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Sheila Ravenscroft

Sheila Mary Ravenscroft (née Gilhooly; born 27 October 1948) is of Irish Catholic descent, and was born in Bradford, Yorkshire. She was married to John Peel from 1974 until his sudden death in 2004. Before meeting Peel, Sheila was training to be a chemistry school teacher until she met him at a television studio in 1968, where he was presenting a TV show called How It Is. Peel explains in more detail about how he met her in a BBC interview called Interview: On Meeting Sheila.

Marriage To Peel

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Peel's wedding invitation

Sheila was often referred to as "The Pig" by Peel, due to her characteristic laugh. They had four children: William Ravenscroft (born 1976), Alexandra Ravenscroft (born 1978; known as Danda), Tom Ravenscroft (born 1980) and Florence Ravenscroft (born 1982; known as Flossie), plus one grandchild called Archie in 2003 from Alexandra and her partner Ashley. Peel and Sheila lived in London when they first met, and later on decided to move to the countryside in Great Finborough, Suffolk, where they lived in a house affectionately called Peel Acres (a name JP had given to anywhere he lived since the 1960s).

In 1996, whilst at the Isle Of Man TT Races with fellow DJ Andy Kershaw, Peel learned that Sheila had suffered a brain haemorrhage and immediately went back to Peel Acres to visit her at hospital. Although Sheila appeared to have made a complete recovery, John was understandably shaken.[1] The following year, she suffered a relapse for some time in which her eyesight began to deteriorate and she became virtually colour-blind: this led to her being unable to drive. [2]

Peel Acres

During their time living at Peel Acres, Sheila decided to be a housewife and often organised trips abroad for young people and took part in the village community's activities (for example, she is a member of the local operatic society) [3]. John also got Sheila involved in his BBC Radio One shows at Peel Acres, especially the Pig's Big 78, where Sheila would announce an old 78 rpm vinyl record before it was played (this segment became so popular among listeners that one suggested she should make it into a roadshow).

After Peel's Death

Since Peel's death in 2004, Sheila has been involved with the John Peel Centre for Creative Arts in Stowmarket, Suffolk, where there is a place for young people to get involved in theatre, arts and music. She's also involved with the Space project, where they aim to record John Peel's Record Collection on their virtual online museum website. Plus she enjoys choir singing and looking after her grandchildren who take up the rest of her time. [4]

In November 2015 Sheila Ravenscroft took part in the BBC Radio series Inheritance Tracks, in which guests select two pieces of music which are important to them; she chose 'Panis Angelicus' by César Franck and 'You Little Thief' by Feargal Sharkey [5].

Mentioned In Shows

1971
  • 14 December 1971: Peel mentions that Marmalade make good singles and a nice LP and says that their single Cousin Norman was his all time best single which he admitted to sing along with the pig in his flat.
1975
  • 19 December 1975: Peel sends a personal message to Liverpool FC, asking them to get to the top of the first division before Sheila can give birth to their first child (she has been "holding on to it for about a week.") His team obliged by beating QPR 2-0 at Anfield the following day.
1976
  • 28 December 1976: FF #26 Deep Purple, 'Child In Time (LP–Deep Purple In Rock)' (Harvest) (JP: 'Wake up Pig, it's time to go home....Not sure how that got in there, but it did.')
1978
1979
  • 24 July 1979: Jackson Browne track dedicated to Sheila, as it’s a favourite of hers and she hasn’t been feeling well.
  • 26 November 1979: Plug for the Festive 50, read by the Pig.
  • 10 December 1979: JP: "Actually, the Pig and I met Esther Rantzen once. Very early one Monday morning when she was doing 'Start The Week'. She was breathtakingly rude to both of us. Been a favourite of ours ever since."
1980
  • 08 January 1980: JP: "This next one's for The Pig... currently expecting child 'C' at the end of the month. Very exciting, very tense you know... will it be Dalglish? You'll just have to wait and see." Madness: My Girl (7" single) Stiff Records
  • 16 July 1980: Peel has a reply to his question about whether any bands come from Shipley (the home of The Pig) in the form of a letter from a band called Heaven Seventeen "..best of good fortune to them.." This would not have been THE Heaven 17 who were from Sheffield and formed in late 1980/early 1981 after The Human League split. The name was first used by Anthony Burgess in his novel "A Clockwork Orange" as the name of a fictitious pop group.
  • 27 October 1980: As a birthday treat, Peel had taken Sheila to Anfield over the weekend to watch Liverpool v Arsenal. Afterwards they had met Kenny Dalglish.
1981
  • 09 March 1981: (JP: 'I had to leave home earlier this evening drive away from the mountain fastness of Peel Acres with the flood waters lapping at the door but this is the price you have to pay if you are in show business… so this is for the pig who is stuck there probably by now the flood waters are up to the second storey.')
  • Peel's Pleasures (05 September 1981): Forest: Graveyard ("the only band who lived with, and off, myself and the Pig that I actually liked") (LP: Full Circle, Harvest)
1982
  • 23 February 1982: Peel reveals he and Walters shared a table at a TV event with "one of my favourite bands" - and he gave the singer a kiss and a cuddle (after asking permission). Says he felt like her dad. Later says that Sheila has just called him a "silly cow" on the phone - the reason is not explained.
  • 14 October 1982 (TOTP): On his radio show that night John Peel announced of that evening's appearance "If you were watching Top Of The Pops, the Pig chose that jumper for me. I thought I looked kinda cuddly myself, but er, I won't take a vote on it."
  • 30 November 1982: A Flock Of Seagulls: Talking (7") Cocteau Twins (JP: "How well I remember when the Pig and I, and indeed Bill Nelson, saw them playing at a pub outside Leeds somewhere. These days of course they play at football stadiums in America full of dreadful people who yelp and howl as the bands play and light matches and things when they finish...")
1983
  • 16 February 1983 (BFBS): Peel reveals that Sheila does not like the Alan Vega track, which he agrees with.
  • 22 August 1983: Peel mentions that the Pig rang up to say that he was in a children's comic called the Bunty.
  • 13 September 1983: JP: "The Pig always really rather dreads our winning the pools, which is unlikely to happen. We've budgeted for it already, of course. But she knows perfectly well that if we did win I should spend most of the money on recording bands. I mean, I'd really like to have a record by 3D, I must say."
1984
  • 03 April 1984: Peel mentions taking photos of the Pig with road signs next to her.
  • 17 December 1984: (JP: 'This is for the Pig, one of our all-time favourite records.') Keith Hudson: Nuh Skin Up (format?) Greensleeves Records
1985
  • 19 March 1985: Peel mentions that Punch magazine wanted to ring the Pig to do a piece on scruffy husbands, which he said 'boasted my morale you could imagine'.
  • 08 May 1985(JP: 'There is a town in Holland you know called Monster, I went there once with the Pig and took photographs of her standing by the sign, which said Monster or Welcome To Monster or something like that. You know when the photographs came back, there was nothing on them, makes you wonder doesn't it')
  • Peel 012 (BFBS): The Hive come from Shipley, which John reminds us was where Sheila was born
  • 06 August 1985: Peel asked the Pig what an Abecedarian is, while the Frankie Paul track was playing. Abecedarian turns out to mean "arranged alphabetically".
  • 19 August 1985: Peel dedicates a record to the Pig by playing Dancing In The Streets by Mick Jagger and David Bowie.
  • 16 September 1985: Peel dedicates a Geater Davis record for "Mrs Ravenscroft hopefully listening in bed."
1986
  • 11 March 1986: Peel dedicates a record to the Pig by Jackson Browne called In The Shape Of A Heart.
