Derek at his Radio 1 desk in1982
Picture: Smash Hits
In 1967, Derek (then
producer) went over to Luxembourg to invite Emperor Rosko to join Radio
1 at its' launch. Rosko eagerly accepted the invitation.
He was known to have personality clashes
with Kenny Everett.
(2nd time) and
He reportedly once described Radio 1 listeners as
"unemployed student louts with no money to spend" !
Derek still used the term "gramophone records" in
conversations during his management of Radio 1.
Derek Chinnery was the Controller of
BBC Radio 1 from 1979 to 1985.
Born in 1925, he joined the BBC straight
from school in 1941, working through the radio ranks in
engineering and production. He was involved in 'Pick of the Pops', 'Pop
Inn' and 'Radio 1 Club', and was formerly
Chief Light Programme Producer.
Taking over the management of Radio 1, from
his predecessor Charles McLelland,
Derek?s responsibilities included major policy decisions on the image,
quality and finance of the station.
ensured the PPL - Phonographic Performances Limited - were
correctly paid the ?2,250,000 (1982) each year ? about ?12.00 for every
record played. Needle time restrictions were closely monitored and
balanced by specially recorded sessions. He removed the requirement for
a playlist, providing more freedom of choice to the station"s DJ"s.
Derek described Radio 1 as a "personality station" and oversaw suitable
personalities to suit the various programme times. From the fizzy, pally
approach of daytime presenters like
Mike Read with the emphasis
on Top 40, into
Peter Powell playing something more adventurous,
Kid Jensen more so, and finally late night
John Peel, with
the sharp end of music, and a listening audience tiny in comparison to
breakfast but much more dedicated.
was aware that a common criticism of Radio 1 was that it was too
conservative, and therefore decided that except in very exceptional
circumstances, a record could only be played once every four hours. He
believed the most successful thing the station could do was to "play
people their favourite record, then their next favourite, and so on.
Then you reach the point where you think perhaps they would like to hear
relaxed the guidelines on banning records, allowing records to
mention a commercial product. His belief on records dealing with
controversial issues is illustrated with the 1982 release by Rhoda
Dakar, titled The Boiler. "If you believe that the record has
some value as a warning, then it has no meaning unless you leave all
that screaming in? and if you leave that in, then its bloody unpleasant
to listen to."
Derek paved the way for his successor,
Johnny Beerling after six years