Stevenage garden shed DJ with audience of one is given BBC radio slot
PUBLISHED: 08:30 22 November 2018
After 44 years as a DJ who has only ever broadcast to his wife from a radio station in his shed, Deke Duncan is set to achieve his “ultimate ambition” and expand his audience to the rest of Stevenage – and beyond.
Deke, now 73, started playing pop records from the shed in his back garden in Gonville Crescent in 1974, but without a licence could only ever broadcast to his wife through a speaker set up in their living room.
Deke was dedicated to the station in his spare time, and when his wife decided to go to the shops Deke would be left broadcasting to himself.
His station – Radio 77 – was the subject of a BBC Nationwide report, recently tweeted by BBC Archive, prompting BBC Three Counties Radio to track him down.
In the 1970s video footage from BBC Archive, content from Deke’s radio show included news that Stevenage Development Corporation had introduced trolley parks “in downtown car parks” in response to trolleys being vandalised.
Deke also refers to a time the police arrived after a neighbour had complained his music was too loud. Deke said he ended up doing a radio interview with the police, who “really loved it”.
The DJ says his interest in radio came from the pirate station Radio Caroline, which broadcast from international waters, using five different ships of three different owners, from 1964 to 1990.
Referring to when pirate radio was stopped, Deke said in the 1970s: “The Ggvernment didn’t replace it in the right way for me, so I replaced it for myself.
“My ultimate ambition would be to broadcast to the rest of Stevenage. I would like to share it.”
Deke has since moved to Stockport in Greater Manchester, but still broadcasts Radio 77 to the smallest audience in the country – his wife.
He has now been offered a one-hour special on BBC Three Counties radio over Christmas, to realise his long-held dream of broadcasting to the rest of Stevenage – with listeners from Herts, Beds, Bucks and beyond.
He told the Comet: “I’m overwhelmed with all this interest in me. I have an inbox bursting at the seams.
“I’m seriously flattered by all this fuss. How to get famous? Do something really cool, place on a low light and then stir for 44 years.”