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Simon Bates









Birmingham born (1947) Simon Bates lived in Shropshire until 1954, then Shropshire. Leaving the UK in 1965, Simon's first ventures into broadcasting began with New Zealand stations followed by Australian State stations for three years. He came back to his country of birthSimon Bates in 1971 to join BBC Radio 4.


He was the presenter of the early show on BBC Radio 2 from March 1974 until January 1976 during which period he also presented Late Night Extra and Folk '74.

Simon moved to Radio One in July 1976, initially taking over the Sunday Morning spot vacated by Paul Burnett with a new show 'All There is To Hear'.

Later that year Simon presented the mid-morning Radio 1 show, a position he was to hold for sixteen years, building a loyal audience of over 11 million. His show included;

'Our Tune' A feature which started in 1980, heard at 11.00 on his morning programme; Simon would read out a listener's story about their relationship, but changed the names of the people. The story was read out with the background music 'Romeo & Juliet', from Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 film score.

'The Golden Hour'  A feature actually launched on Tony Blackburn's mid-morning show - but he gave away the year! On Simon's show, records were played and the listener had to guess the year they were all from). Later called 'The Mystery Years' this R1 feature ended 16 Feb 2001.

July 1985 - Simon on the 'Mammoth Mail Ride' celebrating 200 years of mail from York to London.

This Radio 1 event raised more than 50,000 for Sport Aid and lasted 9 days. It included

live broadcasts along the way. Controller Johnny Beerling ran alongside for miles in response

 to an on-air bet.


In 1989 Simon followed in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg by attempting to travel "Around the World in 80 Days" along with Radio 1 entertainment producer Jonathan Ruffle. In 1991 he recorded a frank interview with pop princess Madonna.

Simon broadcast from over 50 countries in two decades. He was voted Radio Personality of the Year in 1993 and has won several Sony Awards for programming including his Around The World series and his specials on Eric Clapton. In a poll, Simon s voice was among the 10 most recognisable in Britain.

The station management did not have future plans for Simon who quit Radio 1 in October 1993. There followed a spell on the now closed Irish station Atlantic 252 and later BSkyB's Sky 1 (from Sept. 2000).  Simon can presently be heard on the national UK classical music station, Classic FM presenting the weekday breakfast show.

Simon in Cairo with Radio 1 'Date with

Bates' prize-winner Andrea Atkins 1988




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 New 1972 Sweet and Swing music by Norrie Paramor ed1

 New 1972 Sweet and Swing music by Norrie Paramor ed2

Presenting Late Night Extra (64kbps)

On Radio 2 with 'hands on clock' jingle (early 70's)

Album of the Week 'Jingle'






THAT theme tune! Theme from Romeo & Juliet performed by the Henry Salomon Orchestra

(60 second clip mp3) Before this theme he used the theme from ITV's 1970's series "Rich Man Poor Man."


Here are six short off - air Our Tune recordings.

Simon can be heard reading listener's letters during his Radio 1 show.


Dave & Geraldine 10th December 1984 6 min. mp3

David and Sally 1991  8 minutes Mp3

and Serie 1991   7 minutes mp3 20kbps    

Our Tune Extract 4  (56kbps mp3)    

Our Tune Extract 5  (56kbps mp3)

Simon gets embarrassed (64kbps mp3) 


If you particularly enjoyed these stories you May 
also like to read the book, Our Tune by Simon
Bates - (Arrow - 1990)  which contains many more. 
Please note this is out of print and only available



Three in a Row Spot


Turning Signs Around

'Summer Radio' jingle




The following clips are taken from a 6pm Sunday Top 20 show, broadcast on VHF June 1978.

19 - 10

7 - 1

Marshall & Haine at 19 

Tavaris at 18

Kate bush at 17  

John Paul Young at 16

Brotherhood of Man at 15 

Bee Gees descend!

Straight to no.13- no chat 

 David Soul is up to 12

Motoring to no.11

Oh Carol! Smokey at 10

Brilliant Goldie up 10 to no.7  

Manfred Man doesn't move

James Galway is up 2 places

Stones don't make no.1

Boney M at no. 3

Father Abraham & Smurfs at 2!!