  • 17 March 1986: It's not just Liverpool who were celebrating a win, as Peel reveals: "The Pig won the Pools last week. A great deal of excitement, because we went out shopping on Friday morning, doing the grocery shopping in Ipswich, and when we got back the mail had arrived and there was a Littlewoods envelope lying there on top, which fortunately I didn't see first because I would have dropped dead if I had done. She tore it open with trembling fingers and... £32.10. But on the other hand, it's a start isn't it?"
  • 22 April 1986: (JP: 'And the last record for tonight's programme and this one is for the Pig)' Frank Sinatra: My Funny Valentine
  • 23 June 1986: (JP: 'This is a particular favourite of mine and this is for Mrs Ravenscroft, Paul Revere And The Raiders') Paul Revere And The Raiders: Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be?
1987
  • 23 February 1987: JP: "At our house we have a new favourite record. It's not a new one at all, actually, it's old, but it's been growing on us over a long period of time and now we can't get through the day without hearing it several times. In fact the Pig sings it and rather well without knowing the words at all. Here it is." Bhundu Boys: Hupenyu Hwangu (LP - Shabini) Discafrique
  • 19 October 1987: JP: "The excellent Big Black of course from the LP with the title I can't give out on the radio, that's The Power Of Independent Trucking and almost did actually and where are we, let's see, in one week and three minutes time, it will be the Pig's birthday and I propose nothing at all, here's a rather beautiful record for her, should she be listening, from the Five Keys, this Is Close Your Eyes. I particularly like the bit where they say take a deep breath and go 'haa', anyway you see what I mean, Close Your Eyes"
  • 02 November 1987: JP: "Before going off to do my gig last Saturday, it was a bit embarrassing because the records that I use for these occasions, beautifully chosen as you might imagine, were left in somebody else's house, for reasons a bit too complicated to go into here and not particularly important anyway, and the people who own the house went away for the day and obviously they didn't tell us because they didn't know I needed the records. So eventually, just before leaving, they hadn't come back and we had to break into the house. This is the pig, and the pig's sister and myself. Effect a burglarious entry as they used to say at one time - probably still do in certain circles. So this is for Ray and Barry with my apologies."
1988
  • 04 March 1988 (BFBS): Date of show deduced as it appears to be in the wake of John's Russian trip and his first ever dance with Sheila.
  • 30 May 1988: Peel refers to an extraordinary gig the previous Friday in Ipswich by Extreme Noise Terror as a new force of nature, at which the audience (including the Pig) stood open-mouthed in awe.
  • 15 June 1988: (JP: ...That sounds terrifically like Those Were The Days immortalised by Mary Hopkins on a television programme actually the first public performance, the very one I saw the Pig the very first time as a member of the studio audience, I won't go into all of that. And of course they are one presumes one of the same, but this is a tradition number of Ukrainian origins. So you may think this one sounds awfully like Watermelon Man.)
  • 28 June 1988: (JP: 'And to end tonight's programme, here's one for the pig') Leonard Cohen: Sisters Of Mercy (LP – Songs Of Leonard Cohen) CBS
  • 11 July 1988: Peel mentions that it is John Walters birthday today and he and the Pig sang 'Happy Birthday' to him over the phone.
1989
  • 14 February 1989: Peel dedicates FSK's My Funny Valentine record to the Pig.
  • 10 August 1989: John tells of Sheila's parents' car accident.
  • Peel 117 (BFBS): Sheila organises Peel's birthday party at Peel Acres.
  • 24 December 1989 (BBC Radio East Anglia): Microdisney, 'Town To Town (LP-The Peel Sessions Album)' (Strange Fruit) (JP: 'Still sounds like great stuff to me.') (He then plays two records for the Pig, the second because 'David Gedge is so lovely'.) Jordan Chataika with Edina and Molly, 'Ndawana Shamwari (7 inch)' Zim. Wedding Present, 'Kennedy (LP-Bizarro)' (RCA)
  • 28 December 1989: (JP: 'It's quite interesting, the top three, because normally what happens in previous years is that one track sort of sets off at a cracking pace from the start and just disappears out of sight. By and large, this has been the case, anyway. But this year, and bearing in mind that I award three points for yer number one, two points for your number two, and one point for your third choice, if two more people had voted for 'Debaser' as their favourite track of the year, then it would have been top. In other words, what I'm saying is that six points covered the top three records. Incidentally, this was the first year that the Pig ever voted in the Festive Fifty, and this was her number one, and your number two.') Wedding Present: 'Kennedy (LP-Bizarro)' (RCA)
1990
  • 24 January 1990: Peel mentions Mischa, a Russian man, who he and the Pig met in Moscow, Russia in 1988, will be coming to Peel Acres this weekend. In honour of him, Peel plays a track called 'The Russians Are Coming' by Val Bennett.
  • 07 October 1990: The Little Richard track Send Me Some Lovin' is played for the Pig, and prompts some nostalgic musing.
  • 13 October 1990: Peel talks about the Pig seeing a band from Cameroon playing in Cambridge and provides dates for their shows in the UK
1991
  • 02 June 1991: JP tells us he has just phoned home to his wife Sheila to see if she is OK and Florence answers, JP asks if her mum is in and Florence replies "she's not here, Good Night!" JP presses for further information, where is she, and the reply is "she's gone to the Wedding Present gig, Good Night". JP said what's going on you should be in bed, and the reply is another "Good Night!".
  • 22 July 1991 (Radio Bremen): (Peel talks about his forthcoming trip with the BBC World Service to Bulgaria with Sheila and William and makes some amusing comments on what he expects it would be like.)
  • 27 July 1991: Peel mentions that he and Sheila had recently been for a pub lunch wearing Top (the band) T-shirts.
  • 26 October 1991: (JP: 'Terry also points out in his letter, "Jacko the mindermast" (shouldn't that be mastermind?) "behind Stiff Records had an interesting Dandelion single the other day: Bill Oddie performing On Ilkley Moor Baht'At in the manner of Joe Cocker, and yourself on the B side singing Hare Krishna." He says, "We think it's time you gave it an airing on the show. Don't be shy." No chance Terry, and I suspect that I own all of the copies apart from the one that you found. Also featuring on that particular recording was John Walters, and indeed the Pig.')
  • 03 November 1991: (JP list of artistes upcoming on this programme is cut off by the Pig's "get on with it" to which he caves in - 'Oh alright then')
  • 24 November 1991: (JP: 'But first, a dramatic announcement about this year's Festive Fifty. For those of you who've been students of these things, the Festive Fifty is something I've been doing for about, ooh, ten or twelve years now, I forget when the first one was, but it reached its peak, I suppose, around the time of the Sex Pistols and Anarchy In The U.K.. I'm just guessing, cos I never counted the cards (who in their right mind would?), but I suppose there was something in the order of eight, ten, twelve thousand cards that people sent in on those occasions. Since then, it's kind of gone off: year after year there have been slightly fewer. Amongst others, the Pig, my wife has always, in the last two or three years, "Why do you go on doing it?," it has become a bit of a bind, really, and whenever I suggest not doing it, people write, phone in saying, "You must, you must, we rely on it over Christmas and the New Year to keep us entertained," and so forth. Well, this year, I'll be brutally honest with you (not the sort of thing I should tell you really, because I'm supposed to only give you positive messages), but I counted up the number of entries I've had so far this year, and bear in mind that this is the last week of November, and I've been nagging away on the air for the whole month, in the past week we got 23 entries and now have a total of 97. Well, even if we doubled that next week, it still would be fairly farcical, I think, because any record that got more than one vote or more than one point would almost certainly be in the Festive Fifty, so I felt really, in view of this massive indifference to the entire process (and I can understand how it comes about: people get bored with charts and so forth), it seems sort of something that's had its day really, so I though it more sensible to press the abort button on the entire project. So if you were thinking of sitting down and writing your three favourite tracks of the year this year and sending them in to me, don't bother. We'll think of something else to do, I think. In fact, Pinky and myself were sitting down this afternoon to work out what we would do, and we'll go and put out some of the best sessions of the year and so forth over Christmas and the New Year, but no Festive 50.')
