John Peel Bio, Age, Height, Radio London, KMEN, BBC Radio 1, Net Worth, Parents, and Wife

John Peel Bio, Wiki

John Peel born John Robert Parker Ravenscroft was an English Journalist and Radio Presenter. He was among the longest serving of the original disc jockeys on BBC Radio 1, where he broadcasting regularly from the year 1967 to 2004 when he passed away.

John Peel Age

Peel was born in Heswall, England on 30th August 1939, and passed away on 25th October 2004. He was 65 years old when he died in Cusco, Peru.

John Peel Height/Measurements

Peel stood at an approximate height of 6 feet 2 inches.

John Peel Education

Peel attended Shrewsbury School as a boarder and future with his contemporary, Michael Palin, a Monty Python member. According to his autobiography, he said that he was sexually assaulted by an older pupil in the school.

John Peel
John Peel

John Peel Career

Peel moved to the Unites States at the age of 21 in 1960 to work for a cotton producer who was in business with his father. After that, he did other different jobs like working as a salesman in a travelling insurance company in Dallas, Texas. While in Dallas, he had a conversation with the presidential candidate John F. Kennedy together with his running mate Lyndon B. Johnson as they were touring the city during the election campaigns in 1960. He even took photographs with them. After the assassination of Kennedy in November 1963, Peel pretended to be a reporter for the Liverpool Echo so he could attend the arraignment of Lee Harvey Oswald.

While still working for the insurance company, he wrote programs for an IBM 1410 computer punched card entry and he got his first job working for WRR (AM) in Dallas. While working there, Peel presented the 2nd hour of the Monday night program called Kat’s Karavan which was formerly hosted by Jim Lowe, an American singer and radio personality. Later, he was hired as the official Beatles correspondent by the Dallas radio station KLIF due to his strong connection to Liverpool. After that, he worked for KOMA located in Oklahoma City until 1965 when he relocated to KMEN in San Bernardino, California. While working there, he used his birth name John Ravenscroft to host the breakfast show.

Peel moved back to England in the year 1967 and got a job with Radio London, an offshore pirate radio station. He worked as the midnight-to-2 shift, which slowly developed into a program called The Perfumed Garden. Some people thought it was named after a famous erotic book a the time, but Peel said that he had never read it. A secretary from Radio London suggested the name John Peel for him and he adopted it as his stage name and established himself as a radio voice. His show was an outlet for the UK underground scene music. He frequently played folk music, classic blues and psychedelic rock emphasizing on the new emerging San Francisco and Los Angeles music.

Underground events that he had been attending were discussed between records. Some of them included the UFO Club, the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream along with the causes célèbres including the Rolling Stones and John “Hoppy” Hopkins. Listeners sent him poems, letters, and records from their collections in order to make the program a two-way traffic communication. By the time he was serving his last week in Radio London, he received a lot of mail than any other DJ on the station.

When the station, Radio London, was closed on August 14th, 1967, Peel joined BBC Radio 1, the BBC’s new music station, which started broadcasting on September 30th, 1967. The station was not a full-time station like the Big L, instead it was a broadcaster of a mixture of live studio orchestras and recorded music. Peel presented a program called Top Gear and at first he was supposed to share presentation duties with Tommy Vance and Pete Drummond and other co-hosts. However, in February 1968, he was given the sole charge of Top Gear. He worked in the show until it ended in the year 1975.

Peel appeared as a celebrity guest on several television shows such as Travels With My Camera IN 1996, This Is Your Life IN 1996, and Going Home in 2002. He also presented Classic Trains, a 1997 Channel 4 series. Additionally, he was in demand as a voice-over artist for TV documentaries including the BBC One’s A Life of Grime. The publishers Transworld wooed Peel in April 2003 with a package worth £1.5 Million for his autobiography. After his death, Unfinished was completed by journalist Ryan Gilbey and Sheila. It was later published under the title Margrave of the Marshes in October 2005. Peel’s collection of miscellaneous writings called The Olivetti Chronicles, was published in the year 2008.

John Peel Net Worth

Throughout his career as a Journalist and Radio Presenter, Peel was able to accumulate an estimated net worth of around $1.5 Million.

John Peel Parents and Siblings

Peel was born in Heswall, England at a nursing home to his loving parents Robert Leslie Ravenscroft and Joan Mary. His father worked as a cotton merchant. Peel had 2 younger brothers, and they were all brought up in the nearby village of Burton.

John Peel Wife

When Peel was 25 years old, and living in Dallas in 1965, he got married to 15-year-old Shirley Anne Milburn. It was never a happy marriage as reports says that she was violent towards him. Later, after Milburn accompanied Peel back to England in 1967 they separated and the divorce was finalized in 1973. After that Milburn committed suicide. Following the end of the marriage, Peel’s life started to stabilize as he became friends with new Top Gear producer John Walters who supported him. He also started dating Sheila Gilhooly whom he humorously called ‘the pig’ on air because of her laugh. The two got married on August 31, 1974 where Walters was the best man and the reception was in London’s Regent’s Park.

Peel walked down the aisle to the song You’ll Never Walk Alone, wearing Liverpool FC colors. Woogle, their sheepgog, served as a bridesmaid. Additionally, Graham Chapman and musician Rod Stewart attended. The couple moved to Peel Acres, in Great Finborough in the 1970s. In the following years, Peel broadcasted his shows from a studio in the house where he mostly mentioned his wife and kids. Due to his love for Liverpool, he named his children; Alexandra Mary Anfield, William Robert Anfield, Florence Victoria Shankly, and Thomas James Dalglish. His son Thomas, who is better known as Tom Ravenscroft followed his dad’s footsteps and became a radio DJ.

John Peel Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

Peel had been accused severally of sexual misconduct, but he was never charged with any offences. An example is his first marriage to Milburn as she was 15 and Peel 25 when they got married in 1965. However, that was legal in Texas then. In 1975, Peel told The Guardian that young women wanted him to abuse them which he was happy to do. In 1989, he told The Sunday Correspondent that girls queued up outside and one of them was his regular customer and though she looked older, she was 13. He added that he did not ask for ID. According to an interview published in April 2004 in The Herald, he admitted to have engaged in sexual activities with a lot of underage girls. Additionally, he said that in the early 1960, the only available women were in high school.

In the year 2012, a woman said that she had an affair with Peel for 3 months in 1969 when she was 15 years old and he was 30 at the time. She added that they had unprotected sex. This was soon after Peel said he has contracted a sexually transmitted disease. She said that the relationship led to a traumatic abortion and that lookin back, she did the wrong thing and that perhaps she was manipulated.

John Peel Death

In 2001, when Peel was 62 years old, he was diagnosed with diabetes after many years of fatigue. During a working holiday on October 25th 2004, in the Peruvian city of Cusco, he had a heart attack and passed away suddenly when he was 65 years old. Soon after his death was announced, tributes started to arrive from supporters and fans. The next day, BBC Radio 1 cleared its schedule so as to broadcast a day of tributes. That afternoon, London’s Evening Standard boards read ‘the day the music died’.

His funeral was held in Bury St Edmunds on November 12, 2004 and more that 1000 people attended inclusive of a lot of artists he has championed. His brother Alan and his fellow DJ Paul Gambaccini, read the eulogies. Clips of him talking about his life finalized the service and his coffin was carried out as his favorite song the Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks” was played. Peel had written that besides his name, he wanted the Teenage Kicks lyrics written on his gravestone. In 2008, the liver bird from his favourite football team, Liverpool FC and a headstone featuring the lyrics was placed at his grave. Peel was buried in the St Andrew’s Church graveyard in Great Finborough.