Interview: Dave Lee Travis

The veteran DJ on his TV likes and dislikes


You were all over the media thanks to last week’s RT. How’s it been for you?
My brain has been addled. I’m touched that Aung San Suu Kyi found my old World Service programme. That it helped her get through a dark place is a bizarre feeling, but wonderful.


And then the World Service got £2.2m from the Foreign Office. Together we’ve saved it!
Ha ha! I didn’t know that. But I don’t expect offers to be coming in, no. I’m contracted to Magic Gold Weekend and I’m more than happy. To know that somebody of such importance found solace in my programme is the real reward.

Which TV series would you take to a desert island?
The entire I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! I was asked to do it twice and refused. I don’t mind being made a fool of. But I didn’t want to go into a jungle and eat kangaroo balls. So I would take it to make me realise how much better off I was on my own.

What about Strictly?
I’ve just had an operation on my leg! But my wife Marianne and I watch it. It’s one celebrity programme where they’re not having the piss taken out of them.

If Marianne let you go for dinner with a female TV star, who would it be?
Ah, that wouldn’t apply, because I’m forever photographing women. I’m a fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photographers. I try to do unusual shots. Not weddings and funerals. I’m not available for hire, no.

Who would play you in a film?
Johnny Depp. He looks good in a beard, and he does a very good English accent. When he’s stopped doing Keith Richards, maybe he can do me.

Which TV star would you like to have a pint with?
Jim Broadbent. He’s fascinating because I have no idea personally what he’s like. I’d love to sit down with him and talk about real life.

What’s your favourite website?
I’m addicted to eBay. I bought a car. Well, I found it on eBay, but a purchase like that, you have to deal directly, see the car before you hand the money over. It’s a replica 1930s Bentley Blower. A beast. On a nice day, out she comes.

Have you ever Googled yourself?
Yes. I couldn’t believe how much crap there was. There was a joke magazine referring to me as a listed building. They were thinking of pulling me down and putting up 100 Simon Mayos. Very silly.

What’s your TV guilty pleasure?
It’s not a pleasure, but out of fascination I watch my old mate Noel Edmonds on Deal or No Deal. It’s a stupid programme. I watch it to see people’s greed. Noel’s done very well. But he should still be on guard, because I’m going to get him back for what he did to me.


The Noel’s House Party “Gotcha”, where he took over your radio quiz with stooges giving silly answers? In 1992?
Yes. He is going to get it big time. It’s not a grudge any more. It’s an urge within me. I don’t hate him – we’re friends, although I never see him. But I haven’t forgotten. He can do what he wants, but I’ll be right behind him. He can’t relax.