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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 10:45 GMT
Tributes paid to DJ Alan Freeman
Alan Freeman, 1997
Paul Gambaccini said Freeman had made a "major contribution"

Friends, colleagues and fellow DJs have paid tribute to Alan "Fluff" Freeman, who has died at the age of 79.

"Alan was a lovely, lovely bloke," said Andy Kershaw. "There was no ego to him, even though he was a national icon."

Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, DJ Paul Gambaccini said the ex-Radio 1 star had "utilised the possibilities of sound in broadcasting".

"Whispering" Bob Harris, meanwhile, saluted his ability to "go across genres and different musical tastes".

"Towards the end of his career on Radio 2, he was doing a weekly classical music programme much in the style of the way he presented Pick of the Pops.

At all times I found him inspirational and a true professional
Noel Edmonds
"So even there he was bringing a kind of revolutionary new approach to classical music broadcasting."

"At the start of my career with Radio Luxembourg Alan was a major inspiration and a great support," said Noel Edmonds.

"When I joined Radio One, the relationship became even stronger and I could always rely on him for advice and encouragement. At all times I found him inspirational and a true professional."

According to Gambaccini, Freeman "had a much wider range of dynamics and pitch in his own voice and a use of musical clips and soundbites, as they would now be called, to give you a fuller palette".

"This was a major contribution to the medium," he continued.

Speaking to BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire, Radio 3's Kershaw highlighted his friendly demeanour.

Alan Freeman, 1965
Freeman "effectively invented the chart rundown", said Bannister
"You'd bump into him in the corridor and he'd say, 'Hello lovely boy - how are you?'

"He just always took the time to make sure you were alright."

Former Radio 1 controller Matthew Bannister, meanwhile, described Freeman as "a true radio pioneer".

"It seems odd to think of it now, but he was the man who effectively invented the chart rundown," he told the BBC.

"The chart rundown, which is such a staple of radio, did not exist in the 1950s when Alan Freeman arrived from Australia."

With his familiar welcome of "Greetings, pop pickers" and "Not 'arf" catchphrase, Freeman was an institution in British radio who spent more than 40 years in broadcasting.


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