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John Peel Biography


John Peel was born on the 30th August 1939 in Heswall, near Liverpool. His birth name was John Robert Parker Ravenscroft. His father was a cotton mill owner. John attended Shrewsbury public school.

He completed National Service in Britain in 1962.


Radio Work Of John Peel


John Peel then travelled to the United States and started work for a radio station in Dallas called WRR Radio.

John returned to England in 1967 to work for the pirate radio station Radio London.


John Peel Radio 1


In 1967 John Peel joined BBC Radio 1 when the station launched. He was the last surviving member of the initial crew who was still broadcasting. His first show was a late night programme called Top Gear where he show cased reggae, punk and hip-hop music before they became popular. Acts that he helped popularise included David Bowie, The Undertones and Marc Bolan. The studio time given to new acts was to become known as Peel Sessions.

John Peel added to his biography by also broadcasting on the BBC World Service.



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John Peel Home Truths BBC Radio 4


In 1998 he started presenting the programme Home Truths on BBC Radio 4. He won four Sony Radio awards the next year for this popular programme which looked at every day family life of normal people.


Television Career Of John Peel

His television work included appearances on the series Grumpy Old Men as well as providing the voice over for documentaries such as Moving People and A Life Of Grime. He presented Top Of The Pops several times and was interviewed for Room 101. JohnPeel added to his TV biography when he also made cameo appearances in many films such as Wild About Harry, Smashey and Nicey, the End of an Era and TV appearances in shows like The Goodies. He presented TV broadcasts from festivals such as Glastonbury.


Awards Of John Peel

In 1998 John Peel received an OBE and a place in the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.


Life Of John Peel

In 2003 he was diagnosed as having diabetes.

John loved The Archers Radio Programme and Liverpool Football Club (his 4 children have middle names dedicated to the team). He lived in Stowmarket in Suffolk with his family. His wife was called Sheila whose nickname was The Pig! They had an eight acre garden which was nicknamed Peel Acres. His huge record collection was housed in the stables and the barn. He had a studio built in the barn and would often broadcast from there.


Death Of John Peel

John Peel died on October the 25th 2004, aged 65 years. His cause of death was from a heart attack whilst on holiday in the Inca city of Cuzco in Peru with his wife.

His funeral was held on November 12th at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.


Annual John Peel Day

As a tribute to his dedicated work and because he is much missed there is an annual John Peel day on BBC Radio. The first was held on October 13th 2005. Throughout the UK and Worldwide there are many concerts and tribute performances on the same day dedicated to John Peel.

The second John Peel Day, to mark the anniversary of the music legend's final broadcast on Radio 1, will be on 12 October 2006. Bands, DJs, artists and music fans are encouraged to stage their own gigs and club nights.


John Peel Tribute Single

On the 21st November 2005 a tribute single was released. The song was a version of the Buzzcocks title Ever Fallen In Love. Contributors included Roger Daltrey, David Gilmour, Sir Elton John, Peter Hook and Robert Plant. Money raised went to Amnesty International - a favoured charity of John Peel.


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