1992
  • 15 February 1992: John plays the FSK track My Funny Valentine as a belated Valentine's Day present for the Pig.
  • 02 May 1992: (JP: 'I was just hearing actually on the phone of jubilation at Portman Road, Ipswich, this afternoon - last match of the season, of course. Elements of my family were there, Sheila, my wife, and our Tom were there and took part in a pitch invasion which I think nobody seemed to object to... Pretty exciting stuff. I wish I'd been there myself to be perfectly honest.')
  • 08 May 1992: (JP: ‘Earl Bostic, from lots of different places but particularly in my case from the first 'jazz' 78 that I ever bought. I've probably told you a thousand times the story of taking it to the jazz club at my school. I was telling the Pig this afternoon at home and she's obviously heard the story like a hundred times but very patiently standing there listening to it, "yes. Ooh! Is that what happened? Well, well, well." I took it in there and I was really proud of myself because I thought, it's a great record and they're bound to like it. And I put it on and it was all these rather superior sixth formers who are now like Lords Lieutenants of counties and things like that and High Court judges and so on, and they just kind of sneered at it and as I was telling her this afternoon my eyes filled with hot tears once again remembering the humiliation of it all. I was about sixteen at the time’)
  • 23 May 1992: Wedding Present: Let’s Make Some Plans (7 inch - California) RCA (JP: 'Chart bound sounds or I'm a Dutchman and if the Pig's still listening I'm sure that will have cheered her up slightly.')
  • 06 June 1992: (JP: 'During the week, I was having a chat with Sheila, me wife, and we were talking about, we don't often talk about records, curiously enough, but we were on this occasion, and were discussing which record had the best ending to it, and I nominated this.'). Stiff Little Fingers: 'Suspect Device (7 inch)' (Rigid Digits) (JP: 'The Pig, on the other hand, suggested this.'). Roxy Music: 'Virginia Plain (7 inch)' (Island)
  • 25 July 1992: (JP: ‘I don’t know what that [Aruca] means. Whenever I don’t know what things mean they’re usually references from some book I should have read or they’re kinds of lubricants to be used below the waist. I think I’ll shall say no more about that. This next one is for the Pig, and it’s a particular favourite from 1975.’) Robert Wyatt: Yesterday Man (Various Artists LP – V) Virgin
1993
  • Peel Out In The States (Program 07): (JP: 'Well, I just hope this station has been playing that loads....In our house, we love them with a real physical love, and in a couple of nights' time, we're all going into town, that's Sheila and myself and our four children to see Mark E. Smith being a DJ, and then a few days after that we're going to Cambridge to see the band play. You can't get much better than that, I think.')
  • 01 January 1993: (JP: 'I was just thinking, you know, while that was playing, there's nobody in all of my life apart from the Pig, who's given me as much pleasure as Mark E. Smith over the years.')
  • 26 February 1993: (JP: 'I was listening to hot new records this morning as I was putting this programme together, and this one produced a bead of sweat on my upper lip and the Pig said that she liked it as well.') Dambuilders: 'Shrine ' (7") spinArt
  • 26 March 1993: (JP: "And last Sunday night it was that Andy Kershaw and myself and a gang of other people including the Pig went along to Subterrania to see Diblo Dibala and Matchatcha... If I was to make a list of the ten best gigs that I have ever been to in my entire life, that would most assuredly be amongst them.")
  • 23 April 1993: (JP: ‘...during the week I was waiting outside a school in Ipswich for the Pig to finish her weekly French lesson. And this car came in, one of those kind of executive model Fords. Swept straight into the only disabled parking space, that there was immediately outside the school. And this perfectly able bodied family got out. And they were the kind of people you thought. I bet you never for a moment, a single one of you, have ever been plagued by self doubt. I mean presumably father, mother, and a rather loathsome looking ten year old child. (Ten, eleven that sort of age). You thought I know what you’re going to be like when you’re about nineteen or twenty. I mean a real monster and real horrendous child. I wished I was the kind of person to have the courage while they were in the school, and they didn’t come out while I was there, to go up and like urinate in the petrol tank of the car. In fact I’ll give you the number and you can do it yourself if you see it. No, I'd better not because it’s probably against the law. I suspect it is against the law to do that sort of thing. But my goodness me I do dislike people like that a great deal.’)
  • 14 May 1993: (JP: ‘....by a curious coincidence the Pig and our William went to see them PJ Harvey play at the University of East Anglia this evening and by all accounts a perfectly startlingly wonderful night. And by how much I wish that I’d been there.’)
  • 25 June 1993: (JP: ‘And here’s one for the pig’) Otis Redding: ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (CD – Good To Me – Live At The Whiskey A Go Go – Volume 2)’ (Stax)
  • 01 August 1993 (BFBS): Phoenix Festival was a mixed event from John's perspective, with a lot of powerplay from American bands - members of Faith No More threw Sheila off the stage at one point
  • 27 August 1993: (JP: ‘About a mile from here The Pig and our Flossie are preparing for bed. So here’s a record for them’.) Toussaint McCall: ‘Nothing Takes the Place Of You (7 inch - Split with The Flares)’ (Unknown)
  • 30 October 1993: (JP: ‘Well you know what staffing levels are like these days. Not easy for anyone and we weren’t able to find any sort of major celebs to review football matches for us but I have got at least one match report for you. Well this is it.’ John then plays a recording of a phone call with his wife Sheila, giving a report on the afternoons match between Ipswich Town and Everton.)
  • 10 December 1993 (BFBS): JP - I've only been to Zimbabwe once, but if I wasn't so frightened of flying, I'd be there on an annual basis. ... I went to see Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, the Pig and myself, to see them playing away out in the bush somewhere, and we were the only white people who were there. And we could not have been treated more generously. We walked in there and they didn't make us pay or anything. No guest list, just walked straight in, a fella came up to me and said "You've not been here before. Here, you have this beer and I'll go and get myself another one". And I thought, that would not happen to you if you turned up in a venue in London, I very much regret.
1994
  • 14 January 1994: (JP ..and this is C6H12O6.and The Pig who used to teach chemistry tells me that’s glucose.) Skinned Teen: ‘C6H12O6’ (Peel Session)
  • 05 February 1994 (BFBS): N-Trance: Turn Up The Power (12") All Around The World. John prefers his dance music without words but this was the version Sheila liked to dance to...
1995
  • 06 January 1995: (JP: "The Pig was May Queen once when she was a little girl, at St. Walburgers, Shipley, Yorks., and the photograph of that is one of my most treasured possessions.")
  • 17 February 1995: Buddy Holly's It's Too Late is played for the Pig.
  • 10 March 1995: (JP: 'I was talking to the Pig while that was going on, and she said that when I was talking about Viv Stanshall's piece, and about Sir Henry At Rawlinson End, and all that, and I mentioned the original Sir Henry Rawlinson, I said that he'd died 100 days before Viv Stanshall: of course, I meant 100 years, but to the day. Uncanny stuff, really. I admired Viv so much that at times I actually wanted to be him: he was just so cool.')
