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Kenny Everett - picture taken from the 1992 CD 'The Best Of Capital Gold' (The HIT label AHLCD2)

Profile: Kenny Everett: Born Maurice Cole in Liverpool in 1944, he chose his stage name after a childhood hero, film star Edward Everett Horton.  He got the broadcasting bug as a teenager when he purchased two tape recorders, and began producing home-grown radio programmes emulating the style of the then prominent comedian and BBC presenter Jack Jackson.  He sent his tapes to friends around the country.  

He even sent a tape to the BBC who featured it on the Home Service network.  Following this, the BBC invited him to become a presenter on the Light Programme, to announce pleasant easy listening music from Dance bands.  Kenny declined the offer.

Instead, he approached off-shore station Radio London (Big L) in 1964, and was taken on-board.  From there, he went on to present the sort of madcap shows he is now renowned for.  As a result, he collected a huge following on Big L.  However, he was fired because he aired his opinion about one of the station's religious programmes, but was taken back six months later, no doubt, with the station management thinking Kenny had learnt his lesson.

By 1967, government pressure on what were deemed 'pirates' had gathered significant momentum, and early that year, Kenny quit and approached the BBC once more.  As a result, he took control of a programme on May 20th to present a review of a new album released by The Beatles.

Upon the start of Radio 1 in September 1967, Kenny joined to present Midday Spin.  He was very heavily involved in the launch of the station, making many jingles and station promos and was the inventor of the affectionate term for the BBC, 'The Beeb'.   Early in Kenny's Radio 1 career, Kenny was the presenter of the weekend morning show which he started in the January of 1968.  The show featured a number of comic characters created by Kenny himself, including his butler, Crisp, and Gran (also voiced by Kenny).  Many days work went into the sketches incorporated in the show.  

Kenny had many favourite creations, including Captain Kremmen, who had many 'missions' in outer space fighting against the Thargoids and other space nasties.  Each episode featured Kenny behind all voices including Kremmen's side kick, Carla and even the gargled voice of his enemies, which involved Kenny using a wide range of available technology to create the effects.  Captain Kremmen was said to be a cross between Dan Dare and The Goons.

With his huge radio success, it seemed natural for Kenny to make the break into television, and he started his TV career in June of 1968 presenting a show called 'Nice Time' for Granada TV in Manchester.  He then went on to work for both Thames and the BBC creating a wide range of characters including Cupid Stunt, Sid Snot and Gizzard Puke.

Kenny was a disc jockey who was an entertainer, with humorous jingles, and jokes sometimes at the expense of figures of authority.  Kenny's Radio 1 career continued until 1978 when he was fired for suggesting that the wife of the then Minister Of Transport had passed her advanced driving test by bribing the examiner.

But with a talent such as Kenny's, another radio station wasn't too far away, and London's Capital Radio was Kenny's next and final radio home working on both FM and later AM services, latterly on Capital GOLD 1548AM alongside names such as Tony Prince, Mike Read, Paul Burnett, Randall Lee Rose, David Hamilton, and of course Tony Blackburn.  Captain Kremmen was recruited in that time to help raise money for 'Help A London Child', the long running station charity campaign (which latterly involved Pat Sharpe & Mick Brown.)

In the years leading up to 1994, Kenny's health began to deteriorate and this took him off air.  He died that year of an AIDS related illness.  He was 50 years old.

Kenny's BBC television shows continue to be replayed on satellite channels, UK GOLD & PARAMOUNT COMEDY CHANNEL, but strangely, despite the initial link up with THAMES, his THAMES programmes have never been seen.   It is widely known by TV fans that upon losing the TV franchise in 1992, THAMES threw vast amounts of archive material out in a fit of fury.  Whilst some material was rescued, it isn't known if Kenny's shows were amongst everything, or whether THAMES, which still exists as a TV production company, owned by Pearson Television, is holding on to the material in case it comes in useful.  

You can enjoy some brief Kenny THAMES moments by visiting the TV ARK, a superb television nostalgia website at www.tv-ark.co.uk

There really was only one Kenny Everett when it came to jingles!   His zany tunes could be heard morning, noon and night on Capital - and they were all his own work. 
He had his own studio at his farm, tucked away in the Cotswolds, and it's there that this jingle maker extraordinaire came up with his seemingly endless ideas. 

Do you remember that silly little song he made that consisted of a lot of hellos?  Well, here's Kenny's explanation of how he made it. 
"First, you sidle up to the microphone, then you cue yourself by saying 'one, two three' and sing the first line of hellos into a tape machine.  Then you take a second tape machine and whilst singing a second set of hellos, you play back the first tape, so you end up with two voices singing in harmony.  Then you add a third voice in a different harmony until you end up with a whole bunch of harmonies that fit together quite nicely!" 

Kenny reckoned that the minimum you can get away with if you want to make his kind of jingles are two tape machines joined together by wire, a microphone and a turntable.  He once explained: "The sort of equipment I've got here is just a sophisticated version of the home equipment. The turntables are special big ones with motors like washing machines so that you can park the needle where you want and stop the record with the tip of your finger without anything terrible happening. When you want the music to start, you just let the record go."   

He had quite a few gadgets to help him with some of the weirder effects he achieved.  He once remarked:  'I've got an instant phasing machine which phases my voice and makes it go all psychedelic. And then there's this twiddly knob called a varispeed control, that speeds my voice up or slows it down depending on which way I twiddle it.  Then, of course, there's the echo chamber.  A very dangerous piece of equipment, that.  Many a good DJ has got lost in an echo chamber by turning it up too much. There's a chance that you might never come out...'

Kenny used a special set of effects for his Captain Kremmen adventures. "They're just silly sound effects that come up at the press of a button," he explained. "There's one monster sound that I didn't do, I think it was probably recorded at the zoo. Then there's a modern monster sound that reminds people of a belch. Which isn't surprising because that's exactly what it is! It happened when Tommy Vance and I were looning about in the studio. I felt a burp coming on, so I recorded it. I twiddled with the dials and put the tape machine into playback, so the sound reverberated."   Then there's that blood-curdling scream that is featured so often. 
"That was easy," said Kenny, "I just stuffed my wife in the oven!" 

The music Kenny used to introduce Captain Kremmen sounds like an original 78 record.  And again, that's not surprising, 'cos it is!   "It's called 'Women In Uniform'," said Kenny, "and it's all authentic stuff with real scratches and crackles. I think it was made in 1920."  And lastly, there's an even more blood-curdling scream that Kenny uses quite often. "Another easy one. I just took the wife out of the oven and stuffed her up the mains!"  So now you know!

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