| 4.6°C Dublin

David Jensen: Working with John Peel on TOTP was like a New Year’s Eve party

Jensen and Peel worked together on Top Of The Pops in the 1980s.


John Peel died in 2004 (Peter Jordan/PA)

John Peel died in 2004 (Peter Jordan/PA)

John Peel died in 2004 (Peter Jordan/PA)

Broadcaster David Jensen has told how he and the late DJ John Peel once went on Top Of The Pops naked underneath sheets.

The pair worked together on the music chart programme in the 1980s.

Radio DJ Jensen told Radio Times magazine they once decided to dress up as Romans, and ended up with just some sheets to protect their modesty.

He said: “We decided we’d start dressing up for every programme. One time we were the Blues Brothers, another we were cowboys.

“The make-up department thought they’d got their own back one week when Peel wanted to be a gladiator or some such Roman character.

“We went to our shared dressing room, and up on the hooks on the wall was one sheet each, enough to create a toga.

“The girls were giggling outside as we tried them on, but were aghast when we went on live TV wearing just that sheet and naked underneath.”

Jensen said he and Peel, who died in 2004, had “a lot of laughs” doing the show together.

“He had a great sense of humour, sometimes to devastating effect,” he said.

“Coming into that studio was like entering a New Year’s Eve party every week.”

He said of the late DJ: “People often forget he was a big pop fan. He didn’t talk about it much on the radio because he’d carved a niche for himself as the bearer of new music, new sounds, cultures and all sorts of stuff. He used to love Eurovision, for example.”

Broadcaster Janice Long told Radio Times she still missed working with Peel.

“The day was always filled with us giggling and chatting,” she said.

“I remember him saying to me, ‘Do you know what, if I ran Radio 1 I’d get rid of everybody. Apart from you and me, of course. And Bruno Brookes. I’d put him on reception’.”

This week’s Radio Times is out on Tuesday.

PA Media