Podcast with Johnnie Walker MBE

posted 16 Feb 2022 2 mins

Johnnie Walker MBE, in conversation with Audrey Hoare

By 1967, the pop revolution was in full swing, but almost no pop music was played by the BBC. Radio Caroline, a pirate radio ship moored in international waters off Frinton-on-Sea, provided the soundtrack to the Swinging Sixties and Johnnie Walker was one of the DJs onboard. When Radio Caroline was made illegal under the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, he continued to broadcast, cementing his reputation as a hero of the counterculture.

In this engaging podcast, Johnnie recalls his time on the real ‘ship that rocked’ and moments shared with artists such as Keith Richard and Elton John. Looking back, he says: ‘It was romantic, it was rebellious, we were literally riding the crest of a wave.’

Johnnie Walker MBE started broadcasting in 1967 on the pirate radio ships Swinging Radio England and Radio Caroline.

After the demise of Radio Caroline he joined BBC Radio 1 where he championed artists such as Lou Reed, Steely Dan, Steve Harley and The Eagles. An album aficionado, he became frustrated at having to play only singles, and famously called the Bay City Rollers ‘musical garbage’. He left Radio 1 after seven years for greater freedom in the US.

In 1999, he joined BBC Radio 2, taking over the
Drive Time show. Today he presents the weekly Rock Show and Sounds of the 70s with Johnnie Walker.

With his wife Tiggy, Johnnie is co-patron of the charity Carers UK.

This podcast has been created with the kind permission of the speaker. Views and opinions contained in the podcast are the speaker’s own and are not necessarily those of the bank or any of its partners, directors, or employees.