Peel back on radio with finest moments

Late broadcasting legend John Peel is to return to the airwaves, as the BBC airs a series of his finest moments.

The DJ, who championed scores of bands during his four-decade presenting career, will be brought back to radio this week on 6 Music.

And Peel, who famously struggled to even manage to play vinyl records at the correct speed, will then be given a technological makeover when the programmes are later made available as a podcast for the first time.

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Producers are to air 15-minute segments of Peel's Radio 1 shows from today during DJ Marc Riley's mid-morning show which begins at 10am. Peel gave Riley an early break thanks to his devotion to The Fall, for whom Riley originally played bass.

The programmes are drawn from the late 1970s and early 80s, as well as 2003 and 2004. And they feature him playing tracks by bands such as Flying Lizards, Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division and, of course, The Fall.

Riley said: "Listening to various clips of John in preparation for these programmes it all came flooding back. John's warmth, his bone-dry humour, his passion for the eclectic mix of music he played not to mention his wonderful sense of mischief."

Peel began his Radio 1 career in 1967 after a stint on air in the US, and then on pirate radio in the UK. He died in 2004 following a heart attack while holidaying in Peru.

Riley added: "I doubt any music broadcaster will ever get close to the love and respect shown to John by listeners and indebted bands alike."

BBC 6 Music controller Bob Shennan said: "To be able to keep the spirit of John Peel alive and to take the famously technophobic DJ into the digital age is an absolute privilege for 6 Music."

The podcast will also feature an interview with Jack White of The White Stripes. It will be released on January 3 which the station is dubbing the "Joy Of 6 Day", a celebration of the best of 6 Music.

Earlier this year the station had been earmarked for closure but the BBC Trust rejected the proposal following a backlash from listeners, musicians and politicians.