Stevenage shed radio DJ broadcasts in BBC local radio slot
A DJ whose shed-based radio station was only ever heard by his wife has said it was "an absolute pleasure" to expand his audience after 44 years.
Deke Duncan, 73, was the subject of a 1970s BBC Nationwide television report from his home in Stevenage.
He was tracked down by BBC Three Counties Radio and broadcast a one-hour special on the station on Monday night.
Opening the show he said his aim was to "put a grin on your chin" and a "smile on your radio dial".
"Welcome to the big wide world of Deke Duncan," he said.
"Uncle Deke is in the air chair… and a mountain of music is guaranteed."
Duncan started playing records from his back garden in Stevenage, Hertfordshire in 1974.
He said his interest in radio was sparked by pirate station Radio Caroline, which broadcast from a ship off the coast of Essex in the 1960s.
He set up Radio 77 – named after a job-lot of second hand jingles bought from a US station of the same name.
But with no licence, the station could only be beamed through a speaker in his living room to wife Teresa.
He presented non-stop weekend slots on the station with friends Richard St John and Clive Christie and made regular references on air to the fact he was broadcasting from – and to – 57 Gonville Crescent.
The Nationwide report was recently tweeted by BBC Archive and BBC Three Counties Radio broadcaster Justin Dealey tracked him down to Stockport, Greater Manchester, where he still broadcasts Radio 77 to just his wife. The station then offered him the one-hour special.
Skip Twitter post by @BBCArchive
#OnThisDay 1974: "The station's entire audience has decided to go down the shops" Radio 77 held the dubious distinction of broadcasting to the smallest audience in the country. pic.twitter.com/xkUZnfAPpR
— BBC Archive (@BBCArchive) October 9, 2018
End of Twitter post by @BBCArchive
Duncan said he wanted to show his "appreciation" for Dealey on the show for giving him "this opportunity to do what I'm doing right now" and he was "very, very grateful".
In 1974 he had said his "ultimate ambition" was to broadcast to the rest of Stevenage and the New Year's Eve show did not only got out to Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire on radio, but can also be heard via this link.
His story has been in many newspapers and television including BBC Breakfast and ITV's This Morning.
Mr Duncan described the media furore surrounding his re-discovery as a "whirlwind" but he was "loving it".
Skip Twitter post by @BBC3CR
The DJ everyone's been talking about this year finally has his own show ??
Deke Duncan will be broadcasting to "the whole of Stevenage"! Listen to the show from 31 December – https://t.co/JDX18BONz7 pic.twitter.com/GdVvj5Ynm5
— BBC Three Counties (@BBC3CR) December 27, 2018
End of Twitter post by @BBC3CR
Skip Twitter post 2 by @BBC3CR
Back in 1974, Deke Duncan ran a radio studio in his garden shed which broadcast to just one person – his wife. His lifelong ambition was to broadcast to the whole of Stevenage ?
This morning he co-presented a show with @justindealey and there was a very special surprise… pic.twitter.com/PGVWLhuN2k
— BBC Three Counties (@BBC3CR) November 18, 2018
End of Twitter post 2 by @BBC3CR