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1977-10-01 Radio Times cover Radio One 10 years old DJs

Radio Times front cover feat. all Radio One DJs, issue 1-7 October 1977

Radio Times is a long-running BBC weekly magazine that includes listings of TV and radio programmes. First published in 1923, it initially listed BBC radio programmes, with BBC television later added, but has listed all major channels since 1991.

In the issue dated September 26, 1968, Peel was pictured in a feature celebrating the first anniversary of Radio 1, which also mentions that listeners tune in to hear the "New Sounds with Peel"[1]. He appeared in the magazine in January 1970 (issue dated 15 January) as part of a feature on the BBC's two then new pop programmes Disco 2 on BBC Two TV and John Peel's Sunday Show on Radio One. In an interview for the piece, Peel plays down the role of DJs as celebrities and is quoted as saying among other things , "Some disc jockeys don't realise the essential insignificance of their role".  He is, however, credited as having "helped to create and foster interest in better pop music" and having "thrown the spotlight on many talented but unheard bands".  A photograph was also printed.[2]

1968-09-26 Radio Times colour pic

Radio Times feature on Radio 1's first birthday, September 1968

From 1993 until 2002, Peel was a regular columnist for the publication, which marked his 60th birthday celebrations in 1999 by featuring him on the front cover. However, Peel had written sporadically for the magazine since at least 1971, when he sparked controversy by criticising the late-night airing of the VHF simulcasts of 'Sounds of the Seventies' which he, among others, was about to present. Shortly before he became a regular columnist, he was interviewed twice; in the 7-13 March 1992 issue (where he mentioned that he sometimes got phone calls from desperate, socially isolated listeners who wanted to talk to Steve Wright at 2 am in the morning, and that for Radio 1 to copy the then-recently-deregulated commercial stations would be "like Liverpool worrying about their future and deciding to imitate Chesterfield") and in the 31 July-6 August 1993 issue, where he mentioned the positive response to his daytime stint earlier in the year.

He also wrote a piece for the 1000th episode of Top of the Pops, which was the cover story in the 30 April-6 May 1983 issue, the 21st anniversary of Radio 1 in the 1-7 October 1988 issue, and a foreword for Tony Currie's 2001 history of the magazine 'The Radio Times Story'. Earlier, he wrote a piece on punk and the related social context for the 1-7 October 1977 issue, which marked Radio 1's 10th anniversary, and a piece on the radio series Songs of Protest for the 2-8 July 1977 issue, both clearly challenging the social assumptions of much of the magazine's readership. He appeared on the front cover together with all the other Radio One DJs for the Radio 1 10th anniversary issue.

In 1998 he was part of the Radio 4 'revamp' with the Home Truths programme and appeared on the front cover of the Radio Times as part of the 'Four For 4' feature.

Peel Articles

Many of Peel's columns for the magazine were reprinted in Olivetti Chronicles:

  • 1971-10-02, My Choice, pg. 5
  • 1994-01-29, Road Rage, pg. 257-9
  • 1994-06-18, King Arthur, pg. 130-2
  • 1994-07-09, Oddballs, pg.189-90
  • 1994-10-22, Local Radio, pg. 143-5
  • 1994-11-05, Medieval Medicine, pg.156-7
  • 1995-01-07, Voice-overs, pg. 324-6
  • 1995-07-29, Devil’s Music, pg. 49-51
  • 1995-08-12, Sock Syndrome, pg. 278-80
  • 1995-10-14, Berlin Punk, pg. 19-21
  • 1995-12-02, Montel, pg.163-5
  • 1996-02-17, Alien Empire, pg. 4-6
  • 1996-10-19, Foxes, pg. 97-9
  • 1998-05-23, Doomsday, pg. 52-4
  • 1998-06-13, A Snappy Dancer, pg.1-3
  • 1999-04-10, Whatever You Want, pg. 336-8
  • 1999-08-07, Summer of Love, pg. 292-4
  • 2000-01-22, Nooderslag, pg. 186-8
  • 2000-03-02, Too Decrepit to Walk, pg. 299-300
  • 2000-04-22, Today Programme, pg. 295-6
  • 2000-12-09, Children’s TV, pg. 44-6
  • 2000-12-16, Kerguelen, pg. 127-9
  • 2001-01-20, Adrian Henri, pg. 114-16
  • 2001-05-12, Tony Bennett, pg. 17-18
  • 2001-07-07, Driving to Sonar, pg. 55-6
  • 2001-08-11, John Walters, pg. 331-2
  • 2001-10-27, WI, pg. 339-40
  • 2002-01-19, New Year’s Eve, pg. 173-4
  • 2002-02-09, Everything’s up to date in Kansas City, pg. 73-4
  • 2002-03-23, California, pg. 34-5

Please add further information on Peel's columns for Radio Times if known.

