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EDITIONS
Monday, 10 December, 2001, 19:05 GMT
'Cuddly Ken's' radio days unearthed
Kenny Everett during his radio days
The comedian was often "at war" with his BBC bosses
Kenny Everett's local radio days are to be recalled on air as broadcasts up to three decades old have been unearthed.

The documentary has been developed after some local BBC radio stations had to be reminded the late broadcaster had actually worked for them.

Broadcasts of the man, who liked to be known as "Cuddly Ken", have also been made possible after one current BBC employee admitted he "borrowed" a master tape.

Mr Everett worked for up to six BBC radio stations in the 1970s, six years before he became a television star.

The stations themselves didn't keep the tapes and... some were insistent he never worked for them

Presenter Paul Rowley
His "break" into the local scene came after a "jokey reference" to a transport minister's wife on national radio got him sacked from Radio 1.

Researched and presented by BBC political correspondent Paul Rowley, the programme Kenny Everett: The Local Radio Years will remind audiences of the "sheer ingenuity" of the man.

An appeal for "lost" broadcasts led John Holmes, now a mid-morning presenter on Radio Derby, to admit he removed a master tape of Mr Everett's from the offices of Radio Nottingham in 1972.

'Master craftsman'

Another source was Rob Salvidge, of BBC Radio Bristol, who owned up that he had recorded the DJ's shows when he was 13..

He had tucked the tapes away in his bedroom.

Mr Rowley was also a young fan and recorded the "wireless wizard's" BBC Radio Merseyside shows - illegally - on a reel-to-reel tape recorder which he plugged into his mum's radiogram.

Some radio stations were mystified when they were told Mr Everett had worked for them.

Kenny Everett as Sid Snot, one of his comedy characters
The comedian went on to front his own TV show
"The stations themselves didn't keep the tapes and in researching this programme some were insistent he never worked for them," said Mr Rowley.

BBC Radio Bristol was the first to take on the sacked Radio 1 presenter in the summer of 1971.

The venture did not impress the then Managing Director of BBC Radio Ian Trethowan who later became the Director General and was knighted.

He made his views clear in a phone call to the man who had rehabilitated Everett's career - David Wain, Radio Bristol's manager at the time.

The DJ went on to do shows for BBC Radios Solent, Medway, Merseyside, Brighton and Nottingham.

Mr Rowley said: "Radio Solent's 30th anniversary programme had made no mention of him...perhaps it was because he was sacked from the station.

"His crime was to produce a Saturday morning programme, which featured extracts from American radio."

Fortunately, Mr Everett was able to break back in to the national radio scene after he was re-instated at Radio 1 in 1973.

He turned his back on the BBC in the same year, however, to become one of the first voices on commercial London station Capital Radio.

Mr Rowley remembers: "It was Kenny Everett who made the radio crackle for me.

"Nothing was bland, every link was a gem. He was a master of his craft."

The documentary can be heard between 24 December and 1 January 2002 on BBC local radio across England.

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