Ed Stewart's final show - December 2015
The voice of this Devon boy was to become the voice of childhood for a generation. Ed Stewart began his radio career in Hong Kong, before moving to the most ‘professional’ of the pirate stations, Radio London, in 1965. His voice was heard as the station closed famously and tearfully in 67. Like many of the best pirates, he was signed up to Radio 1, hosting such modern shows as ‘Happening Sunday’ & ‘What’s New’. Then, in 1968, he grabbed ‘Junior Choice’ from Leslie Crowther and began a twelve year stint. It became famous for its theme tune Morningtown Ride, dedications sent it on wobbly bits of tape, and little Michael cheekily shouting ‘ello darling. As the eighties began, Ed moved to Radio 2, for Family Favourites and weekday afternoons until 1983. He was heard on Radio Mercury for a couple of years, before returning to Radio 2 and indeed to afternoons. After a spell on Sunday evenings, he waved farewell in 2006.
He was a well-known TV face on Crackerjack - and was famously the male voice at the end of Lynsey de Paul's silky 70s hit 'Won't somebody dance with me'.
Ed died in January 2016. His last programme was broadcast live - just days before - on Christmas Day 2015. In a piece of inspired scheduling, Ed revived ‘Junior Choice’ to remind us grown-ups of Christmases past, playing all the favourites from Nellie the Elephant to Sparky’s Magic Piano. His closing song was, fittingly, the vocal version of his theme, which he felt able to join in with. I think every disc jockey would like to carefully craft their final show, their last song and their last words. Ed almost seemed to.
"I'll be with you - whenever".