Stevenage shed radio DJ ready for BBC local radio slot


Deke Duncan


Deke Duncan in 1974 in his shed in Stevenage – and preparing for his New Year’s Eve show at BBC Three Counties Radio in Dunstable

A DJ whose shed-based radio station was only ever heard by his wife is preparing to expand his audience after 44 years.

Deke Duncan, 73, started playing records from his back garden in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in 1974.

He was the subject of a BBC Nationwide television report, recently tweeted by BBC Archive, prompting BBC Three Counties Radio to track him down.

He was then offered a one-hour special, which goes out on New Year’s Eve.

‘Real cool’

Listeners to the pre-recorded show, which will be broadcast at 18:00 GMT on Three Counties Radio, can expect some “old school radio”, Mr Duncan said.

“Radio like it was 30 or 40 years ago with a happy disc jockey, bouncing along from one record to another and just being real cool. It’s going to be rock and roll,” he said.

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Media captionShed station DJ given BBC local radio slot

Mr Duncan said his interest in radio was sparked by pirate station Radio Caroline, which broadcast from a ship off the coast of Essex in the 1960s.

He set up Radio 77 – named after a job-lot of second hand jingles bought from a US station of the same name.

But with no licence, the station could only be beamed through a speaker in his living room to wife Teresa.

He presented non-stop weekend slots on the station with friends Richard St John and Clive Christie and made regular references on air to the fact he was broadcasting from – and to – 57 Gonville Crescent.

BBC Archive


The shed at 57 Gonville Crescent in Stevenage in 1974 – home of Radio 77

He was tracked down to Stockport, Greater Manchester, where he still broadcasts Radio 77 to just his wife, and was invited to co-present a show on BBC Three Counties Radio.

In 1974 he had said his “ultimate ambition” was to broadcast to the rest of Stevenage and the forthcoming show will not only be broadcast to Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire on radio, but the whole world via the BBC iPlayer.

His story has been in many newspapers and television including BBC Breakfast and ITV’s This Morning.

Mr Duncan described the media furore surrounding his re-discovery as a “whirlwind” but he was “loving it”.

“It has been a blast… I am as happy as Larry,” he said.