Pete Brady: From Radio One DJ to 4LEGS Community Radio

Pete Brady, radio and TV star from the 1960s and 1970s, now lives in Shefford Woodlands.

Pete’s first career of water skiing

Pete was born in Canada and developed a passion for radio in his teens but his father was posted to the Caribbean where Pete discovered a talent for water skiing when he lived in Jamaica. With a background of skiing on snow as a child in Canada he definitely had a knack.

Pete trick skiing in Ruislip where he learnt to ski in cold freshwater which is less buoyant than sea water, preparing for the World Championship in Vichy in 1962.

Being a Canadian he was allowed to ski for England and winter training was a literal shock to the system.


Pete slalom skiing in Cypress Gardens, Florida

Pete ski jumping in the UK, practicing in cold water conditions in preparation for international competitions.


When Pete retired from water skiing he decided to settle in London. Before Pete moved to the UK he had done some presenting for Radio Jamaica. But to this day he does not know why he got the call to work on the new Radio London pirate ship.


The mine sweeper Galaxy was brought over from America and converted to the Radio London Pirate station. The DJs lived for two weeks at a time and then had a week onshore.

The whole boat transmitted so it was actually quite hard to get aboard without getting a shock.

During this time Pete shared a flat with fellow DJ Kenny Everett in London.


After a couple of years on the pirate ship, Pete was ready for a change. His agent Buddy Lewis, encouraged him, like fellow DJ Simon Dee, to come ashore and he was offered a show on the BBC Light Show which became Radio 1 and Radio 2.

Here is the line up of DJs on the launch day of Radio 1 and Radio 2 in September 1967: Pete (‘three-badge’) Brady is second from the right in the back row.

Others among the all-male crew include Tony Blackburn, Jimmy Young, Kenny Everett, Bob Holness, Terry Wogan, Pete Murray, Ed Stewart and John Peel.

Pete in his Radio 1 studio from where he had a major six-day-a-week afternoon slot Monday to Saturdays. 

He played a varied mix of current pop and rock music, new releases as well as big band, jazz and instrumental music. 

The second half of the show was also carried on BBC Radio 2.


Pete’s success as a DJ set him up for a presenting role on the new Magpie children’s programme that competed with Blue Peter.


The original Magpie Team. Left to Right: Pete Brady, Susan Stranks, Tony Bastable

Pete with Paul McCartney and Mary Hopkin filming an episode of Magpie.

This episode was shot at Apple Music on Saville Row – McCartney had written Those Were the Days sung by Mary Hopkin.



Life After Magpie

The celebrity life of a TV star wore thin for Pete after a few years. Deciding his privacy was important to him, he quit the BBC and started producing commercials and events for big clients such as Rover and Rolls Royce.


Cavalcade at Blenheim Palace of almost every Rolls-Royce model made.

Launch of the Rover 700 at the NEC in Birmingham

Pete with fellow DJ Johnnie Walker during the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Radio 1 & 2. 

Luckily for us, Pete never lost his love for radio and is delighted to present the breakfast show for 4LEGS Community Radio which is based near where he lives in Shefford Woodlands.



Interviews with Pete

For lots more of Pete’s stories, listen to us interviewing him here:

15 March – from 19 mins 30 sec 

26 April – from 24 mins 45 sec

3 May – from 27 mins 05 sec

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