Kenny and The Beatles on the radio

The late Kenny Everett

A new radio show about legendary and controversial radio DJ Kenny Everett and his relationship with the Beatles, presented by Paul Gambaccini, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on the 21st December at 10pm.

Maurice James Christopher Cole (25 December 1944 – 4 April 1995), known professionally as Kenny Everett, was a British comedian, radio DJ and television entertainer. Everett is best known for his career as a radio DJ and for The Kenny Everett Video Show.

A fellow Liverpudlian, Kenny got on well with the Beatles. Everett had struck up a friendship with the Beatles and accompanied them on their August 1966 tour of the United States, sending back daily reports for pirate station Radio London. He was heard in May 1967 on the BBC’s Light Programme previewing the Beatles’ forthcoming album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and was one of the DJs on the new pop music station Radio 1 from its launch at the end of September 1967. He also produced The Beatles’ 1968 and 1969 Christmas records, collages of odd noises, musical snippets, and individual messages.

Apple promo from Italy

One of his radio interviews with the Beatles was released on an Apple record in Italy, titled Una sensazionale intervista – a sensational interview. The 45 rpm single disc was part of a promotional Apple package, also containing discs from Mary Hopkin, The Iveys and Jackie Lomax. Side one contains part 1 which lasts 3:30 and side two contains part 2 which lasts 3:52. The interview begins with John singing “Cottonfields” and ends with the whole band singing “Goodbye” to Kenny Everett with much fun in between. Recorded during the recording sessions for “Don’t Pass Me By”, the interview was played in edited form on his show.

Paul Gambaccini said: “Kenny Everett was the greatest radio presenter of my lifetime. The Beatles were the greatest group. I hope that when we put them together the result is at least good! I have done several programmes about my old friend Kenny Everett before, but never one taking this angle. This is fascinating. I love to learn, and I have learned about one of my friends and heroes from working on this show.”

Diagnosed as HIV positive in 1989, Everett died from an AIDS-related illness aged 50 in 1995.

The Radio 2 show, which will air at 10pm on December 21, also promises to reveal how Everett inspired lyrics to one of the Beatles’ most memorable hits…we trust this will be done in the best possible taste.

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