Available Online

1977

Oct 1: It is true that no station other than Radio 1 would sanction a programme such as that I introduce each night of the week. On this John Walters, my producer, and I present what we feel to be the very best of rock music, taking in also folk, reggae and whatever else seems relevant. We also play the Yesses and ELPs of this world, although with a disgraceful display of truculence from me, as part of our review function....(Peel's piece is part of a longer article with contributions from other Radio 1 DJs. Read more here)

1983

30 April: Breaking Records (p.4). Article by Peel for the 1,000th Top of the Pops in which, "..he reveals how his attitude to the show has changed through the years". Peel also features in the listings on p.65 although neither he nor Jensen appear in the full page colour photo of host DJS on p.5. (read more)

1988

Oct 1: Taming The Pirates: John Peel explains how makers of maritime mayhem became domesticated DJs. Article on Radio 1 as part of the BBC Radio 21st Birthday celebrations (pp 9-10). Page 9 also features vintage Radio Times cutting of Top Gear listing with photograph of Peel. (read more)

1993

Sep 25: The television is about halfway down the room and set at 80 degrees to the wall. It is rented and needs dusting. There is a small piece of fluff which has somehow made its way behind the screen and come to rest dead centre. On the top of the set is a... (read more)

1994

Jan 01: There was a time when I too was a Top of the Pops presenter. The first time I made an appearance on the programme (its 30th anniversary this week is celebrated with a series of programmes on BBC1 and 1FM), was early in 1968. I was giddy with nerves and forgot the name of... (read more)

Jan 08: In the mid 60s I worked for radio station KMEN, San Bernardino, California. I was their personable Mr Morning Man, chivvying the kids off to school and hubby off to work with a smile on their lips and a song in their hearts. Or was it a song on their... (read more)

Jan 15: The Christmas card from the Editor was friendly but firm. Beneath the heartwarming couplet - Better grammar and copy when it's due. Is our Yuletide wish for you - was written, in a child like hand. Watch More TV. So I have done as I was told and am now well on my way to... (read more)

Jan 22: It is raining. Our friend John has phoned to say that he has heard a flood alert for our area on the radio. Should he, he wanted to know, stop off at the council offices and pick up some sandbags? Staring into the slate grey skies and the ... (read more)

Feb 05: This week, amid the bleatings of the punctuation spooks, came a letter, postmarked Kingston upon Thames, from a Mark Hebden. In a crisp, handwritten page-and-a-half, the whole infused with an air of quiet menace. Hebden expresses his distress at... (read more)

Feb 26: Shift some of that ugly fat, get some exercise and learn to relax, the doctor told me. I almost shouted at him. “Relax,” I almost shouted. “Relax. Ha ha ha ha” “Steady, old thing,” I murmured to myself. Thing is, how can you relax when fate trundles such programmes as ... (read more)

Mar 05: Like Polly Toynbee, I was bullied as a child. (Distant cries of "... and a jolly good thing too.") At the school where brother Francis and I were clients, bullying was endemic and grimly sophisticated. As far as I can recall, it focused particularly on boys with... (read more)

Mar 12: Isn't that typical? When you actually want one of those television extroverts who try to get you exercising before sun up, can you find one? You cannot. As I hinted a fortnight ago, the family doctor has warned me that it is time I lost some... (read more)

Mar 26: Five or six years ago a sign on the wall in each of the principal 1FM studios read, "One Link, One Thought". "Putting some of the chaps through your paces, aren't you?" I asked Johnny Beerling, then the station's controller. He smiled a wry smile, perhaps recalling that before his... (read more)

Dec 17: So, what sort of Christmas will we be having in our rustic bunker? I have sought the views of the several fruits of our loins on this and they have, in turn, looked puzzled, said, "Dunno", turned apprehensive and asked "Why d'ya wanna know?" in the tone of voice they use when I ... (read more)

