TV Cream

Radio 1: The Jocks

TRAVIS, Dave Lee

daveleetravisPIPE SMOKER Of The Millennium, not to mention creator of Give Us A Break: Snooker On The Radio and Treble Top: Darts On The Radio, the self-styled Hairy Cornflake (honestly, if you’re going to pick your own nickname, at least give yourself a flattering one) presided over the breakfast show in the late seventies, before progressing to the REO Speedwagon car wash slot in the eighties (“It’s DLT, OK!”), spending time inbetween at his charming Buckinghamshire farm with his charming Swedish wife. Notorious for going off on one; seal-culling, nurses’ pay and inconsiderate drivers (“Remember, in fog – it’s Foot Off Gas”) all inflamed the Travis ire – and inexplicable obsession with how ‘great’ things sounded in ‘stereo’. Other Travis gimmicks included the Tranogram and the Think Link – ‘think literally, and think laterally’, while attempts to secure status as a Man With Musical Taste (ie bigging up Talking Heads) were hilariously undermined by John Peel’s discovery that he actually owned no records. Sealed his own fate by refusing to move with the times (which, to be fair, had been his stance since about 1977), yet though someone playing Supertramp on daytime radio in 1993 would have been first in the Bannister crosshairs, he got his resignation in first: “I wanted you to know first, changes are being made here against my principles…”. Quack Quack, and indeed, Oops.

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  1. TVS

    June 30, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Didn’t he always play “Eve of the War” on Sunday mornings?

  2. Glenn A

    July 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Also famous along with Simon Bates for a complete dislike of early nineties rave music, refusing to play it on his show and referring to ” singer songwriters hiding in their bunkers” and lamenting the faceless and electronic nature of music in his last years on air. Obviously not the kind of DJ who would appeal to readers of Mix Mag or hang out with Pete Tong unless he wanted a slanging match over music.

  3. Chris Barratt

    September 17, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Excellent broadcaster, but sealed his own fate – by ’89 he was way out of step and his shows were blankey tedium. I remember him raving about Tasmin Archer and proclaiming her to be “the future”

    A great shame R2 was going thru the terrible Frances Line period as he would have been perfect for a regular show on there

  4. Aidy

    September 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    DLT made the mistake of thinking that his listeners were in any way remotely interested in his geese and ducks on his farm,which of course they weren’t.He was also the founding member and Life President of the excruciating ” I’m mad,me” club, which is made up of people who tell you that they are “wacky..crazy..loopy etc etc” but couldn’t tell you an amusing story if their lives depended on it.Try old TOTP clips from the 70s and 80s on youtube to see the great man in his pomp.

  5. David Pascoe

    September 29, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    “Owning no records” is a bit of a misnomer. Didn’t he prefer to have everything on tape instead?

    One of Radio 1’s legendary “jokers” but as, was proved when he was memorably Gotcha’d by Noel Edmonds, couldn’t take it when the boot was on the other foot. Neither could Noel, when DLT got revenge the following week, as I remember….

  6. Glenn A

    March 15, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    He wanted to take his show to Radio 2 in 1993 but Frances Line wouldn’t let him as, unless he wanted to host All Time Greats and play some thirties dance band record, DLT was out of bounds. Actually while Radio 2 was inflicting its very un pop fare, and in the case of Melodies for You rather hellish fare for two hours, Radio 1 used to flatten it in the ratings, so maybe DLT was pre empting the Radio 2 revival by five years. Line missed a great opportunity to transfer the huge DLT audience to Radio 2 and provide all us people who were too old for Britpop and too young for 78s of thirties music with a decent alternative on Sundays.

  7. Richard Davies

    October 8, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    In my house DLT’s show was a near must-listen show at the start of the 1990s. Me & my Dad & brother would always try to crack the Think Link.

    The BBC managed to really mess things up by making Radio 1 an under 18s station while Radio 2 had 40+ policy.

    Virgin Radio coming on air at the same time also caused problems, did DLT go there for a bit or am I mistaken?

  8. glam_racket

    October 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    This will always be my lasting memory of the ‘Hairy Cornflake’

  9. glam_racket

    October 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Damn! It would be if I could post pics in here!

    It was Reeves and Mortimer as DLT and Noel Edmonds.

    The moment’s gone.

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