Tributes paid to Radio 1’s Derek Chinnery

The 4th controller of BBC Radio 1, Derek Chinnery, has died, his former colleagues are reporting on Twitter.

Johnny Beerling, who took over as Radio 1 Controller from him in 1985, said: “Sad to hear today of the death of the first Controller of Radio 1, Derek Chinnery, a very honest man who loved his job and his role in radio.”

Presenter Mike Read tweeted: “A very sad farewell to our great #RadioOne controller #DerekChinnery a principled leader who ran a tight ship with a kind heart.”

Charles Derek Chinnery was born on April 17th 1925 in London and joined the BBC in 1941 at the age of 16. From 1943 to 1947 he was in the RAF. He returned to the BBC in 1947, becoming a producer in 1952.

He took over from Charles McLelland and was well known for relaxing the guidelines on banned songs which allowed records to mention a commercial product, and also axed Sounds of the Seventies and Alan Freeman’s Saturday Rock Show.

Derek recently admitted that while he was controller he confronted Jimmy Savile over allegations of inappropriate sexual activities, which Saville denied. He said: “there was no reason to disbelieve Savile”. Derek took no further action, saying: “He was the sort of man that attracted rumours, after all, because he was single, he was always on the move, he was always going around the country.”

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