1995

Apr 29: Back in the early 1960s, I lived on Potomac Avenue in Dallas, Texas, the sole occupant of a wooden shed, formerly servants' - possibly even slave - quarters at the bottom of somebody's garden. In the evenings, spurred on by the... (read more)

May 20: "Well, I suppose it was bound to happen", she said. "Er, what?" I fired back. "The column you just faxed us," she replied. "You've written it before. Last year, in fact." "What, even down to naming Liverpool's 1950 Cup Final team?" I whispered. (read more)

1996

Feb 17: Pity the poor mayfly. It starts life in riverbottom mud, reaches the surface with no means of eating, has one day of life, then dies. This is a process that has gone on, without so much as a murmur of complaint, for over 100 million years. I know this from watching ... (read more)

Mar 02: Let's talk about the Eurovision Song Contest, shall we? No, no, hold on. Don't go. Thing is, the contest seems to be growing more complex with every passing year. Time was when someone whose records you heard regularly on Two-Way Family Favourites and ... (read more)

1997

Sep 20 (Extract): There is much talk of Penis envy in Seven Sins and at one stage a penis makes a brief appearance as Kathy leads us from enviably smart location to enviably smart location, just about getting away with such lines as "While still resident on planet single", as she goes, introducing ... (read more)

Oct 11: Strewth. This is going to be fun. The credits for DAD (Thursdays BBC1) have rolled. George Cole is Dad. Kevin McNally is Alan. Julia Hills is Beryl. Toby Ross-Bryant is Vincent. (Alan and Beryl don't look like the sort of parents who would call a son Vincent, but we'll let that pass.) Not a word has yet been spoken but the... (read more )

Dec 20: New readers start here. Old readers too, if they don't mind. In case you only come this way at Christmas and new year, let me introduce myself. I'm veteran DJ John Peel, and I normally write perceptive, hard-hitting criticism of radio and television programmes. The industry cowers, frankly, in fear of a cruel jibe from my... (read more )

1998

Jan 31: Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? (Pause) Did she die in vain? This most excellent joke had been lying there, right under our forebears' noses, since 1215, but it took Ray Galton and Alan Simpson to pick it up, dust it off and make it part of... (read more)

Feb 07: I sit slumped at the kitchen table, dizzy from yesterday's drive. Two of our children, William and Alexandra, are at university in the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas, and have to be picked up or set down, along with all their household goods, at the... (read more)

Feb 21: On the winding B3306 between Porthmeor and Zennor there is a strange and desolate valley marked with seemingly purposeless walls running through the gorse and low scrub growing there. Even in February, the early velocette sparkles on the... (read more)

Feb 28: Here's a question for you. You know those metal stars set into Hollywood pavements to celebrate the celebrity of, oh, I don't know, Yul Brynner, Tuesday Weld, Lawrence Welk and so on? Do silent men come by night to uproot those dedicated to former... (read more)

Apr 04: I have never been much of a debater. Oh, there was a debating society at school, of course, which we, being self consciously clever public school types, used to call - you'll love this - the Debating Society. As I lay in my bed at night, massaging away the pain of... (read more)

Apr 25: Aeons ago, around the time that Conradin, the last Hohenstaufen, was having his own self's ass whipped at Tagliacozzo by Charles of Anjou (rumours that this column is being dumbed down should never be discounted), my friend Clive Selwood and I used to run a... (read more)

May 02: Some time in the summer of 1966, I set out with a dark haired girl, whose name I cannot remember, to drive to Las Vegas. We got about as far as Barstow before turning about and returning to San Bernardino. Having seen TIMEWATCH: LAS VEGAS AND THE MORMONS (Tuesday BBC2), I believe I may have done the... (read more)

May 16: Imagine this: you're on holiday with a party of people in an idyllic, unspoilt and enchanting sun-drenched village on the Mediterranean and as you sit at the bar of your charming, historical, delightful and friendly hotel waiting for the day's enforced fun to start, a crone in ... (read more)

Jun 13: I left London's Grosvenor House Hotel feeling strangely buoyant. Outside on Park Lane the air smelt sweet despite the late-night traffic. On my arm was a beautiful woman I had met a scant twenty-nine years earlier. But let me start at the beginning ... (read more)

Jun 27: You'd hardly credit it, but I still get folks jes' comin' up to me and singing - or reciting - D'ye ken John Peel, each apparently believing that they have been the first to spot the link between my nom de guerre and the song about the old huntsman whose body lies a... (read more)

