I've just heard the news that the venerable DJ, Alan 'Fluff' Freeman has passed away. One of the original BBC Radio One DJs, Fluff was best known for being the voice of the Top 30 or 40 (depending which year it was) 'countdown' where he was prone to using his well known catchphrases 'pop pickers' and 'not 'alf!'. Fluff's Sunday evening chart show was a must for all pop fans back in the 70's when the charts really meant something and a single had to sell around a million to reach number one.
If he is most famous for all things 'top 30' there was another, groovier side to Fluff. In the 70's, someone decided that it would be cool to give him his own 'rock' show on Saturday afternoons, where Fluff could play the stuff he really loved. So it would be that I would find myself glued to the radio on most Saturdays, come rain or shine, listening to the likes of ELP (his faves), Yes, Deep Purple, VdGG, Genesis and all sorts of other wonders for a whole three hours! A true education for a great-coated teenager back then. This was pretty revolutionary programming. The funny thing was, Freeman still did stints on the weekday 'housewives' afternoon slots where he would sneak in some real rockers. On a number of occasions I recall hearing the likes of Purple rocking the old dears to pieces. Well done, Fluff!
Fluff was also the true inspiration behind Harry Enfield's Dave Nice (I believe that's the Enfield one). Don't let anyone ever tell you it has anything to do with that prize creep, Simon Bates. RIP Fluff. Let's rock! Not 'alf!!