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John Peel Remembered
  click to enlarge image John Peel Remembered - a BBC Audio double CD available from the online BBC Shop. CD1 is Radio 4's serialisation of Margrave Of The Marshes, the autogiography begun by John and completed by his wife Sheila. CD2 features a Home Truths Special with producer Dilly Barlow and me visiting Peel Acres to meet Sheila and their four children. The programme was first broadcast on Radio 4 in October 2005 to mark the first anniversary of John's death and can still be heard online via the BBC Website by clicking here.
Pic by Jill Furmanovsky To link the two sections of Margrave Of The Marshes, Sheila used a postcard John had written to me in 1968 describing her as the new love of his life. As a fan of his pirate radio show The Perfumed Garden I'd struck up first a correspondence and then an acquaintance with Peel back in 1967. John was the only Radio 1 DJ to play my record Glad To Be Gay in 1978. The single War Baby also just made his Festive Fifty in 1983 - click here for John's introduction. 16 years later I became a columnist on his Radio 4 programme Home Truths.
Pic by Jill Furmanovsky It can't have been easy or enjoyable for the Ravenscrofts to be interviewed about John in their own home less than a year after his death. But Sheila invited us to stay overnight and the whole family made Dilly and me feel warmly welcome and gave engaging and open interviews. L to R: William, Flossie, TR, Archie, Danda, Tom and Sheila. Photo by Dilly: click to enlarge the image .
Tom's Home Truths programmes

Home Truths showcased John's warmth, wit and genuine interest in the oddities of listeners' lives. The programme had a large and loyal audience - but also firece critics. John's own last broadcast for the programme on 16 October 2004 can be heard here. Following his death, Home Truths continued with a roster of guest presenters, including me for 12 of the programmes. These are currently still archived online via the Home Truths web page.
TOM ROBINSON

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