Paul Gambaccini

Born 2 April 1949

A joint US/UK citizen, Paul Gambaccini was born in New York City in 1949 and awarded UK citizenship in 2005. He is a stalwart of British radio who has gained the reputation of being one of the world's best informed commentators on popular music. Having earned degrees in History from Dartmouth College, USA and in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from University College Oxford, Paul began his career as British correspondent for Rolling Stone magazine.

Following an interview with Elton John in 1973, he came to the attention of BBC Radio producer John Walters and subsequently joined BBC Radio 1, first as a reporter and then as a presenter. He remained with the station for 18 years, developing a gentle radio style through which he shared his encyclopedic knowledge and love of music with listeners and performers alike. His broad range of musical interests have been demonstrated across a range of stations including BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, Capital Radio, Classic FM and Jazz FM.

Alongside his radio and writing interests, Paul has become a well known personality on British television. In September 2010, he helped launch Vintage TV, a satellite music station for mature listeners.

His image has been immortalised as a recurring character, Paul Gambi, in The Flash comic books and he has expressed his love for the genre by co-writing a musical about a superhero, The Ultimate Man.


Paul Gambaccini – Compilation

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Radio Credits

Highlights include:

  • BBC Radio 1 – Numerous artist profiles – including reports for Seen & Heard
  • BBC Radio 1 – US Chart Show
  • BBC Radio 2 – Americas Greatest Hits
  • BBC Radio 2 – Various documentaries. Currently presents Paul Gambaccini
  • BBC Radio 4 – Numerous programmes including Kaleidoscope and Counterpoint
  • Classic FM – Classic FM Chart
  • Jazz FM – The Jazz 40


Paul Gambaccini is a prolific writer. His works include:

  • A Conversation With Elton John and Bernie Taupin – Putnam Publishing Group 1975
  • Paul MacCartney in his own words – Omnibus Press 1976
  • The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles’ with Tim Rice, Jo Rice and Mike Read – Guinness, first published 1977: several subsequent editions
  • Paul Gambaccini presents The Top 100 Albums – Pavilion Books 1987
  • Rock Critics’ Choice: The Top 200 Albums – Music Sales Corp 1979
  • Masters of Rock – Omnibus Press 1982
  • Track Records – Elm Tree Books 1985
  • Radio Boy: An Adolescent DJ’s Story – Elm Tree Books 1986
  • United Kingdom Top 1000 Singles (with Tim Rice and Jo Rice) – Gullane Children’s Books 1988
  • The Guinness Book of British Hit Albums (with Tim Rice and Jo Rice) – Guinness First published 1988: several subsequent editions
  • Hits of The 80s (with Jo Rice, Tim Rice and Tony Brown) – Guinness 1990
  • Top 40 Charts (with Tim Rice and Jo Rice) – Guinness 1992
  • Television’s Greatest Hits (with Rod Taylor) – Network Books 1993
  • Love Letters – Michael O’Mara Books 1996
  • The McCartney Interviews: After the Break-up – Omnibus Press 1996
  • Close Encounters – Omnibus Press 1998
  • The Complete Eurovision Song Contest Companion’ (with Tim and Jo Rice and Tony Brown) – Pavilion Books 1998
  • The Eurovision Companion (revised edition), 1999, Pavilion Books
  • Complete Book of the British Charts (with Tony Brown and Tim Rice) Omnibus Press 2000
  • Awards

    1995 – Philanthropist of the Year by the National Charity Fundraisers
    1996 – Outstanding Contribution to Music Radio Award from the Radio Academy
    2003 – Sony Radio Academy Award for Music Broadcaster of the Year
    2005 – Sony Radio Academy Silver Award for a Weekly Music Programme
    2005 – Inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame


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