New series charts the evolution of John Peel’s groundbreaking radio broadcasts





A lifelong champion of music outside the mainstream.

A new five-part BBC radio series is showcasing the development of legendary DJ John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show, which aired for nearly four decades.

Listen next: Stream 15 hours of rare and classic John Peel Sessions

Known for bringing attention to sounds outside of pop music, Peel began his career on pirate station London Radio which was based on a ship offshore, before the ship (and station) was shut down.

Peel then moved to the BBC’s Radio 1 in 1967 for its launch, spending the duration of his 40+ year career unearthing sounds from music’s underground scenes, before his unexpected death in 2004.

To celebrate his legacy, ahead of BBC Radio 1’s 50th birthday, DJ Mary-Anne Hobbs will be presenting the best of Peel’s shows, beginning with the 1970s, in a series called the Evolution of John Peel.

Hobbs is also presenting a five-part companion series alongside each show, which includes more of her own personal Peel highlights, starting with 1970s Revolution.

The Evolution of John Peel airs every Sunday at 13.00, with Hobbs’ companion show airing at 01.00 earlier that same day.

Head here to check out clips from Peel’s career and listen to the first few episodes.