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  Tommy Vance 

Last Interview and Personal  Tributes


Born in Oxford in 1941, Tommy's real name was Richard Hope-Weston; he adopted the 'stage name' Tommy Vance since the only name jingle package available at KHJ Los Angeles was for a presenter who never took the job, called 'Tommy Vance'. He took this DJ role in the early 1960's, and kept the name!



Tommy was expelled from school due to non-attendance and ran away to sea aged 16. His first employment was with the Merchant Navy in the catering division. With show business in his veins (Tommy's mother was a singer and dancer), he enrolled as a student at a Northern Ireland college, to become an actor/stage hand. Unhappy with his salary he moved to the USA to work in radio.

Tommy has said he was the first English D.J. to broadcast on any USA radio station, his first being on station KOL, where he was known as Rick West. He had to leave America because of the Vietnam  war. He suffered a huge drop in pay from 15,000 dollars a year to 18 pounds and 10s.

Joining Radio Caroline in 1966 for three months, he moved briefly to RTL Radio Luxembourg but went back to Caroline, then jumped ship to Radio London just a few weeks before it finally shut down in 1967 due to a new Government licensing law.

At Radio 1 in 1968, his first show was the cutting edge new music show Top Gear with John Peel, however when the show was shortened after a few months, Tommy was dropped. Briefly moving to European Radio, following some TV work, Tommy was heard on Capital Radio from 1973 until 1979.




Moving back to Radio 1 in 1978, this time for a much longer period of 15 years, Tommy presented the legendary Friday Rock Show until March 1993. Here he highlighted Heavy Rock bands from around the world, both old and new. At the same time he broadcast a daily drivetime slot on the BBC's London music station, GLR.

Tommy also fronted the Radio 1 Sunday Top 40 from 1982 - 1984. He regularly recorded special shows for BFBS broadcast around the world. He interviewed many thousands of personalities on radio, including Prince Charles.


1984 Photograph kindly sent by  Juergen Boernig from the Netherlands.  "I met Tommy Vance in BFBS London when he did the Top 20 show. He took us to lunch after the recording".



Following Radio 1 and GLR Tommy moved to Virgin Radio from its 1993 launch.

He is well known for his deep 'gravelly' voice which has been put to good use on numerous TV and radio advertisements over the last three decades, many produced by his own Silk Sounds studio.


Tommy's enthusiasm, love and knowledge for music and talented artistes of all genres shone through with every broadcast he made throughout his career.


Tommy was seen and heard on satellite channel VH1 at midnight on Fridays hosting, 'The Friday Rock Show' which was sadly axed March 2002.  From 2004, he was heard on London's DAB station Virgin Radio Classic Rock.


Tommy Vance passed away on Sunday 6th March 2005 following a stroke.

His funeral was held at a packed Golders Green, London crematorium on 15th March. Moving speeches were heard from Ex-BBC colleagues Richard Skinner, Tony Wilson (Tommy's Rock Show producer), Humphrey Walwyn (BBC World Service) and personal friend Softly. Actress Diane Weston, former partner of Tommy, read John Masefield's poem Sea Fever. Music played at Tommy's funeral included George Martin's Theme 1 (former Radio 1 theme) as well as music from Pink Floyd and Neil Young. Tommy is survived by his ex-wife Stella, a son and a daughter.


Last Interview and Personal  Tributes






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Audio BBC / BFBS

Early Clips

 NEW 31.12.67 with John Peel -Top Gear 160m

Top Gear trail  with J Peel (1968)

BBC 1 Programme Trail (1970)

Handover to Dave Cash (1970)

BBC Top 40

New Addition 10.01.82 Top 40  90m

New Addition 17.01.82 Top 40  91m 

New Addition 31.01.82 Top 40  91m

 Info on the Quo (Oct 1982)Dire Straits - Top 40 Sept 1982

NEW 26.12.82 Boxing Day edition (full show)

The following clips are taken from Tommy's

last regular Radio 1 Top 40 show 01.01.84

Opening the show

Top 20 countdown

God Bless


Tommy did present the chart of the year however

Intro clips 9 - 0 (4.5 mins)

Ending Chart of 1991 - Dec 1991 (0.5 mins)



British Forces Broadcasting Service

As well as the Top 40, Tommy hosted a two - hour chat show - BFBS UK five days a week 1976 - 1986; interviewing almost a thousand personalities a year.

Show with Kate Bush and Tea Tasting!  

BFBS UK Show 1986  (low quality)

Torsten from Celle, Germany wrote to Radio Rewind;

This is the last airing of the theme tune 'Face to face' (created by Austrian composer Gerhard Narholz) to 'Up Front' by Matt Bianco.
If I remember correctly, the show was broadcast Friday, March 28, 1986.

The last BFBS UK to be hosted by Tommy went out on April 3, 1987.  The show was then hosted by Richard Allinson. The shows coming directly from the UK nowadays are live - something that basically was not possible for a number of reasons in the good old days of Tommy hosting the show. How I miss those days - but thank God we still have BFBS Radio over here in Germany.




New Sunday Show_1991

Rock Show

NEW 18.11.83 Friday Rock Show
NEW 10.02.84 Friday Rock Show
02.03.84 Friday Rock Show
06.04.84 Friday Rock Show
07.12.84 Friday Rock Show

NEW 18.01.85 Friday Rock Show
11.02.85 Brit Awards ceremony
22.02.85 Friday Rock Show
17.05.85 Friday Rock Show
NEW 23.06.85 Friday Rock Show

TV on the Radio Jingle

1979 Rock Show Trailer mp31 min.

Red Nose Rock show Trailer   mp31 min.

Start of a Show 1984 mp332kbps 1.5 mins.

Night Rocking in 1989

UK Rock chart (Jun 1992) 64kbps  48kbps


Friday Rock Show & Rock On theme clips;

Take it off the Top by Dixie Dregs

Belgian Tom's Hat Trick - Whitesnake  


Rock Jingles from the Friday Rock Show

TV_Play That_Rock & Roll    32k

TV is On_Radio1    32k

Turn_Up the_Radio   32k

Radio 1 - Rock & Roll     32k

True_Rock & Roll     32k



Friday Rock Show Spotlight -1999


The following clips are all taken from a

classic 1991 edition of the Friday Rock Show.

Real Hot Rocker - Mettalica

Jingles, Concert info and Dare

New release from Faith No More

More Music Jingle - no chat !

Monsters of Rock Winners

Over to the News

Tomorrow is Cumbria Rock - plus US No.1 


1990's Trails

31 Days in May promotion

Radio 1 BBC Sports_trail_(1992)

Remember the 80s Commercial  


With Ronnie James Dio   32k


The following clips are taken from a 1992

Radio 1 production 25 Years of the Top 40. Tommy chats about his time presenting the show 1982 - 1984.

Describing the Vibe  1.5 min

More than just an intro  1 min



Recording a Voiceover


Gary Davies_voiceover    32k




See Also;  Last Interview and Personal  Tributes





Comments (1)

5/5 (1)
jj (hul) says...
whoever put this page up, thank you. Great memories
15th May 2016 9:20pm
Page 1 of 1

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