The Last Broadcast

John Peel’s Final BBC World Service Programmes

John pre-recorded three half hour shows for his regular BBC World Service slot at his home at Peel Acres before setting off for his trip to Peru. A traditional technique employed by broadcasters to ensure seemless programming, these were to be played-out during his holiday.

I remember seeing a television programme years ago illustrating an American radio station that was completely automated – probably Entertainment USA with that kiddie-fiddler jonathan king. It had no staff other than one or two technicians – similar to how many digital tv channels are structured these days. Each pre-recorded DJ link would be slotted in between records and ads. Even the time checks were pre-recorded. I imagine money could be saved by paying said DJ an hourly rate. His intros for the week could all be recorded at once – probably in time it would’ve taken them to do one live sit-down programme. But no one weeps for DJ’s – ‘quite right too’, as Peelie himself would almost certainly have said.

John may have refered to himself as a DJ but like most employed in radio by the Beeb, they’re primarily presenters. As opposed to commercial radio in the UK where the DJ’s only obligation is not to talk over the ads. In fact the technology is such that if he or she does get the timing wrong the computer just fades them down and the commercials up – still, keeps them in their place I say! Mind you having heard 6Music recently I’m not so sure that criteria still holds water. My God, you actually have people sounded like they are in training for Hospital Radio. Really, from what I’ve heard it’s truly fucking awful. Not bad in a funny way or bad in a good way – just baaaaad.

But I’m getting further away from the crux of this post. Introduced by Mark Coles (described as “..a fellow World Service music broadcaster and a life-long friend.”), these World Service programmes were, in the end, broadcast posthumously. I managed to catch the first two but missed the third. If anyone has that third programme please get in touch.

The files were converted from a pitifull 22kHz mono Real Audio feed. I’ve converted them to mp3, and sent them through a ten band equaliser with the hope this might offset some of the additional compression that is inevitable, but to be fair there aint much one can do with a source like that. Though it does now sound less ‘boxy’ than most World Service feeds. Playlists included!

Kat’s Karavan
Access code: johnpeeleveryday

The files are compressed using WinRar I’ve lost data to zip in the past but never to rar. If you don’t have WinRar already installed and can’t be arsed to buy it, use one of the freebies below to get at the files.

For Windows:

For Mac:

2 Responses to “The Last Broadcast”

  1. 1 DuffPaddy
    2006/03/19 at 22:00

    Just downloaded the first of these shows to compare it with my version, DE, and it seems that something’s gone awry. It starts off as the Marc Coles tribute show from 27 – 29 Oct 2004, and then at about 1:20 it jumps into the first of the final three shows, broadcast the following week (4 – 6 Nov 2004). Oh, and the tracklisting from that show (Kali, Laura Cantrell, Lightnin’ Slim, etc.), is not included. (I have it if you want it.)

  2. 2 domestic empire
    2006/03/20 at 21:33

    Bollox – that’s what I say.

    Thanks for pointing that out yodaddy. Obviously I ought to have listened more closely rather than relying what I assumed to be kosher. Sadly these files are all I have left of any world service broadcasts following a depressing loss of data some time ago *but* in actual fact I think it was probably *my* pruning that got rid of the ‘good files’ leaving only these.

    Sorry folks, but I shall make amends by uploading some (checked and ratified) radio 1 programmes in the next couple of days.

    Signed, apologetically,

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