The UK Radio Hall of Fame

Kenny Everett

(born December 1944 - died April 1995)

He was Maurice Cole for the first twenty years of his life, taking the name Kenny Everett (the surname borrowed from the American comic actor Edward Everett Horton) on legal advice before making his broadcasting debut on pirate Radio London, the slickest of the stations that ringed the UK's coastline in the mid-sixties.

His frequently surreal sense of humour - part-Beatles, part-Goons - rapidly established him as one of the outstanding personalities of pirate radio, whose BBC clone Radio 1 made him one its original recruits in September 1967. That sense of humour also ended his career as a live broadcaster on the network, when, commenting on a news item, he suggested that the wife of the then Transport Minister had passed her driving test by bribing the examiner.

Returning to Radio 1 in 1972 with a pre-recorded - thus censorable - Saturday morning show, taped in his home studio, he pursued his experiments with sound, notably voice treatments, to create a unique and instantly recognisable mix of oddball comedy and music radio. He left Radio 1 to join Capital Radio within weeks of its October 1973 launch, initially reunited with his Radio London co-host Dave Cash for the Kenny ‘n’ Cash breakfast show, then switching to Saturday and Sunday mornings as a blossoming television career increasingly occupied his time.

The success of ‘The Kenny Everett Video Show' and its successors, in which his fascination for what could be done with the fast-changing technologies of television echoed his earlier audio improvisations, meant that until his death in 1995 he divided his energies between both media. By doing so, he reinvented the role of disc jockey as a springboard to broader areas of entertainment.

Kenny was diagnosed as HIV Positive in 1989, and died of an AIDS-related illness in 1995.