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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
'I thought the world of him'
By Mark Radcliffe
BBC Radio 2 presenter

John Peel
John Peel and Mark Radcliffe first worked together in 1983

Like so many people, I first came in contact with John Peel through years of listening to him. It was on his show that I first heard punk, along with a lot of the other big music in my life.

John was the only radio presenter to make me inspired to want to become one myself.

He was someone with a warmth and honesty who really loved music, rather than someone who wanted to be a famous DJ.

John showed that it was possible to be a broadcaster on a national radio station and still be yourself. He was a maverick and a peer, and a role model for so many of us.

Inspired presenter

I went to work as a producer on Radio 1 in 1983, and I used to produce sessions for his show.

It was strange for me because John was someone I admired, who had already given me so much enjoyment and inspiration growing up.

For a while I could not speak to him normally, because I kept thinking, "this is John Peel".

Mark Radcliffe
I never got over the thrill of being able to call John Peel a friend
Mark Radcliffe
John did not want to be unapproachable, he just did not want to talk to people who were not interested in music.

When he realised we shared the same passion for music, he was very warm and friendly. I never got over the thrill of being able to call John Peel a friend.

People used to ask him how he kept going, but it never occurred to him to stop.

He made us realise that you did not have to mellow with age - music could continue to mean as much to us now as it always did.

He felt that there was so much music out there, you must have been able to find something you loved.

Glastonbury regular

I worked with John many times during my career, but the last time I saw him was when we were covering this year's Glastonbury Festival for BBC Two.

I was brought in in case John got fed up with it all and decided to walk off.

I arrived there only to find I had forgotten my ticket and pass, so I had to be driven off site and back in a Land Rover. We arrived back at Glastonbury to find John hanging around outside the festival site.

It will be more of a tribute to him not to try to replace his show with something similar
Mark Radcliffe
He jumped into the Land Rover and called me a "tosser" for losing my ticket. He said at his age, he was the one who should have been forgetting things.

I suspect that lately John's programme on Radio 1 stuck out like a sore thumb, but John was John - he was going to be there as long as he was there. Sadly that time has come.

John's show was a unique thing, we probably won't see his like again. It will be more of a tribute to him not to try to replace his show with something similar.

It was always a pleasure to work with John. I hope he knew I thought the world of him, as many of us did.

A look at the veteran broadcaster's life



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