John Robert Parker Ravenscroft OBE (August 30, 1939 – October 25, 2004), better known as John Peel, was an English disc jockey and radio host. From 1967 until his death in 2004, he was the longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, having broadcast every week from that station’s studio in London.
First, on British radio, Peel introduced psychedelic rock and progressive music. He is known for promoting musicians from a variety of genres, including pop, dub reggae, punk rock and post-punk, electronic music and dance music, indie rock, extreme metal, and British hip hop. John Peel was “the most significant figure in music for nearly 12 years,” fellow DJ Paul Gambaccini said.
Recognized achievements and prestigious honours
Peel has been named Melody Maker′s DJ of the Year 11 times, Sony Broadcaster of the Year in 1993, NME Godlike Genius Award winner in 1994, Sony Gold Award winner in 2002, and a member of the Radio Academy Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Radio Hall of Fame. Hero of the Year and “Lifelong Service to Music” awards were bestowed to him at the 2005 NME awards. the “John Peel Award for Musical Innovation” was given to The Others on the same occasion.
This includes an MA from the University of East Anglia as well as doctorates (from Anglia Polytechnic University and Sheffield Hallam University), as well as other degrees (from Liverpool’s Liverpool John Moores, the Open University’s Southampton Solent, and Bradford’s Bradford Hallam).
An OBE was bestowed upon him in 1998 for his contributions to British music. A BBC poll in 2002 determined that Peel was ranked 43rd among the 100 greatest Britons of all time.
Peel’s Radio 1 programmes were renowned for the regular “Peel sessions,” which normally consisted of four tracks recorded by an artist live in the BBC studios and often provided the first major national coverage to bands that eventually reached stardom. The annual Festive Fifty countdown of his fans’ favourite records from the previous year was another highlight of the programme.
As a result of these charges, ‘The John Peel Wing’ immediately became a hot topic of conversation. 2012 was defined by accusations of this nature. Over 200 women came forward with allegations against Peel’s fellow BBC broadcaster and TV celebrity Jimmy Saville in the year of Operation Yewtree, an inquiry into historical child sex abuse. The investigation was launched in response to those allegations. The BBC’s inquiry was a watershed moment because it forced the organisation to confront something it had been ignoring for decades: the enormity of the sexual assault that had taken place behind closed doors. Doors that were closed.
With regard to John Peel
It appeared that the BBC was continuing to honour individuals with a controversial past that was well-known inside the business. You may not be aware of John Peel’s history with young women, but in 1989 he gave an interview where he talked about his time working for a local radio station in Texas.
Peel claims that “Girls used to queue up outside.” Isn’t commonly used for smacking. “Oral sex” was a special interest of theirs. Occasionally, these ladies were over the legal age of consent, around the age of 21, but Peel’s descriptions of the women he slept with indicate that they were the exception, not the rule. “Extraordinarily older” than his regular clientele, seemed to be the case here. It was as if Peel’s “masturbation fantasies” had come true. That said, danger came along for the ride. I had a client who turned out to be 13,” Peel said. “One of my regulars, if you will.”
This word, “turned out,” has its own complications. Peel’s recollection of this time period is filled with both joyous and sarcastic pronouncements. The fact that he acknowledges his flaws doesn’t stop him from forgiving them or absolving himself of responsibility. It is implied that Peel only had sex with this girl because he imagined she was past the age of consent and that he was surprised to discover the reality.
This approach to describing the interaction throws the burden of responsibility on the female while neglecting the power dynamic inherent in these types of sexual encounters. In the past, Peel had used the same justification to avoid taking responsibility.
It was also at this time that Peel married Shirley Anne Milburn at the age of 15, saying that her parents had lied about her age. “It wasn’t a pleasant marriage, to begin with,” Peel said in an interview conducted in 1989. After then, things only got worse. It was Milburn’s fault that after their divorce in 1973, he was found guilty of a number of narcotics and fraud offences. As Peel recounted, “She became involved with some pretty shady people.” Before her death, she had tried to take her own life.
While he was 30 years old and she was 15, Jane Nevin came out in 2012 and claimed to have had a three-month sexual connection with him. ‘Traumatic’ abortion, says Nevin, terminated the relationship for them. Not least because she claimed that Peel “must have known that I was still in school,” Nevin’s claim cast a dark light on Peel. That’s why I’m not telling him; he didn’t ask. To be fair, Peel once said that when individuals wanted to sleep with him, he “didn’t ask for ID.” Here we see Peel’s tendency to take credit for his acts when they favour him and to deny accountability when they don’t.
The John Peel Wing of Broadcasting House was addressed by a BBC spokesperson
This decision to launch The John Peel Wing of Broadcasting House was addressed by a BBC spokesperson, who said, “Clearly, in the event of substantiated claims of sexual assault, the BBC would reconsider its choice on naming part of our new building.” Though it’s tough to discover sources to back this up, it appears the charges were never true. But don’t forget, this was before the #MeToo movement. Male victims of sexual assault and abuse have been leniently handled in the past, or perhaps the allegations have been suppressed for fear of tarnishing a man’s reputation.
However true the claims may be, the BBC’s continued worship of Peel shows just how little the corporation has learnt from the Jimmy Saville scandal. In addition, it shows how eager the public is to put aside any thought that the characters they grew up with have a darker side. It’s impossible to predict how long this willful denial can be sustained, though, given how many revered rock icons have been accused of sleeping with underage females since that time.
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