Celebrity spotting

Published February 25, 2011

Last week I spent a couple of days in London. While walking down Dean Street in Soho I happened to see a face I recognised, namely that of Mike Read, the one-time BBC Radio One DJ. For those interested in pop music history, Mike Read is perhaps best known for his involvement in banning Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'Relax' from the British airwaves.

This encounter - which really was nothing more than me passing him on the street - made me think two things: 1) Isn't it somehow strange that a Swedish person should recognise a British media personality that, to the best of my knowledge, has had absolutely no impact in my home-country? And 2) The reason I know so much about him is that I've been reading British music magazines for more than 30 years. It's scary to imagine how much knowledge I've amassed about people and institutions that have never really played any part in my everyday life. I probably know more about Radio One DJs than is really healthy for me, including the the fact that, apparently, you're not supposed to like Dave Lee Travis. And it's a good chance I would recognise him as well, should I ever happen to pass him on the street.