Alan Milewczyk <(Address removed)> said:
I was trying to help date a 1970 recording of RNI recently and was going
through my notes. I was astonished to see a reference there to Johnnie Walker
playing "Caroline" on his Radio 1 show – what stunned me was that I have
absolutely no recollection of JW on Radio 1 at all, none, yet there it was in
I remember him on Radio One! He was good then. He even had a feature during which they'd pick some old biddy to send flowers to (maybe you had to have a story to tell as to why you deserved them, I can't remember) and my mum was on the feature one day and really loved her flowers! He started off doing a Saturday show (as that used to be the new entrants first port of call on Radio One, back in the day) in 1969. Later he was daily mid-mornings, then mid-afternoons through most of the early 70s.
What you have to admit, if you're hoinest about all of this, is that you can't
stand JW, for whatever reason – that makes you hunt for negatives or seek
a negative spin on events as they occur.
It's probably the same for anybody about anything/anyone they've decided they can't stand. Add to that the fact that in this particular case I'm probably writing in a slightly devil's advocate mode (I'm so damn transparent!), but for the life of me I don't know why I find him so obnoxious these days. I have a similar reaction to listening to Steve Wright these days, where once he was my radio hero. Now just a hint of hearing his voice and I cringe.
One of my genuine beefs about Johnnie Walker is how a convinced druggie can be awarded an MBE, and what on earth the MBE was really for? I mean, officially, it was for 'services to broadcasting', but what were those services actually? He's just a presenter pretty much the same as any other. What has he done to move broadcasting or creativity forward? Compared to even Steve Wright, let alone some of the real broadcasting legends who have pushed the boundaries, what's his claim to fame? He even ran away to America for 12 years. Even the lovely Tony Blackburn (who's been on the radio in the UK non-stop for 180 years) should have received something ahead of Walker for his outstanding and boundary pushing contribution to broadcasting. So, I do feel angry about exactly how a personal friend of a Prime Minister might end up with such an award for services rendered, compared to other who actually did shape and change things. I don't think I'd object so much had they been given some form of recognition as well, but the real innovators (who have probably never wandered into 10 Downing Street to attend the Blair dinner parties) have been ignored.
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