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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 11:55 GMT
Bates remembers 'generous' Fluff
DJ Simon Bates spoke to BBC News 24 about his former Radio 1 colleague Alan "Fluff" Freeman, who has died aged 79.

If nothing else Fluff was always very Australian, and therefore had an attitude to management which I suspect is shared by most of us.

Simon Bates and Alan Freeman
Alan Freeman was "very self-deprecating", says Bates (left)

That was a gentle rib and digging at all times, and to give management quite a hard time.

He was intensely kind, a very '50s character in many ways, who always saw the best in people - even me.

I think that came from his Australian background; don't forget he was from the Boondocks in Victoria.

He learned his trade after he decided not to be an opera singer, which was the first ambition he had.

He was very much a product of the '40s and '50s, in local commercial radio in Australia, and that's what he brought to Britain.

The truth is that wherever he is now, and I suspect he's up there, he'd tell you he was fired several times.

He was fired by the first controller at Radio 1, who did not outlast Alan Freeman; the second controller then brought him back.

He was constantly astonished by his own popularity
Simon Bates
He was one of those people who everyone remembered and everyone wanted working for them.

And of course he was minimalist - less was more with Alan.

He was very funny, very charming, very sweet and very generous. He had endless time for everybody and delighted in sitting over a very long lunch castigating management generally.

He was very self-deprecating, he was very Australian in that, and I don't think he had any idea of his own value.

He was constantly astonished by his own popularity. If you look at the photos of him in the archive he's always the one standing at the back; it's other people standing at the front taking the plaudits.

I don't think Fluff had any idea how well loved he was. Certainly when I went out to see him or Chris Tarrant or any of the other guys, he was always amazed anyone turned up!


What are your memories of Alan Freeman? Did you listen to any of his programmes? Did you meet or work with him? Send us your comments.






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