Well, nobody said they hated it, so here’s a second outing for the feature where we review and rate the people who brought the hapy happy sound into our homes. And rather awkwardly for its second outing, the very first…
LOTS OF SCARS IN THE STY: Tony is so polite and well-mannered it’s hard to imagine him ever being part of the underground, but he was indeed a pirate, and made his name on Radio Caroline and Radio London, the latter apparently the best station he ever worked on. But even there, the doctor’s son was so clean-cut and uncontroversial he was a shoo-in to walk straight into the Beeb and be there on day one, where he was apparently determined to be “as bright and breezy as a hundred Redcoats”.
I LOVE TUESDAYS, DON’T YOU: In the early days of Radio One every show had to have a title, so Tony was in charge of the Daily Disc Delivery according to the Radio Times, although everyone else just referred to it as the breakfast show. That was until 1973 when he was moved to mid-mornings, much to his disgust (although a few years earlier he’d done that slot for the entire summer) and he didn’t forgive Noel for stealing his show for decades. Then in 1977 it was another notch down the schedules to afternoons, when aparently he refused to talk to Simon Bates as well for stealing his show. By the end of 1979, though, he was becoming a bit of an anachronism and he was moved to weekends (not sure if he then started hating Andy Peebles for replacing him), fronting that old chestnut Junior Choice, which he couldn’t stand, and the Top Forty. He gave the latter up at the end of 1981 and, after the Junior Choice branding was dropped, carried on doing a more conventional weekend breakfast show until his departure in 1984.
I LOVE THE BEATLES, DON’T YOU: Tony had strong views on how a radio station should be run, continually pointing out he had no say in the records he played, nor should he, and that, if he was in charge, they should just play the same hundred records over and over again. But despite his image as the bland and unchallenging face of daytime radio, Tony was a huge fan of soul and Motown and was single-handedly responsible for making I’m Still Waiting by Diana Ross a number one thanks to his continual championing of it. He couldn’t bear punk, though, and still can’t, which is a bit of a shame, it’s more fun than prog, which he didn’t like either.
WHY AREN’T THERE ANY LITTLE GIRLS CALLED WENDY ANYMORE?: Tony’s big gimmick on breakfasts was Arnold the dog, which as the world knows was some Radiophonic Workshop bloke scraping sandpaper, though why Tony didn’t just use a real dog, we don’t know. He also claimes to have invented the timecheck, however you can invent the concept of telling the time. In mid-mornings he invented the Golden Hour and in afternoons he helmed the National Pop Panel, while after Junior Choice was abandoned, many of his weekend breakfast features were aimed at a younger audience, with a panel of teenagers reviewing the singles. Tony was also joined by Cheggers and Maggie Philbin – and their wedding was big news on the show, as you can imagine – although Tony admitted, much as he liked them, at times it felt like he was a guest on his own show.
EUROCRATS, BEAUROCRATS AND OTHER BONKERS-CRATS: Tony’s in the news again for announcing he once got in trouble for telling striking miners to get back to work, although apparently it was only because power cuts were messing up the production of his panto. The bit everyone remembers, though, was when Tony got divorced from Tessa Wyatt and sadly allowed it to affect his programme, crying on air and dedicating appropriate songs to her, much to everyone’s amusement. When he was on Radio London, his contract expressly forbade him from making comments about the news, and he was fired for calling a union leader a fat Scottish git.
WHY DON’T YOU SEND ME YOUR KNICKERS?: At the start of Radio 1, Tony was absolutely the housewives’ choice and when he opened shops, whole town centres ground to a halt. He was somewhat piqued when Noel Edmonds arrived, who was younger and sexier than he was, and then there was that unpleasantness with his divorce, as parodied on Smashie and Nicey, although Enfield and Whitehouse later said they regretted doing those jokes as it was clearly upsetting for him at the time. Anyway, after that, and his interregnum in the playpen, he was very eager to play up the gay bachelor card, inviting his Radio London listeners to get their hands on his twelve incher.
STANDING IN FOR PIP SCHOFIELD IN JOSEPH’S COAT: Like many DJs, Tony tired his hand at the other side of the music industry and released a couple of records with his agreeable but rather bland singing voice. The usual light entertainment gigs followed throughout the seventies, including a spell as the host of Seaside Special, plus the first in a series of a million self-deprecating comedy cameos in The Goodies. And there was that funday at Mallory Park where he zoomed across the river in a speedboat piloted by a Womble.
A BIG HELLO TO ALL YOU TRUCKERS OUT THERE: Well, despite his dismay when he was moving down the daytime schedule in the seventies, Tony said he didn’t really give a toss when he left Radio 1 as he was fed up of doing the kids show and he already had another job of Radio London, so his departure was fairly unmemorable. His stint on Radio London included his filthy mid-morning show and the Soul Night Out where he’d broadcast live from a nightclub in Luton or Romford with his sidekick Dave Pearce, who looked about fifty then. When he was fired, it was OK as he immediately went to Capital Gold on day one, and stayed ther for ages, before his post-jungle fame where he presented a million shows on every radio station in Britain – including a return to Radio London – and now he’s on Radio 2, and it suits him down to the ground.
