TV Cream

Radio 1: The Jocks

BROOKES, Bruno

Born Trevor Neil Brookes in Stoke-on-Trent, 24 April 1959ONCE THE BRIGHTEST STAR in the Radio 1 firmament, a self-styled ‘Compact Disc Jockey’ who arrived at Radio One to take over the teatime slot from Peter Powell, armed with a list of hilarious Twisted Lyrics (ie humour-free misheard songwords that had already been done by every bloody DJ under the sun anyway). Later fronted the TOP FORTY, and countless ‘Social Awareness’ campaigns, before being teamed for no good reason with Liz Kershaw on the Weekend Breakfast show (cue endless ‘comedy’ charity fund-raising duets), before Matthew Bannister fired him over the phone in front of a conference of beery students in 1995. Always the kind of DJ to be pictured pointing at a record in his Radio 1 promotional photo.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Alan

    November 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    How could you not mention the infamous occasion when he played the full album version of Rage Against The Machine’s stunning Killing In The Name, complete with the 16 increasingly loud lines “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me”…

  2. TV Cream

    November 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Mentioned on the entry on the Top Forty, which is where it took place (also, for extra esoterico-pedantry points, he cued up the wrong track on a promo CD single rather than played it from the album). Cheers!

    – Radio Cream

  3. Brian Rowland

    November 29, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Brookes (real name Trevor) actually began his Radio 1 career about six months before landing the daily teatime show. He did Sunday afternoons to begin with, replacing Steve Wright. He was worse than Steve Wright. Far worse. Imagine that.

    I seem to remember that when he began on teatimes, one of the first things he happened to wonder aloud was ‘Why do women go to the toilet in pairs?’ The answer? Public Service Broadcasting.

  4. Dave Nightingale

    February 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    “Whatever you’re doing tonight – have a nice night!”

  5. Gavin

    April 6, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Ah Yes Bruno Brookes-Rage Against the Machine’s Number 1 Fan!

  6. Arthur Nibble

    April 6, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Anyone remember his terrible barrowboy catchphrase “Pound o’ bananas”?

  7. Applemask

    December 2, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    By the time he was dropped, he was doing the Alex Lester shift.

  8. Matthew Harris

    August 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    “And I’m just plain bloody stupid.”

  9. Glenn Aylett

    October 5, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Matthew Bannister firing someone over the phone sounds just like the nasty thing he would do, no doubt supported in this by the Prince of Darkness, John Birt, who was obsessed with modernising and changing the BBC, mostly for the worse. Many of Bannister’s signings were either complete disasters( Emma Freud and her deadly serious lunchtime show) or egomaniacs( Chris Evans) who failed to see out the nineties. Bannister seemed to forget that people like Bruno Brookes were hugely popular and missed by listeners, who fled to ILR and Virgin Radio.

    • richardpd

      October 5, 2019 at 10:57 pm

      While never cutting edge he was at least competent enough to DJ a show without getting on your nerves too much.

      While Radio 1 needed to trim out the dead wood, some of the better 1980s intake of DJs were unfortunate that the music scene was changing a lot in the early 1990s & by the time most would have been premoted to better slots they were already sounding a little out of touch with what they were playing.

      By the mid 1990s Radio 1 started to settle down & the likes of Kevin Greening and Mark & Lard were making it fun to listen to again.

      • Glenn Aylett

        October 6, 2019 at 1:09 pm

        I think DLT and Simon Bates had reached the end of their shelf life, as they were completely rooted in the seventies, but ditching the popular eighties intake of DJs like Bruno Brookes, Gary Davies, Steve Wright and Adrian Juste was a big mistake as these had years more to offer Radio 1. Also the abrupt break with the past and an obsession with often hard going indie and alternative music saw Radio 1’s audience halve in the 1992-97 period. As Radio 2 had nothing to offer former Radio 1 listeners at the time, it was no wonder independent stations saw a massive surge in listeners.

        • richardpd

          October 6, 2019 at 10:56 pm

          Virgin Radio started at just the right time to snatch a large amount of Radio 1 listeners during this period.

          Eventually Radio 2 brought in a controller who wasn’t afraid to appeal to the under 60s so there was an easy progression from Radio as both DJs & listeners grew out of pop.

  10. Droogie

    October 6, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    An unpleasant Yuppie Tory with little interest in music. Famously tried to screw over Whispering Bob Harris when Bob bought a house in Hampstead off Brookes. Bob was also let go by Matthew Bannister, and still owed Brookes £130,000 for the house. When he asked Brookes to give him more time to pay him back until he got another job, Brookes wasn’t interested and told Harris he had to sell his extensive lifelong record collection to pay off the debt. The case went to court, and the judge went in favour of Bob who said that his records were the tools of his job, and if he lost them he’d not be able to work as a DJ again.

    • Glenn Aylett

      October 6, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      I think I remember this story and Brookes was a bit dismissive of Bob’s prog rock albums calling them antiques, so not a nice guy in the end. Mind you neither is Matthew Bannister when you hear more about him( incidentally someone who probably had less interest in music than Brookes as he was a newsreader, but ideal for the Birt era).

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