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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

John Peel Dead at 65

NME reports the following:

John Peel has died of a heart attack aged 65.

The broadcasting legend, who had a career spanning over 40 years, was on holiday in Peru when he was taken ill.

A statement has been issued by the BBC which reads: "It has been confirmed that BBC radio broadcaster John Peel died from a heart attack last night whilst on holiday in Peru. He leaves behind his wife Sheila and four children."

Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt said "John Peel was a broadcasting legend. I am deeply saddened by his death as are all who work at Radio 1. John’s influence has towered over the development of popular music for nearly four decades and his contribution to modern music and music culture is immeasurable. Hopeful bands all over the world sent their demo tapes to John knowing that he really cared. His commitment and passion for new music only grew stronger over the years. In fact, when I last saw him he was engaged in a lively debate with his fellow DJs over the state of new music today. He will be hugely missed."

BBC Director of Radio & Music Jenny Abramsky added "John Peel was a unique broadcaster whose influence on Radio 1 could be felt from its very first days. He nurtured musicians and listeners alike introducing them to new sounds. His open minded approach to music was mirrored by his equally generous approach to his audience when he went to Radio 4 to present Home Truths.

"He had a remarkable rapport with all his listeners. Everyone at BBC Radio is devastated by the news. John is simply irreplaceable. Our hearts go out to Sheila and his children."

Peel was born in Heswall near Chester and started his radio career in Dallas, Texas.

Throughout the 1960s he worked at a number of radio stations across the US, before returning to Radio London in 1967.

Over a career spanning 40 years Peel consistently championed new music, and in 1994 was given the NME Godlike Genius award for his services to music.

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