TOPULARS OF THE POPULARS: One of the new recruits who started doing the show when Radio 1 began, Tony was the only one who seemed in any way comfortable in front of the camera and, by 1970, was one of only two regular presenters, alternating with Jimmy Savile. No wonder, with his pleasingly awkward presentational style, as exhibited here, or here, where he tries some topical stuff with Anne and Mark. We’ve also got two variations, here and here of the ever-popular “Crickey, Nicey’s just read my mind!” “gag”. Anyway, by the end of the seventies he’d left the rota, but when the show became a double header in 1983, he presented a handful of shows, with his final episode being this one in October, where we’ve mentioned before he gets the name of the band wrong, and also seems to have a stroke midway through the intro.
LOTS OF SCARS IN THE STY: Jacqueline Brambles spent many of her formative years in remote parts of Scotland, including the Isle of Arran where she was later to take the Radio One Roadshow. Straight out of school she managed to talk her way into West Sound in Ayr as general dogsbody, including toilet cleaner, before wangling herself a job on air. She then came down to London, firstly on Capital, before joining Radio 1 at the age of 22, one of the station’s youngest ever DJs.
I LOVE TUESDAYS, DON’T YOU: Jakki was fortunate enough to arrive at Radio 1 at a time when they were actively looking for more female presenters, and indeed on most of her jobs they managed to spin the line she was breaking new ground as a woman. A bit of swingjockery was followed by her landing the early morning gig in 1989, where she was heralded as their first ever female DJ in a daily slot, a role she combined with doing the travel on the breakfast show – which wasn’t too big a workload as the early show only lasted an hour and a half in those days. In 1990 she was promoted to teatimes, again being heralded as the first ever female DJ in a proper daytime slot, although it was hardly a challenging gig, lasting ninety minutes from Monday to Wednesday and just an hour on Thursdays when they simulcast Top of the Pops. Finally in 1992, Gary Davies finally relinquished his grip on the Bit In The Middle and she became lunchtime host, again heralded as the first ever female DJ in the main daytime sequence instead of just bolted on at the end, which was enough to get her on Woman’s Hour on her first day.
I LOVE THE BEATLES, DON’T YOU: Brambles had fairly bog standard musical tastes, banging on about the likes of Sinead O’Connor and Oleta Adams on air and in her column in Number One magazine. Later in her career she started to play a bit more grunge but you always knew she was more at home with the likes of Phil Collins and Wet Wet Wet.
WHY AREN’T THERE ANY LITTLE GIRLS CALLED WENDY ANYMORE?: We’re not sure what she used to do on the early show, but on teatimes her features were perhaps aimed more at a younger audience than the rest of daytime Radio 1. When they stopped simulcasting Pops, she did Brambles’ Breakers on Thursdays at seven, which was basically an audio versions of Pops, and we dunno why anyone wouldn’t just watch it on the telly. She also did the pilot fro a panel game called Bob Says What, with Bob Mortimer, which never made it to the airwaves. At lunchtime she counted down the album chart, like Gary Davies used to, and also had regular phone calls from American correspondents and, bleurgh, P**rs M*rg*n in his Bizarre column days. Sadly for Jakki, though, the most memorable moment on The Jakki Brambles Show was when she wasn’t there and John Peel filled in for a week, taking off Chris Isaak records and playing The Fall.
EUROCRATS, BEAUROCRATS AND OTHER BONKERS-CRATS: Did Jakki have an opinion on anything? She more or less kept it straightforward, although interestingly she was the only DJ on Radio 1 who refused to sit down during her programme and always broadcast standing up, apparently to exert more energy into her performance.
WHY DON’T YOU SEND ME YOUR KNICKERS?: A woman on daytime Radio 1? You’d think Jakki would have been all over the papers and be asked to take part in all manner of demeaning photoshoots, but she never really seemed to be much of a sex symbol and nobody seemed that interested in her. And she replaced Gary “Young, Free and Single” Davies, too! She did appear on the cover of the Radio Times, though, playing Ginger Rogers to Davies’ Fred Astaire to promote the long-forgotten Trading Places fundraiser Radio 1 was going big on.
STANDING IN FOR PIP SCHOFIELD IN JOSEPH’S COAT: And similiarly you’d have thought Britain’s first national female daytime DJ would have been all over the telly, but during her spell on Radio 1, the extra-curricular work was fairly unexceptional. She had her Number One column, and was Going Live’s pop correspondent for a series, but that was about it. She also accompanied Matthew Bannister onto the Live and Kicking Hot Seat upon his arrival at the station to talk about the new Radio 1, even though Jakki would have virtually nothing to do with it.
A BIG HELLO TO ALL YOU TRUCKERS OUT THERE: Apparently Jakki asked after the first Bannister revamp if that was all the changes, and was assured that was the case, only for Jakki herself to leave Radio 1 just three months later, with her final shows over Christmas 1993. We’re not sure if she jumped or was pushed, as she was still only in her twenties and seemed a world away from the dinosaurs, but off she went to the USA, where there was vague noises about her becoming Radio 1’s US correspondent, but that never happened, and a few years later the papers reported she was reduced to waiting at tables. Happily she later found work as GMTV’S US correspondent and, on her return to the UK, spent a while as host of the awful Loose Women, although she’s left now. And she spelt her name the proper way.
TOPULARS OF THE POPULARS: Jakki joined the Pops rota very early in her Radio 1 career, most likely because they wanted a woman, any woman, so she was in the right place at the right time. She was a regular host for a few years, and here she is counting down the charts and introducing a Jason Donovan flop in 1990. We’ve also got an entire show, in the weird pre-year-zero-with-no-audience-in-the-links-and-the-charts-scrolling-along-the-screen era, which we think was her last outing before the DJs all got the sack.