  • 24 March 1995: Scud Mountain Boys: 'Glacier Bay (Import LP-Pine Box)' (Chunk) (JP: 'Well, you may be thinking to yourself, well, that's a bit Radio 2, isn't it? And I know what you mean, and yet...and yet...when I played it at home, the Pig came in and said, 'What on earth are you playing that for?' ')
  • 27 May 1995 (BFBS): (JP: 'Never been much of a dancing man, to my considerable regret. I wish that I was: the Pig, my wife, is a most enthusiastic and rather violent dancer in fact, and I often wish that I could get up on the floor and arthritically trot around behind her in an adoring way, but I can't do it. As a boy, as I told you before, I was sent to dancing lessons, which I really hated, as you do, you know. This was to learn things like the foxtrot, the military two-step...and we used to be shoved into Neston Village Hall at the front, me brother Francis and meself, and the first few times we went, we just walked straight through the hall and out the back and hid in the lav until it was over, but they cottoned on to this after a while and we were compelled to dance. Francis and I, both rather shy country-ish children...I always used to end up dancing with this rather large yong woman...whatever the season was, the back of her legs were always covered in mud. I always wondered what she did in her personal and private life that caused this to happen, but she was always covered in mud. And Francis used to dance with this enormously tall girl who he once rendered unconscious suring one of the more complex manoeuvres of the foxtrot. Sort of head-butted her, I think, cos I was aware of a disturbance at the other end of the hall, and there was Frank standing over this unconscious girl on the floor, sobbing his eyes out, as you might imagine. It does set you against dancing, that sort of thing, I think.')
  • 09 June 1995: (JP: 'Engineering and catering in this programme from Florence and the Pig, thanks very much for listening.')
  • 26 August 1995 (BFBS): John reveals that Sheila refers to him as her first husband, "just to keep me on my toes."
  • 09 September 1995 (BFBS): JP speculates that 'drellax' may be something you put on nappy rash (it is in fact an invented word). He claims to 'be daft about' babies, and would like to have more of them, but Sheila said "under no circumstances" and the children threatened to leave home if this happened. His advice for interested parties is: "What you need is a fruitless and pointless and frustrating and sad relationship with a much older man."
  • 04 November 1995 (BFBS): The Fall played in Cambridge, and JP didn't go to see them (mainly because William wasn't available to go with him and Sheila).
  • 03 December 1995 (BBC World Service): Peel mentions that his wife Sheila always plays Pulp's Different Class album in the car.
1996
  • 13 January 1996 (BFBS): Another mention for Peel's appearance on This Is Your Life: after Alexandra had given all the football-related names of the children, JP suggested that another child, to be named after Stan Collymore, would be a good idea. Sheila apparently did not agree.
  • 25 February 1996 (BFBS): Peel reveals that one of his initial attractions to Sheila was her "impenetrable Bradford accent", which has mellowed a bit over the years.
  • 09 June 1996 (BFBS): Ominously, John trails his upcoming time away with Andy Kershaw at the TT Races in the Isle Of Man with the words, "could be a fairly testing week" (it was while he was there that Sheilasuffered her near fatal brain haemorrhage).
  • 15 June 1996: (JP: ‘And this is the Pig’s pick for this week’.) DJ Fade & NS: ‘Party People (12 inch )’ Pure Dance Recordings
  • 16 June 1996: (An emotional John explains why Steve Lamacq sat in for him last Sunday. as his wife Shelia a.k.a The Pig had suffered a brain haemorrhage. John describes the previous week as the most ‘terrifying, ghastly and awful event of his entire life.’)
  • 22 June 1996: (JP : This is the Pig’s pick’) Neuron: ‘Coco’s Theme [Gordon Tennant Remix] (12 inch – The Neuron Remixes )’ Jolly Roger Lite
  • 29 June 1996 (BFBS): (JP: 'I can't remember whether last week I mentioned to you here on John Peel's Music From BFBS that Sheila, my wife, had been actually dangerously ill, but her recovery continues and she gets stronger and, I'm afraid, grumpier, but they did warn me that this was a likelihood with the medicine that she's been taking with every passing day. Frankly, I'm jolly pleased to see her being grumpy. But she's alert enough to pick one or two records anyway, so this is her choice for this week.')
  • 13 July 1996 (BFBS): (JP: 'Once again, my thanks to all those BFBS listeners who got in touch with me by one means or another to express their sympathy after Sheila's recent illness: I'm very grateful to you. She continues to improve: in fact, yesterday lunchtime I got her down to the pub for the first time since she had her haemorrhage. That's an important part of somebody's rehabilitation, I think.')
  • 25 August 1996: (JP: ‘This was the Pig’s choice for tonight.’) DJ Force & Styles: ‘Apollo 13 (12 inch – Shining Down )’ UK Dance
  • September 1996 (FSK): Peel apologises for not sending some of his shows to FSK for sometime due to an illness in the family, referring to Sheila's brain haemorrhage.
  • 23 September 1996 (BBC World Service): Peel says that Dick Dale asked a London audience to pray for the health of Peel's wife, Sheila.
  • October 1996 (FSK): Peel mentions Sheila's favourite track on the show is Tea Merchants by the Rachel's.
  • December 1996 (FSK): Peel mentions that he and Sheila produced Medicine Head's album that were signed to his Dandelion record label.
  • 21 December 1996: (JP: 'I was also trying to work out some kind of exciting competition, but frankly I can't be bothered, so it comes right down to this. I've loads and loads of Christmas cards, and a lot of them addressed to the Pig, expressing hopes for her continued improvement, which seems to be on the cards at the moment, so thanks for all of those, and I've only received two that have been kind of pre-printed, out of all of the cards that I've got, two that have been pre-printed. I was going to have a competition to see if you could possibly guess from whom those two cards might have come, but I don't think you'd have got it, so I might as well tell you: Prince Charles and Kenickie. They don't get mentioned together very often. The Prince Charles one came about as a result of having a friend who works for the Prince's Trust, that came along with some uplifting thoughts of course from himself, and the Kenickie one came from presumably their record label, but both of them treasured in their own way. I've got some from years ago: I've got a printed one from Cliff Richard, and from before even that I've got a printed one from Dusty Springfield, so they're in fairly august company, I'd say.')
  • 29 December 1996: JP reads out competition winner's name, drawn by Sheila
1997
  • 01 February 1997: John plays a track from the 1971 Moonkyte LP ‘Count Me Out ’ and is horrified to find he wrote the sleeve notes: ‘They are truly terrible ... When I tell you that I refer at one stage to the Pig as 'my lady', that will give you a kind of clue as to the way they were written. Some extraordinary patronising remarks about Bradford, which is where Moonkyte came from.’
  • 05 March 1997: Peel mentions staying at the Royal Hotel in Whitby with the Pig, where a coach load of pensioners thought he was one of them.
  • 02 April 1997: (JP: 'And this one is for the Pig.’) Four Brothers: ‘ Vimbayi (CD – Hits Of The Four Brothers Volume 2 )’ Gramma Records
  • 23 October 1997 (BFBS): (JP: 'An exciting moment at Peel Acres here last night, because my wife Sheila and myself actually managed to read out our first email address (I had a lot of stuff diverted here from other places where I work). I'm not up to speed with the technologies, as I pointed out before on these programmes, but we got our first email that we could actually read, and it's from our son William. As soon as we learn how to send one back again, what I'll do is pass on the address to you the listener to John Peel's Music On BFBS, so you can just, instead of having to send things through the head office as it were, you can just get in touch with me directly. That's pretty good, isn't it? I can't see anything wrong with that.')
  • 27 November 1997 (BFBS): Wedding Present: 'A Million Miles' (JP: 'Well, that brought Sheila into the room, bearing satsumas and dancing a little bit.')
