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Roadshow; Later Years


Roadshow The Early Years

Later Years


Alan Freeman looks forward to the first show.

The idea of the Roadshow came from former Radio 1 controller Johnny Beerling. He felt that because Radio 1 was a national station it was often perceived by the UK wide audience as 'down there' or 'up there' in London. A natural successor to the Radio 1 Club, the Roadshow continued to give the opportunity for the station's DJ's to meet the audience.


The first was at Newquay, Cornwall on Monday July 23rd 1973 at 5pm, hosted by Alan Freeman, using a caravan built and hired by brothers John & Tony Miles. The show visited 45 venues each year, attracting thousands of people to make day-trips to coastal spots across Britain to see the station's DJ's and pop stars of the day. Some holiday-makers planned their breaks around the roadshow timetable.



First show, Newquay 1973.

Original trailers as used until 1976.


Original Roadshow crew; Johnny Beerling standing on the left and Alan Freeman behind the desk. - Click to enlarge.

nb - is that Pete Tong on the right !!


The Roadshow also visited inland destinations such as Mallory Park for race events and Longleat. A 'Goodie Mobile' accompanied each Roadshow selling Radio 1 mugs, stickers, t-shirts, hats, posters  and pens. The DJ's often made themselves available for autograph signings on the day. Fun games were invented, including 'Bits and Pieces', 'The Mileage Game'. Many shows included guest appearances by performing pop groups.

Noel Edmonds said in an interview that "the Roadshow was more like a holiday than work, and BBC bosses should provide tuition on dealing with hangovers!"


Early Roadshow caravan towed

by Range Rover (1975)

- Click to enlarge

 Roadshow poster (1975)

Smiley Miley from Bristol began as a roadshow driver and salesman and became tour manager. He invented the long running Mileage Game, where members of the audience guessed how far the team had travelled between venues.

Tony Blackburn 1976


1975 Roadshow at Steyne Gardens,

Worthing with Emperor Rosko.

- Click to enlarge

1977 Handbill for same venue

- Click to enlarge


STEYNE GARDENS, WORTHING, SUMMER 1979 (click to enlarge)

Goodie Mobile and Stage (background) arriving at Steyne Gardens, Worthing, 1979


Is this a good place

Parked and ready to set up

Stage kitted out

Cans at rest

Star of today's show - it's

Paul Burnett


Control desk - mixers, clock, jingles and carts

- plus records of course

She wants me to sign her what







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Audio BBC



1970's Roadshow Jingles

On the Road

Here in your Town

Around the Coast

Follow the Sun

Holiday Time

Roadshow Bed

Mileage Time

Bits & Pieces

The Right Sound

Biggest & Best



See also on Radio Rewind...

Fun Days

Roadshow; Later Years





Weeks Out


Comments (1)

0/5 (0)
Gareth Williams (Merthyr Tydfil) says...
During the 1970's, I used to love my yearly trips to see the Radio 1 roadshow. They were always fun occasions and they were great opportunities to see the presenters who kept us entertained throughout the year!! I believe the Radio 1 dj's loved their week on the road as it gave them a chance to get away from their London base. In 1973, my first visit to a roadshow was in Aberystwyth with DLT. That was followed days later when the roadshow, hosted by Rosko, made I believe its only visit ... Read More
10th January 2016 7:25pm
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