In Brief

Garden shed DJ with audience of one to get BBC radio special

Deke Duncan offered Christmas slot after 44 years broadcasting to his living room

wd-microphone.jpg

A radio enthusiast who has broadcast to his living room from his garden shed for 44 years has been offered a Christmas slot on his local BBC station.

Deke Duncan set up Radio 77 in his back garden in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in 1974, inspired by the offshore pirate radio stations of the 1960s.

There was only one obstacle to his ambition: “with no licence, the station could only be beamed through a speaker in his living room to wife Teresa”, says the BBC.

However, that did not dampen Duncan’s enthusiasm. His broadcasts included non-stop weekend slots, with the help of two fellow pirate radio enthusiasts.

“That house was our ship,” he told the BBC. “We took the fantasy so far we said we must not go out the front or back door because you'll fall in the sea.”

Last month, the BBC Archive tweeted out a clip from a 1970s news magazine show Nationwide about Radio 77, prompting reporters from BBC Three Counties to search for Duncan.

They found him, now 73, still broadcasting to his dedicated listener, from the couple’s current home in Stockport.

In the Nationwide feature, a young Duncan told his interviewer that his “ultimate dream” was to be heard across the whole of Stevenage - and, four decades later, BBC Three Counties boss Laura Moss has offered to make his dream come true.

Duncan has been invited to present a one-hour special over Christmas, to be broadcast not only in Stevenage, but across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

BBC Three Counties DJ Justin Dealey broke the good news in an interview with Duncan on Sunday morning.

After 44 years of broadcasting, Duncan said he was “speechless” for the first time. “It feels really nice,” he said.

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