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Author Topic:  Johnny Beerling - original producer of Radio 1 with Tony Blackburn  (Read 1808 times)


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Johnny Beerling - original producer of Radio 1 with Tony Blackburn
« on: September 24, 2013, 04:11:13 PM »
Check out Johnny Beerling's amazing and tell-all book "Radio 1-The Inside Scene, behind the scenes gossip from #Radio1 - on iTunes now

Johnny's book, Radio 1 The Inside Scene contains over 300 pages observed from the inside of Radio 1 when it was at its prime. Information and behind the scenes gossip which will be of interest all Radio 1 listeners past and present.

To many Johnny was and still is the heart and soul of Radio 1. His book 'Radio 1 The Inside Scene' is the only Radio 1 book that will give you a full insight into the birth and growth of the biggest national radio station.

Check it out now!! :)


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Re: Johnny Beerling - original producer of Radio 1 with Tony Blackburn
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 07:49:04 PM »
Well lay one on me daddy-o!  I'm digging that scene.

And here's Johnny's website random quote:


Of course no Radio 1 book would be complete without stories about the Radio 1 DJs many of whom are still household names. Remember Noel Edmonds, Dave Lee Travis, Emperor Rosko, David Hamilton, Johnnie Walker, Terry Wogan, Simon Mayo, Mark Goodier, Roger Scott, Nicky Campbell, Jimmy Savile, John Peel, Simon Mayo, Kenny Everett and Paul Burnett? Johnny worked with them all.

During his career at BBC Radio 1 Johnny was responsible for employing many of these personalities, and as the boss took responsibility for their shows.

Thanks for the advert mediaone, here's a review from a futurologist, sounds almost bad enough to be worth a read.


Call it "Wonderful Radio 1" or "1FM", and remember it for Mike Smith, the Hairy Cornflake or Smashie and Nicey: we all grew up with BBC Radio 1. Johnny Beerling worked there from launch to 1993 - spending the last eight years as the station's Controller.

His autobiography, written in 2008, is an interesting read. We easily forget that at launch, Radio 1 wasn't actually a 'radio station' as we'd know it today: frequently sharing programmes with the much more pedestrian Radio 2, lacking any FM outlet until the mid 1980s, and carrying a sometimes bizarre mix of programming, Radio 1 comes over as rather a shambolic affair in many ways. It's clear that the slick sound of Radio 1 today owes much to Beerling: particularly as Radio 1 was rarely at the top of mind of the Board of Governors.

Much of the "inside scene", to which this book refers to, revolves around the roadshow - there are "hilarious" tales of pranks being played on the presenters, and Beerling appears to be present in almost all of them. As a fairly senior member of the BBC, he appeared to take a fair amount of time working with the presentation team: and why not, given the DJs were real stars in those days. There's a lot that's fascinating and horrifying about the way the BBC operated then - doing all manner of deals with commercial companies that would be a sacking offence today. The Roadshow itself, seemingly operated by a few blokes and a beaten-up caravan, appeared to be a typical example of this: Beerling securing BBC blessing for it as long as BBC Worldwide could be there to sell a few records and t-shirts. The stories are a little "wahey, weren't we wacky!", and much of the humour of the occasions fail to carry over into print. With the "Smashie and Nicey" parody ever-present in our heads, much of it looks a little sad.

He's gloriously rude about some of the presenters - and BBC suits - and shows a rather old-fashioned view about many areas of management, too. Many times during the book, Beerling sounds frustrated about the setup of the BBC, and the political work he felt he had to do in order to get Radio 1 really moving.

The book ends on a bitter, sour note. It's clear he didn't get on with John Birt, the Director General, or many of the people Birt surrounded himself with. Beerling also recognised the difficulty that Radio 1 had - being a young station with older presenters - and had a plan of shifting some of the better-known voices onto Radio 2: with Simon Mayo, Steve Wright and Jo Whiley, that's a scheme that appears accepted today. Unfortunately, Beerling failed to get the political buy-in from the Controller of Radio 2, nor the agreement from those higher up the management chain at the BBC. He's clear that he feels that Matthew Bannister destroyed 'his' radio station. In truth, Bannister saved it.

This book is, unfortunately, rather full of typing errors and mistakes, which rather spoils the effect. Some facts are wrong, some names are incorrect, and stories are told without any real chronological order, which confuses and confounds the reader somewhat. Some stories are even repeated. This book could have been a much more satisfying read, but sometimes comes over as the result of a number of after-dinner dictating sessions.

With some sub-editing, this book could have been much more enjoyable; but, as a listener to Radio 1 (and an employee of the BBC), this book was a fascinating, if frustrating, read.

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