This page attempts to list the holidays that Peel took. If this involved being absent from the show, the details of who sat in or replaced him are noted. Working holidays are mostly included, with the exception of shows broadcast from those working trips to festivals (eg Eurosonic in Groningen, Sonar in Barcelona) where a discrete page exists.

Work in Progress

The 1990s are a little more problematic to document, as Peel tended to pre-record the shows when he went away.


1960s (date unknown)

Explored the USA by car during his years of living there. On the show of 11 August 1968, after playing "Roanoke" by Tim Rose, he described a visit he made to the town which inspired the song, Roanoke, Virginia [1].

Early 1966

Returns from California to visit mother and brothers in London and father in Liverpool. Describes impressions of his holiday in the Kmentertainer of 11 March 1966.

1969 (date unknown)

First holiday with Sheila. Spent in Ireland, together with Andy Roberts and Adrian Henri of The Liverpool Scene. Peel recalled it in 2001, when he wrote a tribute to Adrian Henri in Radio Times (reproduced, with JP's permission and an added photo, on Andy Roberts' website)

Summer 1969

Upcoming holiday to France with brother Alan Ravenscroft mentioned on 27 July 1969.


August 1970

Replaced by Bob Harris according to one source (Ken Garner The Peel Sessions, p.68), but another (Ken Garner In Session Tonight, p.199) mentions Johnny Moran, who presented a show called First Gear during the 4 weeks while Peel was away.

August 1971

Peel away for four weeks. Holiday destination unknown. Peel returned to show on 04 September 1971.


Holiday destination: Kenya and Tanzania. Peel returned to show on 18 September 1973.

April 1974

Honeymoon trip to Egypt with John and Helen Walters.

September 1975

Camping trip to Yugoslavia (Margrave Of The Marshes, p341).

August 1976

Two weeks away in Cornwall (mentioned in Sounds, published on 4th September 1976). Peel returned to the show on 23 August 1976.

March 1977

Holiday destination: St Lucia. Peel returned to the show on 04 April 1977.

September 1977

Seems to have remained in the UK. Peel returned to the show on 12 September 1977.

September 1978

Holiday destination: France (mentions having stopped in Rennes on 12 September 1978). Peel returned to the show on 11 September 1978.

  • 18 July 1979: Peel claims he dare not take a holiday that year: “It’s easy to go away for a couple of weeks and come back and find some fresh-faced ninny with a degree in Anthropology and a basket full of John Stewart albums sitting in your chair and to discover Walters has been seconded to transmitter duties in the Highlands.”


June 1981

Destination: Netherlands. Compered Pink Pop Festival. Peel returned to the show on 15 June 1981.

June 1982

Holiday destination unknown. Peel returned to the show on 28 June 1982.

May 1983

Destination: Netherlands and Germany. Compered Pink Pop Festival on 23 May 1983. Peel returned to the show on 30 May 1983.

Peel spent three days in Düsseldorf, "wondering if it was every going to stop raining." (30 May 1983).
March 1984

Holiday destination: Portugal. Peel returned to the show on 02 April 1984.

"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." [2]
April 1985

Holiday destination: Crete, Greece. Peel returned to the show on 10 April 1985.

May 1985

Destination: Netherlands and Belgium. Pink Pop Festival at Maastricht on 27 May 1985. Also present at Heysel on 29 May. Peel returned to the show on 03 June 1985.

September 1985

Peel absent for the remainder of the week after delivering Monday show on 16 September 1985. Returned to show on 23 September 1985.

October 1986

Peel away for three weeks in Hong Kong and Japan with Janice Long. See Peel At The World Popular Song Festival In Japan. Peel returned to the show on 10 November 1986.

Easter 1987

Peel spent ten days driving around Scandinavia (mentioned on 27 April 1987 and Peel 059 (BFBS)). He was in Copenhagen on 20 April 1987 and returned to the show on 27 April 1987.

August / September 1987

Family holiday to Watergate Bay, Newquay. Peel returned to the show on 07 September 1987.

  • Tuesday and Wednesday shows the previous week presumably pre-recorded. Peel had lost the Monday show due to the Bank Holiday on 31 August.
February 1988

Peel was away in Russia doing a BBC radio documentary on the Soviet music scene called John Peel In Russia.

Summer 1988

Holiday destination: France and Spain (mentioned on 12 September 1988).

  • Shows pre-recorded.
July / August 1989

Holiday destination: France [3]

  • Two weeks of shows pre-recorded 24 July - 3 August (Ken Garner The Peel Sessions, p.231).
October / November 1989

Working trip to Sierra Leone. Peel returned to the show on 06 November 1989.

Peel states that he landed in London on Saturday 4 November.


August 1990

Holiday destination: France (Provence). Peel returned to the show on 20 August 1990.

June 1992

Trip to the Isle Of Man for the TT Races, mentioned on 05 June 1992.

October 1992

Working trip around Europe as part of Radio One's 'Euro Action Special'.

March / April 1994

A week in the south of France, revealed on 08 April 1994.

November 1994

On BFBS show on 26 November 1994 (BFBS) he reveals that he has just returned from Bulgaria and Turkey.

October 1996

Two weeks off. Shows presented by Steve Lamacq.

November 1997

A week off. Shows presented by members of Pulp.

December 1997

A week off. Shows presented by Steve Lamacq. No show on Thursday 11th.

October 1999

Not a holiday as such but a week's break from the show. Peel returned on 25 October 1999.

1990s - Work in progress.


July 2000

Trip to New York, returning on the QE2. Peel returned to the show on 18 July 2000.

May 2001

A working trip to Finland. Show broadcast from Helsinki on 09 May 2001. Previous night's show was pre-recorded.

March / April 2002

Holiday destination: New Zealand and India. Peel returned to the show on 09 April 2002 after a break of four weeks.

August 2003

A fortnight's family holiday to France (the Dordogne). Peel returned to the show on 19 August 2003.

October 2004

Holiday destination: Peru.

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