1999

Jul 10: It was, as most commentators seem to have agreed, a good Glastonbury, the best in years, but the verruca didn't enjoy it! (read more- scan at bottom of page)

Aug 28: My dad's name was Robert. Everyone called him Bob and he died when he was about 18 months older than I am now. His response to questions about the role he played, as a captain in the Royal Artillery during the Second World War, was usually to mutter something about... (read more)

Dec 18: "Isn't Christmas Day a long day?" sighs Barbara. She's taking a break from the washing-up piled high in the sink and from scraping uneaten turkey, stuffing and sprouts into the bin, as she joins the rest of the Royles to watch Noel Edmonds in... (read more)

2000

Feb 12: Somewhere in one of the airless rooms in the north wing of the echoing vastness that is our prairie home rests a curious artefact that to the untrained eye would be difficult to identify for what it is, a grammophone record. Portions of the vinyl, or whatever the... (read more)

Feb 26: Sugar is killing the diabetic mother of James Johnston of RJ Reynolds, cigarette manufacturers. Therefore James seems to be saying, as he testifies before the Congressional Health and the Environment Subcommittee, sugar must be dangerous as... (read more)

2001

Jan 20: Our paths had first crossed shortly after I started reading Adrian's poetry, along with that of his fellow Liverpool-based poets, Roger McGough and Brian Patten, on the pirate station, Radio London. I read it all extremely poorly but they were all too kind to laugh out loud ... (read more)

Feb 10: If you're one of those people who occasionally finds that you can't watch the news or read a newspaper any more because the contents make you frightened or angry or sad or all those things at once, you'd better steer clear of BBC2's Tribe (Mondays-Fridays). I mean, what would you do with... (read more)

Feb 17: We have just watched the first part of Cannibal (Tuesdays C4) and found it a little disturbing. It deals with four celebrated contemporary cannibals and is titled, reasonably enough, The Real Hannibal Lecters. One of these, corpulent American Arthur Shawcross ... (read more)

Feb 24: So blissfully detached am I from the world of commerce that I don't really know what a CEO is. A chief executive officer seems a possibility though. Anyway, Kim Winser is a CEO. In fact, she's the new CEO of knitware company Pringle. I had assumed that Pringle ... (read more)

Mar 31: You'll be looking, no doubt, for the usual insightful assessment of a TV milestone, but I'm afraid life has rather militated against that. Two videos I was supposed to read, learn and inwardly digest were sent, unaccountably, to Glasgow rather than Stowmarket, and I was sent two... (read more)

Apr 28: Here's the thing in a nutshell for you. I've got 45 minutes on this computer and that's all. Alexandra, home from university, has said so. She needs it to complete her dissertation on genital mutilation. I don't know why she chose to devote a year of her life to ... (read more)

May 12: What a nice man he seems', sighed Sheila as Tony Bennett brought BBC1's recent Judy Garland documentary to a simple, sad conclusion. I agreed with her. Not that we've ever met Tony Bennett, you understand, although I was on stage when he performed ... (read more)

Jun 02: "Why don't we try the North Finnish Egg Cheese with Cloudberries?" I suggested. Sheila nodded agreement, as did Anita and Lynn, my co-workers at Radio 1. We were in the Figaro restaurant in Jyvaskyla, Finland, with our ultimate destination a winter... (read more)

Jun 09: Fie, dog! and have at you or I split your mazzard with my blade. Ah, there you are. You've caught me working on my historical novel, as yet untitled, which I think may change our attitude to the 13th century for ever. Now, where were we? In Lapland, at Levitation, described as a celebration of Finnish popular... (read more)

Jul 21: My attention has been drawn to a letter from Samantha Whittingham in the Radio Times of 7-13 July. Samantha was enthusing about the evening output of Radio 2. Samantha is right to enthuse. She singled out for special mention Mark Lamarr and ... (read more)

2002

Jan 26: I was driving back from the village post office listening to Radio 3. A composition for the uncommon combination of, I think, piano, flute and cello was being played. Let's call it, for reference purposes, Gowk's Stampede in G ... (read more)

Feb 09: If you passed me in the street you'd be unlikely to notice me, unless you thought, as so many apparently do, “Isn't that Radio 2's personable Bob Harris?” If you had ever read any of the boys' adventure stories from the twenties involving lads named Jack ... (read more)

