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Tuesday, 31 July, 2001, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Broadcaster John Walters dies
John Walters
Cult figure: John Walters at the BBC in 1980
Award-winning former BBC radio producer and broadcaster John Walters has died suddenly aged 63.

He was best known as the producer of John Peel's music show on BBC Radio 1 and for presenting radio shows of his own.

Peel teamed up with Walters to broadcast some of the most ground-breaking music of an era.

Peel said on Tuesday: "I feel as though an exceptionally talkative but much loved older brother has died."

Click here to send us your tributes to John Walters.

By coincidence Peel had written about Walters in his column for the Radio Times this week, saying he was the closest he had to a best friend.

"Walters ... is sustained in his retirement by his determination to deliver the eulogy at my funeral. This will be unbelievably long and more about Walters than me," he wrote.

"I have always characterised the relationship between us, in irritatingly self-conscious parody of (Paul) Klee, as that of a man and his dog, each believing the other to be the dog."

Walters died on Monday morning at his home in Oxted, Surrey.

He was "a wry and witty broadcaster of immense experience", according to Helen Boaden, controller of Radio 4.

John Peel
Walters worked as Peel's producer for 12 years
"We shall miss him," she said.

Jenny Abramsky, director of BBC radio and music, said: "John Walters was one of the most influential producers in music radio and he has left a great legacy."

Walters studied as an artist and exhibited his paintings beside those of David Hockney before becoming a teacher and then trumpeter with the Alan Price Set.

With the group, he enjoyed five top 20 UK singles in the 1960s and played on the same bill as The Beatles.

He joined the BBC in 1967, and became producer on John Peel's Top Gear show two years later.

Together, the pair created a show that was known for giving exposure to emerging new acts, with Cream and King Crimson among those who were given their radio debuts on the show.

John Walters on Here and Now
Walters was seen on shows including Here and Now
Walters' partnership with Peel lasted more than 20 years, and Walters also presented a number of shows himself, including Walters' Weekly on Radio 1 and Idle Thoughts on Radio 4.

Walters' Weekly subsequently became Walters' Week, and his reports and comic monologues featured during shows by David "Kid" Jensen, Richard Skinner and Janice Long.

He was also a frequent contributor on music and arts to BBC radio and TV shows.

Walters filled in for Peel in the summer as guest presenter of Radio 4's Home Truths.

TV appearances included Here And Now and The Heaven And Earth Show.

The station will repeat its last programme featuring the presenter, Can Chipmunks Sing, as a tribute on Saturday morning.

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John Peel
"A man who had an amazing and entirely beneficial effect on my life"
See also:

31 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
John Walters: Radio raconteur
31 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
John Walters: Your tributes
30 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Peel's still top of the pops
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