  • 04 December 1997 (BFBS): Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited: 'Buka Tiende (Compilation CD-The Rough Guide To The Music Of Zimbabwe)' (World Music Network) (JP: 'That was one for Sheila, this is one for me.') Duane Eddy: 'Movin' N' Groovin' (LP-Surfin')' (Jamie)
  • 23 December 1997: (JP: 'Only one person's had two choices of records in this programme, which goes on till 10.30 on Radio 1, and that's Sheila, my wife, aka The Pig. I'm glad she only had one choice of husband. Here are her two choices back to back.') Vinyl Junkie: 'Can't Forget (12 inch)' (Junkie Vinyl) & Velodrome 2000: 'Charity Shopping (7 inch EP-Charity Shopping)' (Popstar)
1998
  • 08 January 1998 (BFBS): (JP: 'Over Christmas and the New Year, I had one or two letters and cards and even indeed one or two phone calls from listeners in Germany, asking why it was that the delivery of these programmes has been somewhat irregular in the month of December. I think perhaps I owe you an explanation, particularly long-term listeners, of which I know there are quite a few: most gratifyingly. I'm glad that you do. The fact of the matter is, you may recall that Sheila, my wife, had a brain haemorrhage about 18 months ago from which she appeared to have recovered. Well, sometime during the summer, her eyesight started to deteriorate again, with the result that it's not too good now. She's virtually colour-blind, she certainly can't see to drive. So she was going through all of this, which is unpleasant for her, obviously, and going for lots and lots of tests, which she didn't much enjoy, and at the same time, her mother was very ill indeed, and in fact died just a couple of weeks before Christmas. She was going up to Bradford to look after her mum, and because she couldn't drive, I would have to drive her up there, and what with one thing and another, life became a little gothic for us. I have to thank the people at BFBS, because whenever I phoned up and said, "Look, I'm in a real mess here, I'm not entirely sure that I can get a programme to you this week", they would always cover for me, so that's why one programme went out twice, and Charles Foster did a programme. There may have been other confusions that I'm not aware of, but I'm enormously grateful to the people at BFBS, genuinely so, because they did cover for me, and as I say, when I phoned up in a panic, they would just say, "Listen, don't worry about it, there are other things." So my gratitude to them, and to you the listener, of course.')
  • 24 April 1998 (BFBS): (JP: 'One of the advantages of doing programmes here at home, and I don't want to drive you mad with lust, is that I can sit here and do the programme in my underpants, and the other day somebody said that I'd got doughy legs, and I was just having a look at 'em, and I had to go into the kitchen to check with our Sheila that I don't have doughy legs. She wasn't entirely convincing, I have to admit. Oh well, there you go, life.')
  • 27 May 1998: Peel says hearing the Leonard Cohen track Sisters Of Mercy always reminds him of his first holiday with Sheila, driving around Europe in a Bedford Dormobile (they had the 'Songs of' LP on an eight track)
  • 09 July 1998: (JP [on pedal steel guitar]: "It doesn’t go down well in our house ... because Sheila is a Yorkshire girl and not a country fan really. She’s into almost everything else I like but not country. But I lived, you know, in country places – in Dallas, which is a huge place, but as country as you get, and Oklahoma City – and I kind of feel it is part of me, in a funny way.")
  • 20 October 1998: Wife Sheila and son William have been to see Ipswich Town lose at home 1-0 against local rivals Norwich City.
  • 01 November 1998 (BFBS): John regrets that, due to having to be at Sound City in Newcastle, he will miss Sheila's birthday, so holds an impromptu wine tasting in tandem with recording the programme.
  • 08 November 1998 (BFBS): John regales us with stories about Sheila's 50th birthday party, including asking the DJs there to play 'Fireworks' by DJ Force And Styles....and because they put the 12 inch in the wrong sleeve, we get DJ Kaos instead. (However, he manages to find the other one and play it later.)
  • 16 November 1998 (BFBS): (JP: 'A bit of a domestic crisis in the course of that because Sheila, my wife, came in, and having come back with the Layers' Pellets, I said to her, "Actually, I'd quite like a couple of boiled eggs," and she said, "We've only got one." I said, "We've got about twenty hens out there! One egg?!" It turns out this is the time of year when they don't lay them, but at the same time productivity is an important issue, you know. And I just know that there are hens in somewhere like Central America or somewhere in Korea that are laying three or four eggs a day for virtually no food whatsoever. I think, what are our hens doing out there? Just sitting out there? I can see them from here, just pottering about, enjoying the sunshine, doing nothing. I think it's disgraceful.')
  • 03 December 1998: Sheila wants help with the Guardian crossword
  • 20 December 1998 (BFBS): John professes himself to be "wound up" by the aftermath of Alexandra's 21st birthday party, which Sheila is currently sorting out. "This is part of the pleasure of child-rearing, as some of you will discover, if you've not discovered already."
  • 23 December 1998: Second part of the 1998 Festive Fifty, broadcast live from Peel Acres. 'This time, it's just Anita the producer, meself, no engineers at all, so we're not nervous, I want you to believe that. The Pig doesn't come and listen to these programmes in here, as you imagine that she might do, but sits in the kitchen and listens to them coming out of the radio, as she would do if I was in London.' Sheila introduces FF #20, possibly under the influence of the champagne that has just been opened.
  • 29 December 1998: (JP: 'At number 9, a band that played in our garden for Sheila's 50th birthday party in October. We were honoured.') 09: Delgados, 'Everything Goes Around The Water (CD single)' (Chemikal Underground)
1999
  • 28 January 1999: JP seems relaxed during what seems to be one of the earliest shows broadcast from Peel Acres. The Pig appears in the studio with JP for what he says is the first time, as she tries to get him to help with the crossword. JP also makes what he thinks is his first mistake at Peel Acres, so we can probably assume he hasn’t been broadcasting from there for long.
  • 11 February 1999 (Radio Mafia): Peel claims that every time Sheila enters the studio, something goes wrong: in this case, he cues a record up incorrectly (as usual, blaming the new technology he is struggling with).
  • 29 June 1999: Sheila's brother Paul joins the chorus announcing the Peelenium for 1919.
  • 01 July 1999: Cuban Boys get a kiss blown at them over the airwaves by Sheila to celebrate the band’s first anniversary. They are due to sign with EMI the following week.
  • 22 July 1999: Sheila is "augmented" for the Peelenium "by her sister Gabs, who lives in the village."
  • 15 September 1999: After the previous night’s pre-recorded Supergrass special, we learn that Peel took advantage of the change in schedule to go to Dublin for the weekend with Sheila. The Pastels track gets played from the exclusive CD he was given for his birthday is a cover of the Beatles song And Your Bird Can Sing that was the favourite of both JP and Sheila when they first met.
  • 10 October 1999 (BFBS): (JP: 'My French accent, really, (is) entirely derived from Inspector Clouseau, I'm ashamed to say. Whenever I go to France, I'm far too embarrassed to actually speak French to any of the natives. I think I'm going to, you know, but when it comes right down to it and start speaking back (cod French sentence) I have to, "Sheila, this man is speaking to me."')
  • 27 October 1999: Start of show: "Hello there, rockin' Johnny Plee here on Radio 1 through til midnight. We've got stuff for you from the Parr Street studios in Liverpool from Plone, Tarwater and To Rococo Rot, and there are alternative pronunciations of almost all of those in the course of the next couple of hours. Also, we've got two bits of Peelenium, because 1964 was such an extraordinary year that we've divided it up, and I think we're playing something like five or six, seven tracks from that golden year. Right now, I've forgotten what this is, but it's going to be terrific. This is from the Pig and myself to the Ipswich squad as they head south again, They may have lost the battle, but the war is still there to be won, in our view."
  • 28 October 1999: JP reveals that Bob Dylan is the first artist Sheila played that her parents disliked.
