John Peel

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John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE (30 August 1939 – 25 October 2004), known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter and journalist. He was the longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967, until his death in 2004. He was known for his eclectic taste in music and his honest and warm broadcasting style. He was one of the first broadcasters to play psychedelic rock, reggae and punk records on British radio, and he is widely acknowledged for promoting artists working in various genres including alternative rock, indie rock, pop, hardcore punk, grindcore, death metal, British hip hop and dance music.

Peel's Radio 1 shows were notable for the regular 'Peel sessions', which usually consisted of four songs recorded by an artist live in the BBC's studios, and which often provided the first major national coverage to bands that later would achieve great fame (These 'sessions' are similar to 'Live Lounge' sessions recorded today for the station). Another popular feature of his shows was the annual Festive Fifty countdown of his listeners' favourite records of the year. Peel appeared frequently on British television as one of the presenters of Top of the Pops in the 1980s, and he provided voice-over commentary for a number of BBC programmes. He became popular with the audience of BBC Radio 4 for his Home Truths programme which ran from the 1990s, featuring unusual stories from listeners' domestic lives.

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