p341)

Asia

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  • Hong Kong: John and Sheila went to Hong Kong and Japan for three weeks in 1986.
  • India: John and Sheila went to the country in March 2002 as a holiday trip, where Peel visited the Taj Mahal and admitted on his show on 17 April 2002 singing "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors whilst in Rajasthan.
  • Japan: Peel visited the country only once, in 1986, when he and Janice Long presented programmes from a Yamaha shop in Shibuya, Tokyo, with JP acted as roving reporter. He also made a documentary for Radio One on the World Popular Song Festival, Japan, 1986.

Africa

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  • Egypt: Peel, Sheila, Walters and his wife Helen spent a fortnight holiday in Egypt in April 1974, where Peel saw the pyramids. (Margrave Of The Marshes, Corgi edition, p347)
  • Kenya: Peel first visited Kenya in 1973 (Peel on his 90's shows claimed it was 1972, but an article from Sounds published on 29th September 1973 by JP mentions coming back from the country after being away for sometime) with Sheila and bought many records from the country, which got played quite significantly in the summer of 1991 on his BBC Radio One shows. 
  • Sierra Leone: On his show from 06 November 1989, Peel mentions returning from a working trip to the West African nation for the BBC World Service.
  • Tanzania: Peel with his wife Sheila visited both Kenya and Tanzania for two weeks during September 1973. In Sounds, published on 29th September 1973, Peel wrote about his visit to Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area on a safari trip.
  • Zambia: Peel and Sheila crossed into Zambia from Zimbabwe in 1988 with the intention of crossing to see the Victoria Falls from the other side, while they were visiting Zimbabwe as a joint venture between the British Council and the BBC World Service. (Margrave Of The Marshes, Corgi edition, p406)
  • Zimbabwe: Peel and his wife Sheila visited the country in 1988 as a joint venture between the British Council and the BBC World Service. (Margrave Of The Marshes, Corgi edition, p404)

North America

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  • America: John Peel lived in the United States for several years from spring 1960 before returning to the UK in 1967.
  • Canada: Peel allegedly fled from San Bernadino in America and crossed into Canada and bought a plane ticket to the UK under the name of John Robert Parker in 1967 (Da Capo Best Music Writing 2005, p187). Peel and Sheila travelled from Toronto to the Niagara Falls on their weekend trip in 1978 (Margrave Of The Marshes, Corgi edition, p364).
  • Mexico: Peel and his friend Harry crossed the American/Mexican border in 1962 from the US city of Laredo to the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo to visit Harry's favourite brothel. (Margrave Of The Marshes, Corgi edition p205, p249)
  • St. Lucia: Peel mentions his trip to the Caribbean island on his show of 05 April 1977:

"Today, I'm back from my holiday in St. Lucia, sunburned and rested, and tonight we have 57 minutes and 25 seconds of music that the original Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded for such BBC programmes as Saturday Club and Top Gear towards the end of the 1960s."

South America

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  • Peru: The only country Peel visited in South America where he tragically died of a heart attack in October 2004.

Oceania

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  • New Zealand: Peel with his wife visited the country in March 2002 as part of their holiday.
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