After the Peelenium had finished, we decided that it would be a nice idea to include just one 78-rpm record in each of John’s late night programmes. And because I’d been conned into reading out the tracks for the Peelenium, John persuaded me to introduce one vintage record in every programme. And so it became “The Pig’s Big 78” because listeners liked it very much indeed – surprisingly.
  (Sheila Ravenscroft (aka Pig), from sleevenotes of The Pig's Big 78s: A Beginner's Guide, Trikont, 2006)

The title that this feature was given by Peel is probably a variation of the 'Peel's Big 45' spot that John ran in the mid 70s where he would give substantial airplay to a well-liked current single (see 10 December 1976 (Transcript) for mentions of this).

It appears that Peel's initial idea was for daughter Flossie to spin old 78s on shows from Peel Acres, although it was wife Sheila who eventually ended up doing the introductions for the spot. On 07 January 1999, over a year before the feature eventually started, he commented:

"One of the things I wanted to do actually in these programmes, these Kat's Karavans that come to you from Peel Acres, was to get our Flossie to come in an play some of my 78s, because I've got a room, not a room full but I've got several racks full of 78s in an adjourning room, a great number of which have never been played or not been played for many, many years anyway, which I've bought in car-boot sales and junk shops and so forth, which I would quite like to hear and you might find quite interesting as well. But she refuses to do this, alas."

Songs played and show dates appear on the pages below. Data was is researched from the database of this site and Phil's Mighty Database but is incomplete, due partly to missing tracklistings and occasional failure to indicate the Pig's Big 78 on BBC pages. Please help fill in the gaps.

Pig's Big 78
2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004

In 2006, German label Trikont released The Pig's Big 78s: A Beginner's Guide, a selection of tracks used in the slot, compiled before his death by Peel and Sheila.


  • Wkipedia
  • Trikont Online catalogue listing for 'Pig's Big 78's - A Beginner's Guide', including tracklisting and links for reviews
  • Drowned In Sound: Life still has surface noise: Trikont release Pig's Big 78 album
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