Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A Jolly Good Show

Somewhat unexpectedly Dave Lee Travis is back in the news this week. It has been reported that the Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi found that listening to DLT’s BBC World Service programme A Jolly Good Show whilst under house arrest made her “world much more complete.”

Read more on this on the BBC News website. DLT was also interviewed on Radio 4’s Today programme and by his former Radio 1 colleague Nicky Campbell on 5 Live’s Breakfast show.

Dave Lee Travis hosted A Jolly Good Show from 1978 until January 1999 (and not, as reported elsewhere, from 1981 to 2001) as DLT did continue on the World Service long after his Radio 1 on-air resignation.

Back in 1979 DLT told London Calling that when he was “first invited to take over A Jolly Good Show from Noel Edmonds all he could tell me was ‘You’ll learn all the geography you should’ve learnt at school, you’ll have lots of fun – but most important of all you’ll make friends all over the world.’ And he was right, because for the past year or so I have received thousands of letters from places as far apart as Russia, Fiji, Antarctica, China and Sierra Leone, from people who all share the common bond of a love of music. I’ve not only improved my geography. I’ve also improved my linguistic skills because I can now say Hairy Monster in 30 languages – including Icelandic.”

Neither interview this week featured any actual archive recordings from the show itself, relying instead on some old Radio 1 clips, so I thought I’d oblige with two brief excerpts from the early 1980s. First the show introduction from 1 June 1982 and then a World Service/Radio 1 simulcast from 17 September 1983 plus a bit of that A Jolly Good Show theme – does anyone know what the theme was called?

Edit 3.11.16: With thanks to Stewart Griffin I've now identified the theme tune as Peter Skellern's Snakebite, as heard on his 1975 LP Hard Times. Here it is in full:

1 comment:

Chrissy Brand said...

Fantastic memories- I used to work at Bush House in the Information Centre and handed out BBC "Wild" Service and A Jolly Good Show souvenirs at Covent Garden , where DLT is on the above cover.

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