John Peel has died…

As of 2.00pm today, it’s just been announced that John Peel – bastion of English radio – has died suddenly in Peru. Here are a few links that I’ve found following the announcement:

  • John Peel has died – “Veteran BBC broadcaster John Peel has died at the age of 65, while on holiday in Peru. Peel, whose radio career spanned 40 years, was on a working holiday in the resort of Cuzco with his wife Sheila when he suffered a heart attack.”
  • More from Radio 1 – “John Peel was a unique broadcaster whose influence on Radio 1 could be felt from its very first days. He nurtured musicians and listeners alike introducing them to new sounds.” – Jenny Abramsky, Director of BBC Radio and Music
  • Broadcaster John Peel dies in Peru (Reuters) – “He passed away. We don’t have any details. We received a phone call at 4 a.m. from his brother to inform us,” said Jonathan Clare, an embassy official in Lima.
  • John Peel dies of a Heart Attack (NME) – Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt said “John Peel was a broadcasting legend. I am deeply saddened by his death as are all who work at Radio 1. Johnís influence has towered over the development of popular music for nearly four decades and his contribution to modern music and music culture is immeasurable… Over a career spanning 40 years Peel consistently championed new music, and in 1994 was given the NME Godlike Genius award for his services to music.
  • John Peel dies aged 65 (Guardian) – looks like a bit of a rehash from the wires, this one…

Recent news about John Peel from BBC News: Radio award for ‘unrivalled’ Peel and Veteran DJs in radio hall of fame. You can keep up with the news about his death on the Google News Search Results page. There’s a discussion on barbelith and on metafilter too. You can send in tributes to the BBC on this page and there’s a list of all the tributes on this page. Phil Gyford has also posted his personal feelings on the subject as has Mo Morgan.

12 replies on “John Peel has died…”

It’s awful; a terrible, terrible shame. We can add little more than has already been said about Peel over the years. Suffice to say, the lessons he taught me were – be open-minded, not judgemental. Are you in BH?

John Peel Dies
Like everyone else today, I was shocked and saddened to learn of John Peel’s death. He is a true radio legend, and I don’t think any one other single person has done as much to advance new music. I’ve always…

Genuine vs manufactured grief
As has been reported across the British blogerati and the Internet, broadcasting institution (in the very best possible sense of the word) John Peel died suddenly, aged 65. Unlike previous deaths of very-famous-people, John’s passing has provoked surpr…

You may be please to learn that I am to publish a book about John Peel which will be published in March 2005. Please visit the web site for more details, and check back for updates. Orders are being taken now as wedo expect a lot of sales of this publication. The book will contain contributions from those who worked with John Peel as well as writings from fans, plus pictures, and a report about his health, and a chapter covering the forthcoming funeral. It will be well worth the £14.50 cover price for true fans of this remarkable and much missed BBC Radio One presenter.

In common with many, I too was deeply shocked by John Peelís death. An irreplaceable loss to broadcasting and a major influence on my listening habits now sadly gone.
I feel I should draw readers’ and posters’ attention to some details concerning Mr Knox-Richards, who is promoting his forthcoming work on John Peel in this thread.
The Chartered Institute of Journalists has warned its members to have nothing to do with Mr Knox-Richards, as he failed to pay contributors to his last publication ‘John Thaw: an appreciation’. (See page 9 of for details).
Furthermore Mr Knox-Richards has not filled his legal deposit obligations in respect of the John Thaw work. A check of the COPAC database ( reveals that none of the Legal Deposit libraries have received a copy, making it unavailable for historians and scholars of the future. The Copyright Agent ( employed by the legal deposit libraries has twice attempted to claim the title ñ Mr Knox-Richards has chosen to ignore the request. This is certainly selfish, as well as being in contravention of the 1709 Copyright Act and its successors, so technically illegal too.
Perhaps the above would be excusable – just – if Mr Knox-Richardsí publications were of merit. However, his first publication ‘An affinity with Gustav Mahler’ received distinctly lukewarm reviews, particularly when referring to Mr Knox Richards’ own contribution (see for an example).
Mr Knox-Richards himself feels compelled to advise potential purchasers of his works to “[ignore] what the critics say” about them (
In summary, and in view of Mr Knox Richards’ track record, I would suggest than anyone considering buying his new John Peel title consider carefully before parting with their cash.

John Peel
A gentleman genius, who fought for the underdog and played truly inspirational music. The music scene has lost its’ Godfather. Proud to have met him and eternally grateful to have heard his unique radio shows.
Peace and love – Leon Wolfe
Our dedication to him and all his great music can be found at:

Hello Tom,
Following my comments about Donald Knox Richards, a poster on this thread, that I made way back in January and your follow-up to it, you may be interested to know that he has just received a 15 months for fraud. Details below…
Best regards, B.B. L-F
P/2005/273 25 August 2005
A bankrupt businessman who persuaded people to contribute to a book about the actor John Thaw and then refused to pay them has been jailed for 15 months after a DTI prosecution.
Donald Vernon Knox Richards from Wellgreen Road, Liverpool was declared bankrupt in April 2002 owing his creditors £234,381. Later in 2002 Mr Knox Richards started trading as Elius Books and began approaching people to contribute to a book he was producing on the late actor John Thaw.
Mr Knox Richards obtained credit from editors, publishers and contributions from writers and designers, without telling them that he was in fact a bankrupt and as such was breaking the law. It was only when the contributors threatened to sue him for the money that he revealed his true circumstances and told them it was not worth suing him.
A few of the contributors received small amounts of money but between them they ended up £19,925.43 out of pocket. Mr Knox Richards had a record of fraud going back to 1961 and had been sent to prison on several occasions. The DTI had previously prosecuted him for similar offences in 1990.
Mr Knox Richards was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court under section
360(1) of the Insolvency Act 1986.

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