Born 1927 in Australia, Alan 'Fluff' Freeman (real name Alan Leslie Freeman) worked as an announcer on Melbourne local radio, and came to Britain in 1957.
He recalled listening to a BBC Light Programme show where, at the end of a record, the announcer said stiffly with a BBC accent "..and that was new gramophone record sung by Frank Sinatra" and could see the need for a more lively, modern presentation style on UK radio. He stayed in Britain, where listeners enjoyed his unique style of presentation.
He joined the Light Programme in 1961 with a show Records Around Five. In September of that year, replacing David Jacobs, he began to present Pick of the Pops, then a singles chart feature in a short-lived Saturday evening show called Trad Tavern. In January 1962 Pick of the Pops became a programme in its own right with a regular Sunday teatime slot; produced by Derek Chinnery and presented by Alan Freeman, the show soon became a national institution.
Unit 1 was the Chart Newcomers (later climbers).
Unit 2 was the New Releases
Unit 3 was the Pick of the Pops LP Spot
Unit 4 was the Week's Top 10
Alan Freeman naturally joined Radio 1 with its launch in 1967, continuing to present the weeks singles chart countdown on Pick of the Pops, which he fronted on Sunday evenings until September 1972. Following this he presented the Saturday Rock Show featuring music from the progressive, hard rock and heavy metal genres from 1973 until September 1978. Acts featured were diverse as Pink Floyd, Jean Michel Jarre, Jethro Tull, Caravan, Genesis, Steve Hackett, Yes, King Crimson and Vangelis.
During the 1960's and early 70's Alan also featured regularly on Radio Luxembourg.
He left Radio 1 to join Capital Radio in 1979 hosting their Saturday morning show Pick Of The Pops Take Two.
Alan is remembered as as the voice behind 'Brentford Nylons' and 'Omo' during the 1960s and 70's.
In 1987 he received the Radio Academy's Outstanding Contribution to UK music Radio Award and in 1988 he was honoured as the Sony Awards' Radio Personality of the Year. Alan's catchphrases include:"Erm...................", "Greetings Pop Pickers", "Alright", and "Not 'Arf".
He came back to Radio 1 in January 1989 and fronted the 'Pick of the Pops' early Sunday afternoon show but this time in an 'oldies chart' format as well as the Saturday Rock Show which was now aired in an evening slot.
In December 1992 Alan signed off from presenting Pick of the Pops on Radio 1, but it wasn't the last time he would front this show for the BBC. He continued with the legendary Saturday Rock Show until October of 1993, when Matthew Bannister took charge of the station.
Moving to Capital Gold and Virgin Radio during the period 1993-1996, Alan came back to the BBC, this time to Radio 2 in April 1997 to present 'Pick of the Pops', once again playing retro BBC charts, until April 2000. He also broadcast a series of opera/classic highlight shows on Tuesday nights on BBC Radio 2, until 2002.
Alan was awarded an MBE in 1998.
Since 1991, Alan had suffered with arthritis and from 2000 lived in a nursing home, Brinsworth House in Twickenham. He passed away peacefully there on 28th November 2006, aged 79. Tributes
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Chat with David Jacobs Sept 1961
26.05.63 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 57m
02.06.63 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 59m
26.01.64 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 57m
22.03.64 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 1h
05.04.64 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 1h
26.04.64 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 1h
10.05.64 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 1h
02.08.64 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 56m
04.10.64 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 58m
15.11.64 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 56m
03.01.65 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 58m
07.03.65 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 1h
13.02.66 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 53m
27.02.66 BBC Light Pick of the Pops 58m
17.03.68 Radio 1 Pick of the Pops 1h 57m
28.12.69 Radio 1 Pick of the Pops review of 1969 2h
04.01.70 Radio 1 Pick of the Pops 1h
NEW 17.11.77 Classic Rock Show 1h 27m
NEW 05.05.78 Classic Rock Show
NEW 15.01.89 Classic Rock Show 2h (2 discs)
NEW 19.03.89 Classic Rock Show (2 discs) 1h 52m
NEW 16.07.89 Classic Rock Show (3 discs) 2h 57m
NEW 09.09.89 Classic Rock Show (3 discs) 2h 57m
NEW 16.12.89 Classic Rock Show (3 discs) 2h 55m
NEW 14.04.90 Classic Rock Show (3 discs) 2h 56m
NEW 05.05.90 Classic Rock Show (2 discs) 1h 22m
NEW 21.04.90 Classic Rock Show 37m
NEW 20.04.91 Classic Rock Show (3 discs) 2h 56m
NEW 28.09.91 Classic Rock Show 1h 19m
NEW 09.01.93 Classic Rock Show 1h 15m
NEW 23.10.93 Classic Rock Show 1h 05m
Hi There, Pop Pickers! (April 1964)
End of a 'Pick of the Pops' show (1964)
Countdown* with (Nov 1967)
Theme Tune Clip by Brian Fahey
POTP Top 30 countdown 15.05.68
Jingle to denote chart climber 1967 - 1969 **
What's New show (Dec 1970)
Pick of the Pops Trail (1970)
Handover from Terry Wogan - What's New (1970)
POTP_countdown March 1971
10 years of POTP show 1972 Closing this show
Asking for your poem and 'Freeman's Fancy' c1973
24.09.72 final Pick of the Pops.
Johnnie Walker hands over to Alan's Youth Call show live from the Stewarton Annick Youth Centre, Ayrshire, July 1973
Allright? Not Half!
Handover to Rosko 1973
Introducing 'The Story of Pop' (1973)
07.07.73 R1 Rock Show 1h
26.10.75 R2 Insight look at the Pirates 1h
Muppets talk about Alan
PoP Quiz 1977
30.09.77 10 years of Radio 1 documentary with 1h
26.08.78 presents his final Saturday Rock full Show 210m
With Mark Goodier on Top 80 of the '80's (01.90)
more from this New Year's Day show show
A to Z of Rock Voiceover The Letter 'U'
Andy Peebles hands over (1989)
Intro to Rock Show (1990)
Pick_of_the_Pops_on Radio 1 (1990)
Smashey & Nicey will miss Alan (1992).
NEW Fluffy Sweater (1997) chatting with broadcaster Nathan Morley (4 mins).
* music is "Quite beside the point" by Harry Roberts Sound.
By May 1970 the Pick of the Pops show reverted back to a new version of "At the Sign of the Swingin' Cymbal!" - see Theme Tunes page.
** Jingle from 'Switched on Bach' LP by Walter Carlos