  • 23 December 1999: Sheila reads the introductory numbers of the 1999 Festive Fifty and lets slip an obscenity at one point.
  • 28 December 1999: (John plays with Peggy The Personal Trainer, one of the Pig's Christmas presents)
  • 29 December 1999: (JP: 'It's now time to turn our attention to the Festive Fifty, the top 16...Voice, can you see that? OK, go.' Sheila: '16.')
2000
  • 04 January 2000: Sheila's introduction to the Peelenium is phoned in, as they had both been up since 5.45 a.m. and she was feeling unwell.
  • 06 January 2000: Once more, the Pig phones in her Peelenium introduction, and one band (Stereolab), perhaps uniquely, appear in the same show in both the Peelenium and All-Time Festive Fifty.
  • 23 February 2000: Peel recalls watching an early 1970s Tangerine Dream concert in York Minster, sitting between Sheila and Richard Branson.
  • 26 February 2000 (BFBS): (JP: 'There's going to be some sort of a backlash in this house pretty darn soon, actually, because it's been a testing day today, because the Pig my wife has gone off with some of her mates for the day. Quite right so: she should do it more often, but this has left me in the house having to take care of business, and the two children that are living with us still decided to celebrate this fact by both having a lie in. So daddy is not in the best of all possible moods.')
  • 14 March 2000: Peel is at a stopover in Newcastle to deliver a competition prize to "Simon". Travelling with JP are Sheila, William, Zara and "John" (who owns the van).
  • 23 March 2000: The show comes live from Peel Acres, with "the Pig on intermittent light refreshments, Anita the producer, Flossie on emails...and sitting in to learn how to run a studio, Evelyn: I think she's probably come to the wrong place, to be perfectly honest, but no records at the wrong speeds yet, that's to be sure."
  • 16 May 2000: John and the Pig have just returned from Berlin, where the show was broadcast live on 11 May 2000. They spent a night in Groningen on their way back and Peel was able to visit the Platenworm record shop. "I only had about ten minutes in there, which was most frustrating. Probably just as well, actually, for my bank balance's sake." He was pleased to pick up a copy of the album that supplies the second track of the show.
  • 17 May 2000: Ipswich Town had beaten Bolton Wanderers 5-3 (after extra time) in their Championship play-off, second leg. Sheila had been in attendance. "She will be an ecstatic woman. I wish I was there, to be honest."
  • 18 May 2000: JP - 'And an email here from Billy Palmer .... I know I read out too many of these emails, but if you forgive me for being slightly pompous, but for the first time ever since I've been doing these programmes on Radio 1 - (FX) that's the reassuring sound of the Pig pouring me a glass of red wine - thank you my angel, what a woman! And my toothbrush too! excellent. As I say I read out too many of these things, but for the first time ever, these programmes have for me at least, become a kind of conversation instead of a monologue. I';ll get bored with it eventually and not read out so many of them I'm sure, but for the time being it still excites me...'
  • 30 May 2000: JP: "The Pig and our sons William and Thomas were at Wembley for the match. Daddy unfortunately was caught up in BBC Music Live in the Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds. One of these days, when I've got a lot of time on my hands I'll tell you the whole story of that. By God was it an afternoon! And just about the first thing that the Pig said when she came off the train from Wembley at Stowmarket station was how wonderful the Barnsley fans had been. Obviously they must be bitterly disappointed and we'll certainly in our house be keeping our fingers crossed on their behalf next season." The Pig was "ungovernable" after the match, "a woman completely out of control, as she had been after the Bolton match a week before. Wild-eyed excitement will last us all summer." On the day of the flooding, Peel and Sheila had arrived back following a long drive from Bradford. To get to the house, Peel had to struggle with bags through a field of oil seed rape in torrential rain. "There's something about oil seed rape that it sort of binds together like Velcro and fighting your way through it was really... I thought, I'm going to die in this field of oil seed rape and I'll be found here, bleached corpse you know, and bags full of rubbish and stuff surrounding. People say, 'he wouldn't have wanted to go this way at all'. And they'd have been absolutely right."
  • 18 July 2000: (JP: "I’ve just been on holiday and if you’ve been listening to the programmes while I’ve been away, obviously the first week’s programmes were pre-recorded and then last week it was Gilles Peterson – and thanks to him for taking care of business while I was away. And what I did was I flew for the first time in eight years and took a lot of tranquilizers to get on the plane, but it was kind of OK, and went to New York. Now, I had not been to New York, it’s an extraordinary thing to be able to say, but I’d not been in New York for 35 years. And the last time I was there I just drove through it anyway. It’s changed a lot you know since I was there last. And everybody tells you that it’s a bad place. I don’t know, they say people are kind of unfriendly and aggressive and so forth. But in fact, I thought, the Pig and myself, thought that it was absolutely wonderful and are desperate to go back at the earliest opportunity. We had a really good time there. We only had three days and spent one of those with Laura Cantrell and her husband, who took us to some fine bars in Greenwich Village, and it was just, it’s everything that you would have wanted it to be. And we came back, it’s a long story associated with this so bit of things will unfold as the programmes go on, but we came back on the QE2 as part of a cruise for Radio Timesreaders, with Alan Hansen and Delia Smith and Barry Norman, all of whom turned out to be extraordinarily nice people, and a good time was had by all. And ate and drank prodigiously, and had the best couple of weeks we’ve had in years. So the first holiday we’ve had really in about seven years. Didn’t have time to do a lot of record shopping, although I did go into a couple of record shops that I plan to return to as soon as I possibly can, so I haven’t got an amazing number of exciting new records for you. But, you know, there are some good records around anyway without that.")
  • 03 August 2000: Blue Sky Boys: 'Down On The Banks Of The Ohio' (LP 'Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music Vol.4') Revenant. At this point John discovers that Sheila used to play this for her friends at The Tavern, in Bradford.
  • 31 August 2000: JP and the Pig quietly exchange wedding anniversay congratulations; their 26th apparently
  • 19 September 2000: This show is notable for 'the return of The Voice'. John's wife Sheila gained this extra nickname, in addition to being called 'The Pig', when announcing the Peelenium. In this show, she announces a 78 record, and. although JP does not label it as such, it seems reasonable to assume that this the first of the series of Pig's Big 78s that were to continue until John's death.
  • 10 October 2000: JP: And there is a special reason for playing that today isn’t there Pig? (Pig snorts). And that’s why is she is called Pig. Pig: Because in 1886 on this very day the tuxedo was worn for the first time in public by its creator at the Tuxedo Park Country Club in New York
  • 31 October 2000: At prompting from Sheila, Peel mentions that the evening's Pig's Big 78 is by the Obernkirchen Children's Choir who were featured at the first concert he ever went to, at Liverpool Stadium in 1952
  • 05 December 2000: A listener claims to have seen John and wife Sheila having an argument at some traffic lights in Norwich recently. JP: "That can't be true... We never argue, the Pig and I, we don't."
  • 27 December 2000: (JP: 'A kind of mixed Christmas for us here at Peel Acres, because on Christmas Day the Pig fell over, hurt her ankle, and spent most of Boxing Day in the A&E department at the hospital inBury St Edmunds, no breakages but, what was it they said, damaged tissue, or something?, and she's now on crutches and so forth, so there'll be no Pig's Big 78 tonight, I'm afraid, or tomorrow night, but next week, hopefully, we'll get back to doing those. We still had a good Christmas despite that.)
  • 28 December 2000: The Pig is still recovering from her ankle injury, and in fact has fallen over twice since then.
2001
  • 02 January 2001: (JP: 'We love Ranking Roger don't we Pig?')
  • 10 January 2001: (JP: 'And they [[[Nile]]] are going to be in our lovely country at the end of February and they're gonna do a set from Peel Acres. Actually I just said that to frighten Sheila'.)
