Peter ("Pete") Murray
OBE, (born 19 September
1925) is a British radio and
television presenter and a stage and screen actor.
broadcasting career spanned over 50 years.
Murray was born in London, Britain in 1925 and attended St Paul's
He first joined the English service of Radio Luxembourg
in 1949 or 1950
as one of its resident announcers in the Grand Duchy, and remained
there until 1956. Back in London, and now calling himself "Pete"
rather than "Peter", he continued to be heard frequently on Radio
Luxembourg for many years, introducing pre-recorded sponsored
programmes. He also presented popular music on the BBC Light Programme
, notably in Pete
from 1958 to 1961, and hosted one of BBC Television
's earliest pop music
programmes, the skiffle-based Six-Five Special
regular presenters were Jo Douglas
. He was a regular
panellist on the same channel's Juke
(1959–1967). He was the "guest DJ" on several
editions of ABC-TV's Thank Your Lucky
He was among the first regular presenters of Top of the Pops
when it began in
Murray hosted the UK heat of the Eurovision Song Contest
in 1959 and
provided the UK commentary for the contest itself in 1975 and 1977.
He was an occasional compère of variety shows at the London
Murray was one of the original BBC Radio
disc-jockeys when that station started in 1967. By 1969 he
was one of the mainstays of BBC Radio 2
where for over ten years he anchored the two-hour magazine show
five days a week, heard by 5.5 million
listeners. On one April the first he pretended that the show was
being televised. In 1973, and again in 1976, he was voted BBC
Radio Personality of the Year
In 1980, Radio 2 moved Pete Murray from weekday to weekend
programming. In 1981 he began a move into more serious, speech-only
radio with a stint as presenter of Midweek
on BBC Radio 4
In 1984 he
started afresh as a presenter for LBC, a local
talk radio station in London.
later won the Variety Club
of Great Britain
award for this show. He introduced his last
programme there on 22 December 2002, and has not broadcast
regularly since. In August 2008, however, he returned as a
presenter on an internet-only station, UK
Pete Murray was also an actor. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
and is a RADA Gold Medallist. On the London stage he starred in the
(1962). In 1968 he appeared in a
short-lived British sitcom
, opposite Bernard
and Irene Handl
. He had
roles in several films, sometimes as "himself". He also appeared in
pantomime, and guested on innumerable radio and TV panel games. In
1984 and 1985 he was a team captain on the ITV
panel game Vintage Quiz
In politics, Murray came out as a Conservative Party supporter in
1983. He is a lifelong teetotaller. He once broke down on live television
after his son, Michael Murray James, who had been a pupil at
Wycliffe College , also an actor, committed suicide at age 27, and
afterwards he gave talks on coping with family
He courted controversy in 1983 when he appeared as a guest
newspaper reviewer on the BBC TV
morning magazine show Breakfast Time
when he encouraged viewers to "Vote Conservative" at the upcoming
election. At the end of 1983 the BBC controversially cancelled his
radio shows, describing his style of broadcasting as too
old-fashioned. Murray himself blamed his outspoken support of the
Conservative party as the reason behind his dismissal.
(With Jeremy Hornsby) One day I'll forget my trousers
(autobiography), London, 1975. ISBN 0903925311
- 1928 according to some sources, but the earlier date is more
- "Three leaving cast of Six-Five Special", The Times,
London, 26 March 1958.
- BBC Annual Report, noted in The Times, London, 13
- The Times, London, 1 January 1973; The Times,
London, 20 April 1976.
- Media Network blog
- "Better Without the Lyrics: Play Disappoints as a Musical",
The Times, London, 9 March 1962.
- "Disc Jockey in BBC1 Comedy Series", The Times,
London, 6 February 1968.
- "Thespians show their colours", The Times, London, 23
- "A suicide in the family", The Times, London, 1 June
- "Pete Murray is dropped from BBC shows", The Times,
London, 18 October 1983.