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The BBC World Service is the most widely available English-language radio service: in operation since 1932, it has been traditionally broadcast on shortwave, but also via FM and MW relays, internet streaming, podcasting and satellite. Some of the Tom Roche WS shows were recorded from C-Span Audio 2, a 24 hour retransmission in the US. John Peel's weekly half-hour programme for the service, of which an increasing amount of recorded material has been preserved, ran from 1976 until 2004 and enabled listeners in places as far apart as Israel and Nepal to hear his choice of music and droll humour.

The first show was broadcast in September 1976, and was described in that month's London Calling listing as "John Peel selects tracks from a newly released album and some singles from the progressive rock scene in London." The accompanying article said "Britain's leading rock music presenter, John Peel, makes his World Service debut this month with the start of a weekly show featuring albums newly-released in Britain and some of the current singles. Peel, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of pop, has started many of today's British performers on their road to success. His sympathies are wide-ranging from progressive rock to folk and jazz rock, from country to reggae." The new show was to be broadcast at 23:30 GMT on Saturdays, with repeats at 12:15 GMT Mondays and 08:30 GMT Wednesdays.

In the early 80's, according to "London Calling" of February 1982, the show was broadcast on Tuesday at 03:30, repeated Thursday at 08:30 and Friday at 14:30 GMT and was described as: "John Peel - selects tracks from a newly released albums and singles from the progressive rock scene in London." Another description can be heard in the announcement before October 1983 (BBC World Service) show: (Radio announcer): "Music next in the World Service, with John Peel, presenting samples of new music from the British rock scene".

By the mid 80's, the intial play of the show had reverted to Saturdays with repeats 08:30 Wed. From mid 1987 onwards foreign acts became a regular feature on the show. A documented occasion on which John Peel plays a record by an American band on the World Service, is the Late January 1987 (BBC World Service) show (a fragment), featuring Throwing Muses, although the first World Service show where Peel makes an announcement that he will be playing non-UK music is 28 February 1987 (BBC World Service)

By February 1988, according to "London Calling" of February 1988, the show was broadcast on Tuesday at 03:30, repeated Thursday at 08:30 and Friday at 13:30 GMT. But by November 1990, the show had reverted to Saturdays at 17:15, with repeats on Tuesday at 03:30 and Thursdays at 08:30, which was still the situation when the BBC Genome Project started listing the BBC World Service schedules in 1993. However the show was occasionally moved on Saturday due to sports programmes, such as in May 1991, and  from January to March 1994 when it was broadcast at 14:01. In April 1995 according to the BBC Genome project the broadcasts had changed to 03:30 and 14:30 on Mondays, 03:30 Tuesdays, 23:15 on Fridays. However the Tom Roche tapes prove that the BBC Genome listings are wrong in summer 1995, with Peel Shows broadcast at 18:30 on Sundays and 12:15 on Tuesdays.

Another significant change came in early 1990's, when John Peel broke the rule not to play anything on the World Service that was not a current release. Among the first acts to be featured with an old release was The Fall, as on the show from November 1991 (BBC World Service), with a track from the LP "Hex Enduction Hour" from 1982.

Because the World Service programmes were prerecorded, they lacked some typical features of the Radio 1 show, like the "wrong speed" moments or Peel playing a wrong track, although at least on one occasion he made the latter mistake, playing All About Eve by the Wedding Present, but announcing it twice as Getting Nowhere Fast.

Session recordings from his domestic programmes became an intermittent feature after the establishment of Strange Fruit in the latter half of the 1980s, but Ken Garner documents a play for the first Siouxsie & The Banshees set the same day that it went out on Radio 1, 06 February 1978. [1]

The BBC World Service 30 minute weekly shows continued until John's death. He had pre-recorded 3 World Service shows to be broadcast whilst he was in Peru (unlike his regular Radio 1 shows where he had celebrity guest DJs standing in for him), but in the week that he died, the World Service compiled and broadcast a Tribute Show instead.

The final 3 pre-recorded shows were then broadcast in November 2004 with the blessing of his family.

