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Alan Freeman

Past King Rat

Water Rat number 711. Initiated 1976. King Rat in 1986.

Alan "Fluff" Freeman was for nearly 40 years one of the best known and best loved DJ's in Britain. Born in Melbourne, Australia he began his career with Launceston, Tasmania's radio station 7LA, with Kay Starr's "Wheel of Fortune" being his first ever record played on air.

"Fluff" acquired this nickname because of an 'accident' with a woolly pull-over which he wore straight from the spin-dryer. This style of pull-over became part of his persona together with his various catchphrases such as "Greetings pop pickers" and "Not 'arf". He came to Britain in 1957 and took a summer relief job at Radio Luxembourg; he settled in London and by 1960 was hosting the BBC Light programme show "Records Around Five". However, it was with "Pick of the Pops", which he first introduced in September 1961, that he gained his devoted radio following that was to remain with him for the rest of his career. In 1972 he moved to Capital Radio and started to champion Rock and Heavy Metal music, but without alienating his regular Pop audience.

In 1988 he was voted 'Radio Personality of the Year' at the Sony Awards. In 1993 he returned to BBC where he continued to present his "Pick of the Pops" golden oldies in the same affable yet professional manner that had established him as the publics favourite DJ. Sadly, his last years were blighted by crippling arthritis. He moved into Brinsworth House, the retirement home for variety entertainers, where he became as popular with his fellow residents as with his listening public. In the 1998 New Years Honours list he was awarded an MBE for his services to music. In the same year he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sony Awards.

Dispite his disability he remained very positive - as he was wont to say "All Right?" "Right" "Stay Bright".

"Fluff" died on the 27 November 2006.

Secretary to the Trustees, John Adrian
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