Profile: Mike Read: Born in 1951, Mike started with BBC Radio 1 in 1978, firstly presenting the evening show, 8:00-10:00pm, focusing on what were then, records from the 'new-wave' era. Three years later, in January of 1981, Mike moved to the flagship breakfast show, becoming well known for reading out the day's schedule in the voices of other Radio 1 disc-jockeys.
Famously for Mike, and often referred to on both radio and pop-music TV documentaries, in January of 1984, live on-air, he banned Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Relax' because of it's sexually explicit content. Radio 1 went on to ban the record, except on the Top 40, but the ban is seen by many to have caused the tracks meteoric rise to Number 1 in the charts that year. Mike's still gone on to win ten National Broadcaster of the Year awards. He left Radio 1 in 1991.
In 1977 he helped launch the 'Guinness British Hit Singles' book with Tim Rice and Paul Gambaccini. Mike has won a staggering ten 'National Broadcaster of the Year' awards during his time at Radio Luxembourg, Radio 1, Classic FM & Classic Gold. He is the only British radio DJ to have presented the Breakfast show on three National radio stations. Over on television, he has appeared on well over 1,000 hours of programming, noteably the show that took over from 'Swap Shop', the similarly themed 'Saturday Superstore', and there was also 'Mike Read's Pop Quiz', 'Top Of The Pops'. 'Pop Quest' and 'Goldmaster'.
He's a fan of tennis along with his friend Cliff Richard. In 2002, after one of Cliff's concerts in nearby Sheffield, both were seen out shopping in the picturesque Derbyshire Peak District town of Bakewell where they purchased original puddings to take home!
A skilled musician, (he plays the guitar) Mike has gone on to write music, lyrics and/or book, for 6 stage musicals including 'Great Expectations', 'A Christmas Carol', 'Apollo and Oscar', 'Ricky Nelson - Teenage Idol' the latter of which was staged in 1995, and five of his choral works were featured at the 1997 Sydmonton Festival. June 2000 saw his new musical version of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', called 'Oh Puck' appear in workshops in London before touring nationally.
He has had many songs recorded by major artists such as Alvin Stardust, Cliff Richard, Gene Pitney, Steve Harley, Don McLean, Marc Almond, David Essex, Justin Hayward, Paul Young, Leo Sayer, Jon Anderson and Darren Day. He's also composed works for The Eton College Choir, King College Choir, The Rodolphus Choir and The London Community Gospel Choir. In 1992, he won an award for 'Television and Radio Theme of the Year' for his hit song 'More To Life', sung by Sir Cliff Richard for BBC Television's hit show 'Trainer'.
Also in the early nineties, he was asked to write the music for a production by the Children's Film Unit 'How's Business', as well as co-writing the title song for the 1996 movie 'Caught In The Act' which won an Excellence Award in the USA Laguna Beach Film Festival.. He has also written the book, screenplay, music and lyrics for a film version of Charles Dickens' 'Great Expectations', and 'The Prince and The Pauper', plus a screenplay for a 60s musical comedy 'Radio Cool'.
1996 saw The Band of The Royal Marines record his 'Morning March' which went on to become the track of the best selling classical album of the same name, alongside established and well known classical composers. The Morning March appeared again on another best selling classical music album alongside similar well known composers. Following the success of the album 'Poetry In Motion' in which Mike set Sir John Betjeman's poems to music, he went on to record a second Betjeman album 'Words and Music' which included top recording artists. It was released in 2000.
Almost thirty books written by Mike have now achieved sales well in excess of two million copies. As far back as the 1980s, Guinness Publishing presented him with an award having achieved 500,000 sales of their books alone, including the Book of Hit Singles. He's had three poetry works published, with some works featuring in anthologies - he came up with the idea, produced and wrote the biographies for 'One Hundred Favourite Poems' and it's follow up 'One Hundred Humerous Poems' for Classic FM. CD spin-offs have sold a significant number of copies along with a book containing extracts from the series. He's also been behind 'Inspirations', 'Forever England - the life of Rupert Brooke', 'The Cliff Richard Chronicle' and 'Major to Minor - the Rise and Fall of the Songwriter'.
More recently, Mike wrote questions for Michael Barrymore's TV music quiz 'My Kind Of Music', he duetted with Cliff Richard at the Birmingham NIA for SKY TV, took part in the South Downs Way hundred mile walk in just five days and continued broadcasting to Classic FM listeners. He also had a cameo appearance in the film 'Interview With A Dead Man'. Mike is Chairman of the Rupert Brooke Society, and recorded a TV Special for the Open University.
A keen tennis player, hence his friendship with Sir Cliff, he's played in many pro-celebrity tournaments and in the West Sussex League.
In September 2002, Mike announced to the press that he plans to marry the interior designer, Eileen Johnston in 2003. During 2003. hot on the heels of Charles Nove's appearance, Mike Read soon followed as a victim of BBC2's 'Life Laundry', which sees two interior designers descend on a victim's house to de-junk it. With an estimated one-million tracks of music, endless pieces of music and radio memorabilia, and a broadcast studio hidden away in the house and garage, the designers initially had quite a bit of difficulty in finding any clutter at all. But find it they did, and the clear out began. Due to marry his long-suffering fiance Eileen in 2003, it was time to make some strong decisions which included his studio chair, a 1950s Jukebox, and an old Radio 1 presenters shirt, complete with stain! The auctioning of the Jukebox paid to bring his dilapidated swimming pool and spa back into use, and his Radio 1 shirt (minus stain, post wash) was auctioned for just £21.00 on the Internet. (Fume fume...I'd have paid £30-£40 if I'd have known...Ed). With boxes of Mike's research books piled in boxes since he moved out of his bachelor pad, his garage was de-cluttered and commissioned as a library and, after broadcasting from a dark garage on a wobbly old table, his studio was moved into a decorated and re-arranged record library with a custom-made studio broadcast desk overlooking his newly-refurbished swimming pool. Some stuff was thrown away, but as much material as possible was recycled, however, some old banjos, guitars, radio and music memorabilia was loaded into a van and sold at a Brighton car boot sale. (If the BBC would like to come and re-arrange another radio presenter's house, then please e-mail me straightaway - my studio needs building, and ...any chance of an ISDN line? Ed)
Mike lined up alongside other jungle members Neil 'Razor' Ruddock, John Lydon (Sex Pistols), Peter Andre, BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond, athlete Diane Modahl and Lord Brock. By the end of the first week, and not having been involved in any prominent 'bush tucker trials', therefore not attracting widespread support, he was the first celebrity to be voted out by the British public. Gorging on the light buffet laid out in the studio area, Mike was interviewed on his experiences in the camp, then joined by his partner Eileen before returning to the luxury of the Australian hotel to see out the rest of the evictions and drama, before returning to the UK. In his week in the Jungle, Mike kept everyone entertained with trivia, humour and chat, and respectfully refrained from openly remarking on his fellow celebs when pressed by Ant & Dec. Mike later remarked on his feelings that the show was cleverly edited to make it look like he didn't do anything, and that this was a major reason for his early departure.
Whereabouts: After a lengthy stint at Classic FM, Mike Read joined Jazz FM's 100.4 North-East of England network in September 1999, taking over the highly-rated breakfast show slot across the region. As seen on BBC2's 'Life Laundry', Mike can now be heard broadcasting via ISDN cable from his home on the Magic network each Saturday from 10:00am - 2:00pm
Sources indicate that Mike has a website, at www.mikeread.uk.com. Here's an alternative: http://www.ricarda.ndo.co.uk/mikeread/biography.html
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