The Kenny Everett Show, The Radio Years, 1962 – 1994
Celebrating 50 years of Commercial Radio
Kenny Everett was a radio legend and his radio shows were a must listen for over 30 years. Indeed in a 2020 an article in the Gaurdian newspaper referred to a poll, conducted by a panel of expert judges placing Kenny Everett’s Radio Show at no. 14 in their top 40.
In this post we take a look at Kenny’s radio career. Looking back at a genius at work.
Kenny Everett had been offered a slot on the BBC Light programme but declined instead making his debut as a DJ for Pirate station Radio London in 1962 under his real name Maurice Cole.
It was here he adopted the name we all know him better as Kenny Everett. Teaming up with fellow DJ Dave Cash for the Kenny & Cash Show he had one of the station’s most popular shows. By 1965 he was a hugely popular presenter on the station but landed himself in hot water after some outspoken remarks about religion on air, lead to his dismissal. He was back at the station 6 months later before he was offered his own show on Radio Luxembourg in 1966.
Early BBC, in trouble again
He joined the BBC station Radio 1 in 1967, eventually persuading bosses to give him his own show. Everett’s Radio 1 show featured zany voices, surreal characters, multi-tracked jingles and trailers, all of his own creation and compilation, something he would do throughout his career.
In 1970 he was in trouble again, this time Everett suggested on air that Mary Peyton, the British Transport Minister’s wife, had bribed her driving test examiner. The remark was a spontaneous quip, following a news item describing how Peyton had finally passed after many attempts. However the BBC thought the comment “indefensible” and sacked Everett.
Always one to bounce back Kenny Everett found a new opportunity. Following on an from interview on the BBC Solent Radio kid’s show Albert’s Gang, Everett submitted weekly shows to the station that he had pre-recorded at home. This gave the BBC the opportunity of vetting the shows before broadcast. The shows caught on and it was not long before Kenny Everett was then heard on various BBC local radio stations, leading to his reinstatement at Radio 1 in April 1973. Rather then broadcast live he would record a weekly show from his home in Wales that would broadcast on Radio 1 at 1:00 on a Sunday afternoon.
By 1973 legislation had paved the way for commercial radio. Everett joined the new Capital Radio station broadcasting to London and the Home Counties. Once again he presented a weekend (recorded) show, where he further developed his distinctive ideas. In 1974 Capital had experienced a difficult start and took a different direction with it’s music. This lead to a classic reunion when Kenny Everett and friend from the pirate station Radio London (Big L) days, Dave Cash, and so reactivating the “Kenny and Cash” show at breakfast.
When Cash moved to the lunchtime slot in 1975, Everett continued alone on the breakfast show. Everett had a great love of sound recording equipment and he would use this to great effect in further developing his unique style, often adding sound-on-sound to his recordings and stereo/multi-track recordings of his pseudo-singing voice. These were broadcast on air regularly and he often created his own radio jingles. Everett created many comedy characters on The Breakfast Show with Cash on Capital.
In May 1975, finding early mornings too much for his lifestyle Everett moved to a less high-pressure weekend timeslot still at Capital on Saturday and Sunday lunchtimes. Here he further developed his unique style and his cult following and featured both what he thought the best in music (Queen, Chris Rainbow) and the worst. This led which led to the popular Kenny Everett’s World’s Worst Record Show programmes, later released as an album in 1978, with slightly different tracks.
In October 1981, Everett made his return to BBC Radio this time on Radio 2, where his show went out on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Everett found himself in trouble once more at the BBC, after he made a risqué on-air joke about then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, leading to his show being cancelled.
In June 1984, he made another return, this time to Capital Radio reviving his Saturday lunchtime show. When Capital split its frequencies in 1988, Everett returned to daily broadcasting on Capital Gold alongside an all star presenting line-up including Tony Blackburn and David Hamilton. He presented daytime weekday shows until 1994, when his health deteriorated to the point he was unable to continue. During that same year, he was awarded the Special Gold Award at Sony’s Radio Academy Awards for his contribution to radio.
Genius At Work
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