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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 12:32 UK
Richard Digance

BBC Radio Devon presenter Richard Digance
BBC Radio Devon presenter Richard Digance

Richard Digance was one of the great folk entertainers of the 70s and 80s and has lots of tales to share from his time touring the clubs and meeting some great musicians.

His evergreen career has been acknowledged through numerous awards within both the music and entertainment industries, from a BAFTA Nomination as a TV entertainer to a Gold Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters.

He has supported Steve Martin in the USA, Robin Williams at The London Palladium and is included in The Virgin Anthology of Songwriters for his important contribution to British comedy song writing.

When presented with the Gold Award from the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters he was described as someone who for half a century has travelled the world with just a guitar and an immense collection of stories gathered through his own experiences.

Devon Folk

Each Sunday from 5pm - 7pm, Richard shares some of his tales of those travels and plays some great folk songs - not all of them by people you would immediately associate with the genre.

One of the most popular features of the show is the "I didn't know they started out in folk...." spots.

Richard was born in West Ham, London on 24th February 1949. The family moved to Blaney Crescent, East Ham, shortly afterwards and it was in East Ham where he went to school, firstly at Vicarage lane Primary School and then to Thomas Lethaby Secondary Modern.

BBC Radio Devon presenter Richard Digance with daughters Polly and Rosie
Family Man: Richard and his daughters

He left school with only 4 GCE O'levels and so, realising the error of his ways, paid his way through night school, holding down 2 jobs at True Form shoe shop and as a shelf stacker at Safeways.

He gained 2 A level passes in English Literature and Modern British History and moved to Glasgow where he went to Reid Kerr College in Glasgow.

It was in Scotland he discovered folk music, becoming friends with John Martyn, which led to him returning home to London, becoming an animal ambulance driver with the PDSA whilst learning to play guitar to a decent standard.

He became influenced by Ralph McTell, now a dear friend, and he made his paid folk club debut at The Bus, Stratford, a compact folk club in a double decker bus, and then The Central, Barking Road, East Ham.

Richard has two daughters, Polly and Rosie, and the three of them are a very close-knit unit.

Contact Richard

You can send an email to Richard here: DevonFolk@bbc.co.uk



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