Stevenage shed radio DJ broadcasts BBC show from own back garden

Deke Duncan and BBC Three Counties Radio presenter Justin Dealey broadcast from Deke's garden shed s

Deke Duncan and BBC Three Counties Radio presenter Justin Dealey broadcast from Deke's garden shed studio. Picture: Pamela Duncan. - Credit: Archant

The BBC has broadcast a radio show from a garden shed to fulfil the long-held ambition of a DJ who for 45 years has had the smallest audience in the country - his wife.

Deke Duncan started playing pop records from the shed in his back garden in Stevenage’s 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, who has since moved to Stockport in Greater Manchester, was dedicated to the station - Radio 77 - in his spare time.

He said his interest in radio came from the pirate station Radio Caroline, which broadcast from international waters from 1964 to 1990.

Last year, Radio 77 was the subject of a BBC Nationwide report, tweeted by BBC Archive, prompting BBC Three Counties Radio to track Deke down.

Deke, who still broadcasts to his wife from his garden shed, realised his dream when he was given a one-hour slot on BBC 3CR on New Year’s Eve.

But this weekend he achieved his ultimate ambition when he broadcast to 3CR listeners - in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire - from his own garden shed.

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BBC 3CR presenter Justin Dealey and Deke co-hosted a special Good Friday show from the shed studio, which could be heard by all 3CR listeners via BBC Sounds.

The show was one-hour of guilty pleasures, from 1pm to 2pm, and included 1980’s American country rock–Southern rock band Confederate Railroad’s Trashy Women.

Deke said: “Justin and I had a great time recording the Good Friday show here in the 77 studio.”

Justin had originally tracked Deke down following the tweet on BBC Archive about Deke having the smallest audience for his radio show in the country.

Deke also presented his own solo show on Easter Monday, which was recorded from the Radio 77 studio and broadcast from noon until 1pm.

It has been an eventful few months for Deke. In February he was given the opportunity to spend a day on the Radio Caroline ship. He described it as “so special” and said: “There were lots of grins on chins this day. It was a smile on the radio dial, that’s for sure.”

To listen to Deke and Justin on 3CR, head to the BBC Sounds App.

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