  • 22 March 2001: (JP: 'Extraneous sounds on that were those of Sheila trying to get the dog Nellie out of the studio, and as the dog weighs almost as much as she does, it was a bit of a tussle.')
  • 26 April 2001: A listener suggested that Sheila should go out on the road and play nothing but 78s. JP: "We continue to search for that Tim Buckley thing. In fact what has happened is it's been transferred onto a MiniDisc and improperly transferred, so none of the tracks play at all, 'cos I've checked 'em, which is most irritating obviously as it makes me feel rather foolish. So that we can have a bit of Tim Buckley, if nothing else on the program, The Pig has shot out to the garden shed and come back with a white label, because the session was released on Strange Fruit Records some time ago"
  • 02 May 2001: (JP: 'I grew a beard when I was 27, 34 years ago. You can't imagine that it's possible, but I shaved it off about 15 years later, and I'm sure I've told this before. I was bored one evening waiting for the programme at Radio 1, when it was in the previous building that it was in, and shaved it off, and as I stared into the mirror, a kind of awful fusion between my mother and Mussolini emerged from behind the beard. It was a great shock to my system: I wasn't a great-looking bloke at 27, but kind of vaguely human, and as I shaved off the beard, this complete stranger emerged from behind it, and it was genuinely unsettling. When I got home, the Pig actually screamed, and urged me to grow it back as quickly as possible, which I did, and I've not shaved it off since. God alone knows what I look like underneath it now, but I'd prefer not to discover.')
  • 15 May 2001: "No cup final triumphalism in this programme." Liverpool had beaten Arsenal 2-1 to win the FA Cup at the weekend. Peel went for a six-mile walk for the whole period of the match, to make sure Liverpool won. Wife Sheila phoned him up with the final score and he says he broke down in floods of tears.
  • 14 June 2001: JP: "I had an aunt who lived in a windmill and it's one of those things, when the children were very little and we used to drive around and you're looking for something to say to them to try and get them interested in what's going on, other than 'are we nearly there?' or 'are we nearly home?', whenever I saw a windmill I used to say, 'I had an aunt who used to live in a windmill'. And I obviously just said it once too often, as you can do, and then it started coming back at me the other way and if there was a windmill anywhere around, one of them would say, or Sheila would say, 'erm, didn't you have a relative once who used to live in a windmill?', just in kind of too polite an enquiring way and taking the mickey out of me. Which is why I'm glad that none of them are in the room at the moment while I'm playing Ronnie Ronalde's 'The Windmill Song'."
  • 19 June 2001: Peel announces that there will be a competition in tomorrow night's programme to win copies of Arthur Matthews book "Well Remembered Days" . "The funniest book that I've read in a very long time.... I laughed so much when I was reading it in bed that the Pig actually feared for my health and safety."
  • 28 June 2001: Peel is going to try and see Bury St Edmunds band Miss Black America live at the weekend. He confirmed on the show on 04 July 2001 that he and Sheila had indeed attended the gig.
  • 31 July 2001: This was Peel's first show since learning of the death of former producer and friend John Walters. The previous evening, John, Sheila, Thomas and Flossie had gone out for a meal in Bury St Edmunds and had purchased "a bottle of cheap house champagne to toast Walters because we felt that that's what he would have approved of our doing."
  • 02 August 2001: There is not a Pig's Big 78 selection in the programme because Sheila has gone to stay with John Walters' widow Helen for a few days.
  • 09 August 2001: (JP: 'This is Aurlus Mabele and a tune which ought to get the Pig dancing in the kitchen if anything does.'). Aurlus Mabele: Nkiriba (LP - Fiesta D'Or) Jimmy's Production Records. (JP: 'Well while that was playing, the Pig came in to demonstrate her new dance which she tells me is called 'The Push' and involves nudging me in my chair around the studio in a rather irritating manner.')
  • 20 September 2001: Ipswich FC were in action on the same evening against Torpedo Moscow in the first round of the UEFA Cup. The Pig was in attendance. The match finished 1-1 Gorky's Zygotic Mynci: These Winds Are In My Heart (live) JP: "Rather subdued clapping so far because Sheila isn't here and she's normally the cheerleader but she'll be back from the match perhaps for the next number, certainly for the one after that."
  • 11 October 2001: The recorded live sets all include personal thanks to Peel from the artists. Jarvis from Pulp also dedicates 'Help The Aged' to him. More flatteringly, Sheila gets a dedication from Billy Bragg for 'She Came Along To Me'
  • 17 October 2001: The Freshmen single, a 1979 Peelenium choice, is trailed as one that would get Sheila out of bed and dancing around the bedroom. It also later turned up in John Peel's Record Box.
  • 18 October 2001: Earlier that evening Sheila has been to watch Ipswich draw 0-0 with Helsingborg in the UEFA Cup.
  • 23 October 2001: There is no Pig's Big 78 tonight or Wednesday due to the chaos at Peel Acres. Plays a Howard Tate track instead on this show, as he and Sheila have been listening to the LP after reading an article about the singer in the Guardian.
  • 24 October 2001: Ipswich have drawn 3-3 against Southampton that evening after being 3-1 down. JP requests a win by the team for Sheila over West Ham on Sunday, following her birthday on Saturday: “After she was ill a few years ago, it has been Ipswich Town that have contributed a great deal more to her rehabilitation than I certainly did, and I owe the team an enormous debt of gratitude for that.”
  • 13 November 2001: (JP: ”You’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little subdued tonight, but we’ve had a hard day, because the Pig, reasonably enough, is determined to go to Milan to see Ipswich Town play in the San Siro. Can’t get a ticket, and she’s desperate, and obviously the desperation rubs off on me.”)
  • 14 November 2001: Sheila has got a ticket that day to see Ipswich play at the San Siro stadium, Milan, in the UEFA Cup. Peel will have to stay back in the UK to do his show (of 06 December 2001).
  • 28 November 2001: Still outraged by the transfer of Robbie Fowler to Leeds from Liverpool. Apparently, wife Sheila and producer Louise had together decided by phone to keep the news from JP the previous evening until the end of his show.
  • 29 November 2001: JP refers to the cancellation of his programme on BFBS after 25 years (and the lack of an event to mark it). On a happier note, Sheila reminds him of the fact that it is 33 years almost to the day (November 26 1968) since they met on a TV programme called 'How It Is' (she was in the audience).
  • 04 December 2001: Peel recalls a late night walk with Sheila along a canal (river) towpath in Norwich after a visit to Carrow Road football ground the previous Saturday. Says this was the first time he’d ever seen a couple “having it off in the street” outside a bar. Thinks the paving stones may have been uncomfortable.
  • 05 December 2001: Peel says he remembers buying the evening's Pig's Big 78 when it came out in 1954. Sheila herself is in Milan for Ipswich's big match the following night. Her husband back in London says he may be overcome with emotion and unable to do his programme if Ipswich win.
  • 25 December 2001: Peel relates, on noting that Lift To Experience come from Denton, Texas, that there are 9 other Dentons and all of them in England. A proposed holiday with Sheila visiting all of them drew an apparently unenthusiastic response.
