Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Bye, bye Stewpot

The death of David Bowie is not only dominating news across the world, it is also the talk of outer space with Brit astronaut Tim Peake tweeting about it.

I was never a big fan of Bowie's music, in truth, but he did seem like a good guy and it's sad that he's no longer with us.

I was a lot more upset on Saturday evening when word broke that DJ Ed "Stewpot" Stewart had passed away.

I found out when I checked my phone during the interval of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and it dominated my mind throughout the second half.

Most people my age will best remember Stewpot as the presenter of Crackerjack in the late 1970s.

I still occasionally think about it at five to five on a Friday.  (Fans of the show will know what I mean).

However, it will be Christmas mornings when I'll miss him most.

Readers of a certain age will hopefully recall Ed Stewart's "Family Favourites" afternoon show which went out on Radio 2 in the early 1980s.  I remember listening to it most days after coming home from primary school.

It was resurrected as Junior Choice on Christmas Eve 2007, returning the following year on Christmas morning from 10am-noon. It stayed in that slot for the next seven years with Stewpot broadcasting his final show less than three weeks ago.

And it became a staple of our Christmas.  In fact, in 2014, he even played a request for us Whites after I described the show in an email as my favourite two hours of the year.  "You're a sad man," he told listeners.  How right he was.

But when I tell you that regular tunes he played included Puff the Magic Dragon, A Windmill in Old Amsterdam, Captain Beaky and His Band, Champion the Wonder Horse and - best of all -  Morningtown Ride, you'll hopefully accept that I'm a sad man with fine nostalgic taste.

Poor old Stewpot, Christmas mornings will never be the same.