Derek Chinnery was on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House this morning. (You can hear the interview here at 7’00”).
“Who, he?” I hear the reader cry….
Well, for those of us of a certain age who were Radio 1 fans in the late 60s and 70s, his name is very familiar. He was the programme controller of Radio 1.
Now aged 87, he sounds a delightful old boy with fond memories of leading the One Fun factory.
The BBC inquiry into Jimmy Savile will talk to a lot of delightful old boys and girls like Derek Chinnery.
But, as those with relatives of the same age can attest, one can say that their memories are not what they were.
Derek Chinnery said he confronted Savile about the rumours about him and young girls. He related what sounded like a rather casual conversation. However, for me, the significant snippet of information followed the interview. Sima Kotecha (the reporter who did the interview) reported that another Radio 1 executive said that Savile had been told to report to Chinnery’s Controller’s office at a specific time and on a specific day to be challenged on the subject. It was added that Chinnery had ensured that there was another executive present at the meeting to act as a witness. I’d call that a formal challenge/interview myself.
Bear in mind that Radio 1 employed Savile to travel around the country at will, recording interviews for a programme called “Savile’s travels”, aired at Sunday lunchtime.
For a more general description of the Radio 1 set up in the 80s, read former deejay Mike Smith’s blog here. I found it fascinating. But then again, I would.