BBC World Service Calendars
1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004


Shows Available

1982

December 1982 (BBC World Service)


1983

October 1983 (BBC World Service)


1984

Late February 1984 (BBC World Service)
05 December 1984 (BBC World Service)
December 1984 (BBC World Service)


1985

04 January 1985 (BBC World Service)
14 January 1985 (BBC World Service)
08 April 1985 (BBC World Service)
Early June 1985 (BBC World Service)
26 August 1985 (BBC World Service)
28 October 1985 (BBC World Service)
03 December 1985 (BBC World Service)

1986

02 January 1986 (BBC World Service)
October 1986 (BBC World Service)(mixtape)


1987

Late January 1987 (BBC World Service)
Early February 1987 (BBC World Service)
February 1987 (BBC World Service)
28 February 1987 (BBC World Service)
05 March 1987 (BBC World Service)
23 March 1987 (BBC World Service)
March 1987 (BBC World Service)
Late April 1987 (BBC World Service)
May 1987 (BBC World Service)
June (No. 1) 1987 (BBC World Service)
June (No. 2) 1987 (BBC World Service)
June (No. 3) 1987 (BBC World Service)
16 July 1987 (BBC World Service)
July 1987 (BBC World Service)
August 1987 (BBC World Service)
August (No. 2) 1987 (BBC World Service)
August (No. 3) 1987 (BBC World Service)
Late Aug. - Early Sept. 1987 (BBC World Service)
24 September 1987 (BBC World Service)
September 1987 (BBC World Service)
15 October 1987 (BBC World Service)
22 October 1987 (BBC World Service)
29 October 1987 (BBC World Service)
03 November 1987 (BBC World Service) / 05 November 1987 (BBC World Service)
13 November 1987 (BBC World Service)
November 1987 (BBC World Service)
Early December 1987 (BBC World Service)
December 1987 (BBC World Service)
December (No. 2) 1987 (BBC World Service)

1988

14 January 1988 (BBC World Service)
21 March 1988 (BBC World Service)
27 June 1988 (BBC World Service)
July 1988 (BBC World Service)
August 1988 (BBC World Service)
27 September 1988 (BBC World Service)
17 October 1988 (BBC World Service)
November 1988 (BBC World Service)
November (No. 2) 1988 (BBC World Service)
November (No. 3) 1988 (BBC World Service)
05 December 1988 (BBC World Service)

1989

29 May 1989 (BBC World Service)
12 June 1989 (BBC World Service)
19 June 1989 (BBC World Service)
26 June 1989 (BBC World Service)
Early August 1989 (BBC World Service)
07 August 1989 (BBC World Service)
25 September 1989 (BBC World Service)
06 October 1989 (BBC World Service)
26 October 1989 (BBC World Service)

1990

January 1990 (BBC World Service)
Early March 1990 (BBC World Service)
05 November 1990 (BBC World Service)
December 1990 (BBC World Service)


1991

13 May 1991 (BBC World Service)
20 May 1991 (BBC World Service)
25 May 1991 (BBC World Service)
03 June 1991 (BBC World Service)
10 June 1991 (BBC World Service)
01 July 1991 (BBC World Service)
24 June 1991 (BBC World Service)
01 August 1991 (BBC World Service)
08 August 1991 (BBC World Service)
12 August 1991 (BBC World Service)
19 August 1991 (BBC World Service)
October 1991 (BBC World Service)
November 1991 (BBC World Service)


1992

20 January 1992 (BBC World Service)
March 1992 (BBC World Service)
28 March 1992 (BBC World Service)
29 June 1992 (BBC World Service)
September 1992 (BBC World Service)
05 October 1992 (BBC World Service)


1993

23 February 1993 (BBC World Service)
Early March 1993 (BBC World Service)
18 March 1993 (BBC World Service)
17 May 1993 (BBC World Service)
07 June 1993 (BBC World Service)
14 June 1993 (BBC World Service)
29 June 1993 (BBC World Service)
26 July 1993 (BBC World Service)
10 August 1993 (BBC World Service)
Peel's World Service Comp