Full rundown, and no. 1 is Travolta & Newton John  

USA Top 3 are all British!



FIRST Sunday TOP 40  Nov 1978


Introducing the Show  (64kbps)

Simon had the pips at 6pm - before no.20

And the Number 1 song same week (64kbps)


NEW Golden Hour 09.10.80

NEW 23.06.80 1958 Golden Hour with Our Tune feature 

NEW 09.12.80 Morning Show John Lennon Tribute

NEW 09.12.80 Afternoon Show John Lennon Tribute 



NEW Top 20 chart intro 1978

Plea to switch off transmitter Feb 1979 (48kbps)

Introducing No.33 in 1979   (32kbps mp3)

No.18 is Eddy Grant (1979) (32kbps mp3)

A 'Moody Jingle' (1979)

Stretching your Brain Buds! (AM recording) - 84

National Radio 1 Jingle (AM recording) - 84

Simon can't move! (AM recording) - 84


'Gordon is Moron' reminder of Bruno - 84

Sunday April 8th 1984. 'Listen to four eyes!' (56kbps)

Introducing number 29; - (Jan -84)

Unable to play 'Relax' - (Jan -84)

Top 10 rundown and Annie - 18.08.84. (64kbps)

Introducing a Top 40 August -85

Presenting Top 40 - 1987 (mp3)





10.12.84 with listener phone - in & Our Tune

Listener Drunk in a Sand Dune 1985  

Shutting down Redruth 1089 Transmitter (1985)

Mischief on the telephone (1985)

Simon Bates Name Jingle (56kbps mp3)

NEW 02.11.87 Monday with a 1971 Golden Hour 1h

Mark Goodier discussing the Roadshow 16.06.89

Golden Hour clip 1989

Adrian Juste Trailer  mp3 & Camera Action Jingle

The Best Sound in Britain (40Kbps mp3)

Morning Luvs! (32kbps mp3)

Golden Hour Clip 1 (pt 1)  (64kbps mp3)     

NEW 11.05.88 with a 1972 Golden Hour HQ 

Asking listeners to phone on Part 1 (64kbps mp3) 

NEW Sept '89 Around the World Challenge review 

Simon introduces Tina Charles on part 2  (mp3)

Interview with Jakki Brambles (Roadshow)  c1990

Golden Hour Jingle 1991 (64kbps mp3)

Call now Jingle (64kbps mp3)     

Talking about Boston's Bob Rivers

Simon Mayo introduces Simon in 1991  (64kbps mp3) 


Which year was it (32kbps)

Last one up - Kool and the Gang (64kbps)  

These people guessed the year (64kbps)

'Fresh Sound' trailer by Mark Goodier (mp3)

Introducing the Golden Hour c1992

Bill Richards Ltd got the year right c1992

Start of a show-1993 40Kbps Mp3

Alan Freeman made this one! -93 40Kbps Mp3

Simon jokes about Elton -93 40Kbps Mp3

These people got it WRONG! -93 40Kbps Mp3

Advertisement for BBC books -93 40Kbps Mp3

Into the news at 09:39 -93 40Kbps Mp3

Peter Bowes introduces part 2 -93 40Kbps Mp3

How to find the Teddy Bears Picnic  - 93  

Chat with Kylie Minogue & R1 Winner - 93 (3 mins)

Clip from last R1 show (from New York) 22.10.93

The end of this show, with Adrian Juste


Simon's Our Tune on 252  Note - 4 Minutes long - 24Kbps mp3)




Comments (2)

5/5 (1)
Chris (Stourbridge) says...
Great memories of my childhood growing up,i used to have a small tranny on in school with an earpiece to listen to the golden hour!
10th February 2016 8:35pm
Diane (Paignton) says...
Simon moved to Radio Devon earlier this year and now presents the early show and includes a "Golden Hour" inviting listeners to guess the years.
29th April 2015 9:15am
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