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David Porter » Reviews » Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker

Norwich Arts Centre

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 10 December 2008

Johnnie Walker

Pirates have always meant romantic adventure on the high seas. To people of a certain age, radio ship pirates are part of the mythology of the Sixties, pioneers in broadcasting.

Johnnie Walker’s is one of the authentic pirate voices, the first on Radio Caroline after the outlawing in 1967.

A little grey, like most of his audience, he captivated them with tales about himself.

From Birmingham, leaving school with no O-levels to Radio England, to Caroline – he travelled.

His ‘kiss-in-the-car’ spot for romantic couples on the Essex coast flashing headlights at the ship was one of his broadcasting innovations.

Then to Radio One, leaving when he couldn’t play album tracks, to the USA before returning to England, Radio Two, beating cancer and an MBE.

It was an inspiring account told in that DJ voice that persuades he is unique.

A great sense of humour was given full rein and the anecdotes flowed freely.

Keith Skues and Andy Archer, fellow pirates, joined him on stage in the second half and the memory fest was complete.

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