1994

January 1994 (1) (BBC World Service)
January 1994 (2) (BBC World Service)
January 1994 (3) (BBC World Service)
January 1994 (4) (BBC World Service)
January 1994 (5) (BBC World Service)
February 1994 (1) (BBC World Service)
February 1994 (2) (BBC World Service)
February 1994 (3) (BBC World Service)
05 March 1994 (BBC World Service)
26 March 1994 (BBC World Service)
02 April 1994 (BBC World Service)
09 April 1994 (BBC World Service)
16 April 1994 (BBC World Service)
23 April 1994 (BBC World Service)
30 April 1994 (BBC World Service)
07 May 1994 (BBC World Service)
14 May 1994 (BBC World Service)
21 May 1994 (BBC World Service)
28 May 1994 (BBC World Service)
04 June 1994 (BBC World Service)
11 June 1994 (BBC World Service)
18 June 1994 (BBC World Service)
25 June 1994 (BBC World Service)
02 July 1994 (BBC World Service)
09 July 1994 (BBC World Service)
23 July 1994 (BBC World Service)
30 July 1994 (BBC World Service)
06 August 1994 (BBC World Service)
13 August 1994 (BBC World Service)
22 August 1994 (BBC World Service)
12 September 1994 (BBC World Service)
September 1994 (BBC World Service)
10 October 1994 (BBC World Service)
15 October 1994 (BBC World Service)
29 October 1994 (BBC World Service)
05 November 1994 (BBC World Service)
12 November 1994 (BBC World Service)
19 November 1994 (BBC World Service)
26 November 1994 (BBC World Service)
03 December 1994 (BBC World Service)
10 December 1994 (BBC World Service)
19 December 1994 (BBC World Service)
31 December 1994 (BBC World Service)

1995

07 January 1995 (BBC World Service)
14 January 1995 (BBC World Service)
28 January 1995 (BBC World Service)
04 February 1995 (BBC World Service)
11 February 1995 (BBC World Service)
18 February 1995 (BBC World Service)
25 February 1995 (BBC World Service)
04 March 1995 (BBC World Service)
11 March 1995 (BBC World Service)
18 March 1995 (BBC World Service)
25 March 1995 (BBC World Service)
01 April 1995 (BBC World Service)
24 April 1995 (BBC World Service)
08 May 1995 (BBC World Service)
14 May 1995 (BBC World Service)
19 June 1995 (BBC World Service)
10 July 1995 (BBC World Service)
23 July 1995 (BBC World Service)
07 August 1995 (BBC World Service)
14 August 1995 (BBC World Service)
20 August 1995 (BBC World Service)
28 August 1995 (BBC World Service)
18 September 1995 (BBC World Service)
03 December 1995 (BBC World Service)
18 December 1995 (BBC World Service)


1996

08 January 1996 (BBC World Service)
20 January 1996 (BBC World Service)
19 February 1996 (BBC World Service)
February 1996 (BBC World Service)
March 1996 (BBC World Service)
20 April 1996 (BBC World Service)
29 April 1996 (BBC World Service)
May 1996 (BBC World Service)
22 July 1996 (BBC World Service)
29 July 1996 (BBC World Service)
05 August 1996 (BBC World Service)
12 August 1996 (BBC World Service)
25 August 1996 (BBC World Service)
23 September 1996 (BBC World Service)
30 September 1996 (BBC World Service)
06 October 1996 (BBC World Service)
13 October 1996 (BBC World Service)
20 October 1996 (BBC World Service)
27 October 1996 (BBC World Service)
03 November 1996 (BBC World Service)
10 November 1996 (BBC World Service)
17 November 1996 (BBC World Service)
24 November 1996 (BBC World Service)
01 December 1996 (BBC World Service)
08 December 1996 (BBC World Service)
19 December 1996 (BBC World Service)
15 December 1996 (BBC World Service)
30 December 1996 (BBC World Service)

1997

04 January 1997 (BBC World Service)
11 January 1997 (BBC World Service)
18 January 1997 (BBC World Service)
25 January 1997 (BBC World Service)
04 February 1997 (BBC World Service)
08 February 1997 (BBC World Service)
15 February 1997 (BBC World Service)
10 March 1997 (BBC World Service)
17 March 1997 (BBC World Service)
10 July 1997 (BBC World Service)
17 July 1997 (BBC World Service)
24 July 1997 (BBC World Service)
15 August 1997 (BBC World Service)
04 September 1997 (BBC World Service)
11 September 1997 (BBC World Service)
17 October 1997 (BBC World Service)
31 October 1997 (BBC World Service)
November 1997 (BBC World Service)


