How we use Cookies

What's On

Your guide to everything in Solihull

DJ Johnnie's tribute to Solihull hospice

POPULAR DJ Johnnie Walker is to broadcast a special documentary about the Solihull hospice which helped to look after his father.

POPULAR DJ Johnnie Walker is to broadcast a special documentary about the Solihull hospice which helped to look after his father.

The Radio Two presenter, who grew up in Olton, visited staff at the Marie Curie Hospice - which had previously cared for his dad.

Johnnie said: "I came back to Solihull about three months ago to do this documentary.

"The hospice had been very good to my father and we will be airing the show later this year."

Last week the 63-year-old returned to his hometown again to put on a show at Solihull Arts Complex.

In the hours before the performance he spoke about returning to his old neighbourhood.

"I started to go to discotheques around the local area," explained Johnnie.

"I always loved music and used to get the usual thing when people would shout for me to turn it down.

"I thought the idea of being payed to play the music at full volume was incredible.

"Eventually I began to do the DJing myself, but was also trying to hold down a job as a car salesman.

"I was so tired and it became difficult to do my job.

"In the end my manager gave me an ultimatum and told me to choose between the two. He fully expected me to choose selling cars - I didn't."

The day after resigning, Johnnie read an advert in the Daily Mirror for jobs at pirate radio stations.

Within a few months he was working for Swinging Radio England, before moving to the equally popular Radio Caroline - both stations broadcast from offshore.

"It was amazing being on those boats," said Johnnie.

"After the law was changed, I was one of the only people still broadcasting.

"I decided to stay because I loved the life I was living. Even thought it was a big risk and we faced prison, I thought it was important to keep the station going."

Eventually Johnnie moved to BBC radio and has barely been off the airwaves - today he presents a Sunday show on Radio 2.

 

Journalists

Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area.