It was DLT's Network moment. But the Hairy Monster wasn't "as mad as hell" rather than miffed that the writing was on the wall for his Radio 1 career. "Changes are being made here which go against my principles, and I just cannot agree with them,' he told listeners towards the end of his Sunday lunchtime show twenty-five years ago today.
|The Guardian reports on DLT's resignation 9 August 1993
Those changes were, of course, the incoming controller Matthew Bannister with a mission to bring down the average audience age of the station. Travis, then 48 years of age and with 26 years' service - along with John Peel the only member of the original line-up still on air at that time - in his own words "snapped on air and thought, No, tell the listeners before I tell anybody else".
|Speaking to The Sun's Piers Morgan (Saturday 14 August 1993) . "I have sat back for the last two years and watched
a once great organisation collapsing."
Chances are he could have stayed until the end of his contract in October 1993 but as he'd already spoken to the press, in this case The Sun and a certain Piers Morgan, outgoing controller Johnny Beerling had little option be to let him go immediately. Press speculation at the time was that DLT could have moved across to Radio 2 but he'd already met with controller Frances Line who'd nixed that idea.
|The Independent 11 August 1993
Although seen by many at the time as something of a radio dinosaur DLT's show was still immensely popular, attracting an estimated audience of 4 million. Beerling accepted that he was "a good DJ" but that he "continually showed he was out of touch with the direction in which Radio 1 was going".
|The Sunday Times 15 August 1993
For many years DLT's on air resignation seemed to define his career, overtaken, of course, by more recent allegations. But surprisingly there's no recording of that show from Sunday 8 August 1993 in circulation other than the now famous 10-second "changes are being made here" extract, presumably taken from the logging tape; though Paul Donovan of The Sunday Times seemed to be aware that before that link he'd asked his producer Saira Hussain to record it on quarter-inch tape. "DLT clearly has a firm idea of his own place in pop radio history"
Following DLT's resignation from Radio 1 he moved to commercial radio, Classic Gold and so on, though he continued to work for the BBC World Service on A Jolly Good Show until 1999. Claire Sturgess was drafted in to cover the Saturday show and Nicky Campbell the Sunday one. By mid-October Matthew Bannister had signed up Danny Baker for both the weekend shows. Dave Lee Travis can be heard on the online station United DJs.
Here's DLT on Radio 1 in 1992. First my own recording from 12 January 1992 and a fiendish Think Link. Did you get the fourth record?
From my fellow collector Noel Tyrrel is this recording of the 29 November 1992 show with the Face Race quiz and the Garage Sale.