1998

08 January 1998 (BBC World Service)
15 January 1998 (BBC World Service)
07 February 1998 (BBC World Service)
20 February 1998 (BBC World Service)
02 March 1998 (BBC World Service)
11 March 1998 (BBC World Service)
15 April 1998 (BBC World Service)
May 1998 (BBC World Service)
Early July 1998 (BBC World Service)
28 November 1998 (BBC World Service)
11 December 1998 (BBC World Service)


1999

09 April 1999 (BBC World Service)
April 1999 (BBC World Service)
02 July 1999 (BBC World Service)
05 July 1999 (BBC World Service)
20 August 1999 (BBC World Service)
12 October 1999 (BBC World Service)
19 October 1999 (BBC World Service)
02 November 1999 (BBC World Service)
17 November 1999 (BBC World Service)
24 November 1999 (BBC World Service)
28 November 1999 (BBC World Service)

2000

23 October 2000 (BBC World Service)
12 November 2000 (BBC World Service)
19 November 2000 (BBC World Service)


2001

07 January 2001 (BBC World Service)
14 January 2001 (BBC World Service)
21 January 2001 (BBC World Service)
28 January 2001 (BBC World Service)
04 February 2001 (BBC World Service)
11 February 2001 (BBC World Service)
18 February 2001 (BBC World Service)
25 February 2001 (BBC World Service)
04 March 2001 (BBC World Service)
08 April 2001 (BBC World Service)
15 April 2001 (BBC World Service)
22 April 2001 (BBC World Service)
29 April 2001 (BBC World Service)
06 May 2001 (BBC World Service)
13 May 2001 (BBC World Service)
20 May 2001 (BBC World Service)
27 May 2001 (BBC World Service)
03 June 2001 (BBC World Service)
10 June 2001 (BBC World Service)
17 June 2001 (BBC World Service)
24 June 2001 (BBC World Service)
01 July 2001 (BBC World Service)
30 September 2001 (BBC World Service)
17 October 2001 (BBC World Service)
24 October 2001 (BBC World Service)
05 November 2001 (BBC World Service)
14 November 2001 (BBC World Service)


2002

16 January 2002 (BBC World Service)
30 January 2002 (BBC World Service)
10 February 2002 (BBC World Service)
17 February 2002 (BBC World Service)
20 February 2002 (BBC World Service)
27 February 2002 (BBC World Service)
06 March 2002 (BBC World Service)
13 March 2002 (BBC World Service)
20 March 2002 (BBC World Service)
04 April 2002 (BBC World Service)
11 April 2002 (BBC World Service)
18 April 2002 (BBC World Service)
26 April 2002 (BBC World Service)
02 May 2002 (BBC World Service)
09 May 2002 (BBC World Service)
16 May 2002 (BBC World Service)
23 May 2002 (BBC World Service)
31 May 2002 (BBC World Service)
06 June 2002 (BBC World Service)
15 June 2002 (BBC World Service)
22 June 2002 (BBC World Service)
28 June 2002 (BBC World Service)
06 July 2002 (BBC World Service)
19 July 2002 (BBC World Service)
26 July 2002 (BBC World Service)
02 August 2002 (BBC World Service)
10 August 2002 (BBC World Service)
17 August 2002 (BBC World Service)
24 August 2002 (BBC World Service)
29 August 2002 (BBC World Service)
06 September 2002 (BBC World Service)
13 September 2002 (BBC World Service)
20 September 2002 (BBC World Service)
04 October 2002 (BBC World Service)
11 October 2002 (BBC World Service)
19 October 2002 (BBC World Service)
26 October 2002 (BBC World Service)
02 November 2002 (BBC World Service)
09 November 2002 (BBC World Service)
14 November 2002 (BBC World Service)
23 November 2002 (BBC World Service)
29 November 2002 (BBC World Service)
07 December 2002 (BBC World Service)
13 December 2002 (BBC World Service)
20 December 2002 (BBC World Service)
27 December 2002 (BBC World Service)