May 04: He sat in the sunshine, toying with an order of smokey baba ghanoush with jou jou bread. Johnny Incognito smiled his crooked smile. "Flat white," he said in response to a waiter's question. "Please." The waiter hurried away in the direction of the kitchen. Johnny turned to his... (read more)

Jul 13: I cannot tell a lie - I've never had a great memory. We've lost count of the number of times Sheila's said things such as "You hadn't forgotten that Georgia and Anders are coming round tonight, had you?" and I have blushed as rosy as the dawn and asked, "Who?" One of the reasons we've lost count, I suppose, is that... (read more)

Peel mentioned

1970

  • Issue 2410, 15 January 1970, pp.6-7. ".....DJs philosophise...". John Peel's Sunday Show, 4.0 Radio 1. (read more here).

1973

  • Issue 2610, 15 November 1973. People, p.4: "Country living". John Peel drives from his home in the Sussex village of Great Finborough for Sounds of the 70s...and then gets back as quickly as he can. Short feature also mentions recent holiday in Kenya and love of football. Includes photo captioned "Rustic Peel" (read more here).

1978

  • Issue 2836, 16 March 1978, p.78. Review: Too old to rock 'n' roll? Richard Williams on the BBC's pop programmes: "Only John Peel..in his nightly two-hour slot (Monday to Friday, Radio 1), seems to feel secure enough to programme the very latest creations - and, as he feels an obvious loyalty to all the different kinds of music he has championed over the last decade, the resulting show is a kaleidoscopic confection which, while admirably broad-minded, evidently infuriates the sectarian interests...". (read more here).

1980

JP RT feature 1980-01-19 RT (3a)
  • Issue 2932, 17 January 1980 pp.4-5: "Video and the radio stars" (New Year Season on BBC Radio). "..four Radio 1 DJs (Gambaccini, Peel, Jensen, Peebles) pick their likely stars of the decade which is just beginning.'' Peel doesn't pick any artist in particular (although mentions the Undertones) and "believes anyone can make it". While the other DJs name their artists, Peel's 'crystal ball' contains a photo of an anonymous 'post-punk' youth: "(Peel's) fondest hope is that kids will continue to produce records for their own labels..". (read more here, and right)

1983

  • Issue 3096 10 March 1983, p.24: Saturday Radio (12 March 1983) Radio 1 4.0 pm Stereo You'll Never Walk Alone A highly personal introduction to the venue for Radio 1's Week Out John Peel makes a nostalgic pilgrimage through the sights and sounds of his Merseyside youth, and talks to Liverpool luminaries from the land of Lennon and McCartney, Kenny Dalglish and Yosser Hughes. (Page features photo of Peel sitting next to Eleanor Rigby statue with the caption, 'In a way The Beatles have bedevilled Liverpool music for some time - bands have had to live up to them and have found it hard to be taken seriously - but now there is now an embarassing amount of good music coming from Merseyside.' John Peel returns to Liverpool: 4.0 pm. (full page here

1985

  • Issue 3238, 05 December 1985, p.?: "First steps on the Yellow Brick Road". John Walters writes on Elton John's early years, including his Christmas 1973 Peel session, ahead of Elton John at the Beeb, first broadcast on Radio 1 at 2.0 pm, on 07 December 1985: "We trundled out of those cobwebby jangle pianos..., bought some light ales, and for the John Peel programme festive edition, Elton rattled off superbly insensitive knees-up versions of his work.." (read more here).
1986-01-18 RT (3) JP picture

1986

  • Issue 3243, 16 January 1986, pp.?: "Tracks Of Their Careers", two page feature on new BBC Radio series Radio Radio starting on Saturday 18 January. Short piece and stylised photograph of each of the six Radio 1 DJs featured in the series, including Peel. "I never wanted to be a DJ as such...I just wanted to play good music to people much as I would if friends came to my house." (read more here).
  • Issue 3282, 16 October 1986, p.15: "The Best of the West", feature on upcoming Janice & John In Japan, Radio One 20-23 October. (read here)

2019

  • Issue listing programmes 19-25 January 2019, p.33: "Pop Went Peel". Feature on John Peel's contribution to Top of the Pops as Peel's final show of the 1980s is repeated on BBC Four on 24 January. Interviews with David Jensen and Janice Long by Lee Thompson, DJ: "Working with John on TOTP was never contrived - it was just a lot of laughs". JL: Quite often we'd get our mates into the show. Peel would always put the Wedding Present lead singer Dave Gedge on the guest list." (read more here)

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