2003

03 January 2003 (BBC World Service)
10 January 2003 (BBC World Service)
16 January 2003 (BBC World Service)
24 January 2003 (BBC World Service)
31 January 2003 (BBC World Service)
07 February 2003 (BBC World Service)
14 February 2003 (BBC World Service)
21 February 2003 (BBC World Service)
28 February 2003 (BBC World Service)
06 March 2003 (BBC World Service)
15 March 2003 (BBC World Service)
26 April 2003 (BBC World Service)
02 May 2003 (BBC World Service)
09 May 2003 (BBC World Service)
16 May 2003 (BBC World Service)
23 May 2003 (BBC World Service)
30 May 2003 (BBC World Service)
06 June 2003 (BBC World Service)
13 June 2003 (BBC World Service)
20 June 2003 (BBC World Service)
27 June 2003 (BBC World Service)
04 July 2003 (BBC World Service)
11 July 2003 (BBC World Service)
19 July 2003 (BBC World Service)
25 July 2003 (BBC World Service)
02 August 2003 (BBC World Service)
08 August 2003 (BBC World Service)
15 August 2003 (BBC World Service)
23 August 2003 (BBC World Service)
30 August 2003 (BBC World Service)
05 September 2003 (BBC World Service)
12 September 2003 (BBC World Service)
19 September 2003 (BBC World Service)
26 September 2003 (BBC World Service)
04 October 2003 (BBC World Service)
11 October 2003 (BBC World Service)
18 October 2003 (BBC World Service)
25 October 2003 (BBC World Service)
01 November 2003 (BBC World Service)
07 November 2003 (BBC World Service)
15 November 2003 (BBC World Service)
22 November 2003 (BBC World Service)
29 November 2003 (BBC World Service)
05 December 2003 (BBC World Service)
12 December 2003 (BBC World Service)
19 December 2003 (BBC World Service)
26 December 2003 (BBC World Service)


2004

02 January 2004 (BBC World Service)
09 January 2004 (BBC World Service)
16 January 2004 (BBC World Service)
24 January 2004 (BBC World Service)
31 January 2004 (BBC World Service)
06 February 2004 (BBC World Service)
14 February 2004 (BBC World Service)
21 February 2004 (BBC World Service)
27 February 2004 (BBC World Service)
06 March 2004 (BBC World Service)
13 March 2004 (BBC World Service)
19 March 2004 (BBC World Service)
26 March 2004 (BBC World Service)
03 April 2004 (BBC World Service)
09 April 2004 (BBC World Service)
16 April 2004 (BBC World Service)
23 April 2004 (BBC World Service)
01 May 2004 (BBC World Service)
07 May 2004 (BBC World Service)
14 May 2004 (BBC World Service)
21 May 2004 (BBC World Service)
29 May 2004 (BBC World Service)
04 June 2004 (BBC World Service)
12 June 2004 (BBC World Service)
18 June 2004 (BBC World Service)
25 June 2004 (BBC World Service)
03 July 2004 (BBC World Service)
09 July 2004 (BBC World Service)
17 July 2004 (BBC World Service)
24 July 2004 (BBC World Service)
30 July 2004 (BBC World Service)
06 August 2004 (BBC World Service)
14 August 2004 (BBC World Service)
20 August 2004 (BBC World Service)
28 August 2004 (BBC World Service)
04 September 2004 (BBC World Service)
10 September 2004 (BBC World Service)
17 September 2004 (BBC World Service)
01 October 2004 (BBC World Service)
08 October 2004 (BBC World Service)
15 October 2004 (BBC World Service)
22 October 2004 (BBC World Service)
29 October 2004 (BBC World Service) (Tribute Show)
05 November 2004 (BBC World Service) (Posthumous Show #1)
12 November 2004 (BBC World Service) (Posthumous Show #2)
19 November 2004 (BBC World Service) (Posthumous Show #3)

References

  1. The Peel Sessions, BBC Books 2007, p. 219.

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