2002
  • 15 January 2002: JP: "I'm talking to you quietly because we're on board the ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland and the last thing I want is some eight year old drawing attention to us by shouting, 'Mummy, isn't that prominent broadcaster Bob Harris over there, talking into a microphone?' We, on this occasion, is myself, Sheila, Louise the producer and Dave the programme assistant. When we get to the Hook of Holland we're then going to drive furiously to Groningen. We're going to meet up with Aereogramme when we get there and they're at the start of a European tour, a small European tour, but a European tour nevertheless and they are our chosen representatives this year. In previous years we've taken Hefner and Melys and have enjoyed our experiences with these bands and they haven't done too badly out of it themselves. So we're looking forward to a couple of excellent days in one of Europe's most enjoyable cities. Or is it a town? Either way, it's enjoyable." JP: "I do buy, I have to say, and I know it's incredibly superficial of me, but I do buy records that I think look great, without actually finding out first what they sound like. Sheila is sitting behind me as I say these things so I'm taking my life in my hands by saying them, but she knows that that does happen... I had to ask the bloke in the shop if he could tell me what this band was called, because of my inability to read the exaggerated gothic script. It's by a band called Emperor... This sleeve is actually quite beautiful I think, in a strange way. Like an illustration to some Victorian children's book. Rather well done."
  • 30 January 2002: JP: "Well it's been an important night of football for us in our house of course, Liverpool I think... managed to defeat mighty Leicester. Went a goal up, then dug in. Normally they go a goal down and dig in, having rather missed the point. And a good result for Ipswich at Portman Road [1], and the Pig hopefully driving back home listening to me on the radio and a happy young woman."
  • 14 February 2002: (JP: 'I was hoping that as I played it, Sheila would be listening to the lyrics and have her arm around my shoulder and a tear in her eye, instead of which she just carried on shouting and drinking and talking and didn't listen to a moment of it.')
  • 21 February 2002: Peel mentions he has a long holiday coming up but says he and Sheila haven’t decided what to do yet. Claims he may stay at home or go to Great Yarmouth.
  • 05 March 2002: Peel had been in London the previous day with Sheila for a memorial event for John Walters. He tells an amusing anecdote about Walters' response to Peel's warning about an incident involving rude language in the show.
  • 07 March 2002: JP says people have no idea about the working conditions he has to endure, with the Pig, her sister and one of her mates discussing soft furnishings behind him.
  • 21 March 2002 (Radio Mafia): JP - 'I first heard this last week at home, and I put it in, timing it and listening to it, and my wife Sheila came in and said "this is an amazing record" and she was absolutely right, and I played it in the radio on my progarammes in Britain, every night since, it's just a hugely successful records. I mean, it's not going to make the charts or anything like that, but what good record does these days. Bitter old man, obviously! But it is just fantastic, no question about it at all. It's a dancey thing, there's a bit of everything there, there's a bit of 303 towards the end, and also in the middle of it there's a bit - if you ever go to kids' entertainments, kids' plays, we have a thing called pantomimes in this country, I don't know if you have an equivalent there, you very likely do, they always have dances with elves, elves dancing, or possibly in Finland, trolls dancing, I don't know at all, but anyway a bit in the middle that would be suitable for a troll dance, as you will hear.' Mark Smith vs Safe n Sound: Identify The Beat (split 12" with DJ Kevin Energy vs Safe n Sound - Identify The Beat / Creators Game) Bonkerz
  • 09 April 2002: The show is from Peel Acres, with JP slightly jetlagged, back from his month-long trip to New Zealand and India“the first holiday that the Pig and I have had, the first proper holiday, although you could argue that our entire lives are a holiday, in many years.” Music acquired from both countries features in the show, including Samoan Christian rap.
  • 17 April 2002: Peel plays ‘Turning Japanese’ as he and Sheila had been singing it all over Rajasthan, India but couldn’t remember who it was by.
  • 24 April 2002: After the Captain Beefheart track, Peel comments, "I have to say hello to the Pig, who'll be driving home from Portman Road feeling a little happier, I think. And I apologise to Middlesbrough supporters for this but the light has not yet been extinguished and she'll be a happier girl." Ipswich had beaten Middlesbrough 1-0 at home in the Premier League, ending a run of ten league games without a victory - although they remained in the bottom three.
  • 14 May 2002: Peel looks to abuse his position by canvassing emails on the subject of pick-up trucks, as he is thinking of getting one. Sheila has told him he can’t have one, but he thinks she won’t be listening.
  • 23 May 2002: Peel thinks the track timings leave no room for a Pig's Big 78 and instead dedicates the Johnny Adams single from 1972 to Sheila. He subsequently decides that there is in fact time for one from Humphrey Lyttleton, whom they apparently met at the Sony Awards. Wonders whether it would be worth asking him for a session.
  • 04 June 2002: The World Cup has kicked off. Over the weekend, a highpoint for Sheila was Ipswich’s Matt Holland scoring for Ireland in the 1-1 draw against Cameroon. Peel says he was playing the Baucom Bibey & BlueRidge album as the ball hit the back of the net.
  • 11 July 2002 (Radio Mafia): Peel reveals that Sheila used to drive a Renault 4 that was so covered with stickers that Japanese tourists went to some considerable extent to photograph it.
  • 25 July 2002 (Radio Mafia): Peel reveals that Sheila used to drive a Renault 4 that was so covered with stickers that Japanese tourists went to some considerable extent to photograph it.
  • 06 August 2002: JP: I was reading in the newspaper this weekend, two things actually, one was about the car that I drive and it said, absolutely true, "Suitable for the lower orders". I don't know what they meant by that, but I have a feeling it wasn't too complimentary. And the other thing I read was something to the effect that bluegrass music is going to be the next big thing. And subsequently, I've been listening to nothing but bluegrass music since. He dedicates the next track to The Pig. The Whiteman Brothers - 'Rose Of My Heart (LP - Bluegrass Mountain Style)' (Rounder)
  • 03 September 2002: No Pig's Big 78 in this show, as Sheila was unwell.
  • 05 September 2002: Sheila welcomed back to duty on Pig's Big 78 after recent illness.
  • 26 September 2002: Before playing a track by Obojeni Program, who are residents of the Serbian city of Novi Sad, Peel says "The Pig is the only one of the three of us in the house tonight who's actually been to Novi Sad. That's when she was hitchhiking across Europe. In fact, a German bloke who gave her a lift showed her his willy in Novi Sad. She didn't request this, but this is what happened. Or so she told me."
  • 21 November 2002: Son Tom Ravenscroft had been to see The Fall in Camden, London that evening. He phones home afterwards with his opinion of the night. When Sheila repeats his exact words (encouraged by John, it has to be said) she gets into trouble for swearing on air.
  • 03 December 2002: (JP: 'I was watching University Challenge at the weekend, which is one of those programmes that I do like to watch because every once in a while I can astonish the Pig by coming up with the right answer to something. That's the advantage really of a public school education as it was, when I went to school, because it enables you to speak for about twenty seconds on almost any subject under the sun, but there's really nothing about which you know a great deal. Why did I mention that? Because Edinburgh University lost, and the Pig and I were sitting on our sofa. We liked the Southampton people, but we felt amazingly sorry for the Edinburgh University people, which we always do. Does that make us rather soft and pathetic people? I think it probably does.')
  • 04 December 2002: (JP: 'A rather tense evening actually in our family because obviously I'm here in London doing the programme...but the Pig and Flossie and Alexandra, our daughters are at Anfield, where, at the moment anyway, they're playing extra time after Ipswich have held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw, and Ipswich scored first, too. I mean (sounds rather choked) I've supported Liverpool since, I don't know, twelve, no, earlier than that, ten, something like that, and (pause) I just...I mustn't go on, I'll make meself upset. Anyway, should they be listening, which quite clearly they won't be, because they'll be watching the match, here's a tune for them.')
2003
  • 12 March 2003: It is mentioned that Sheila has been to see "The Vagina Monologues" (or as Peel coyly refers to it, "The Front Bottom Monologues") in Norwich that evening.
  • 27 March 2003: The Dickless track is played to satisfy a listener request. The Pig had to go out to the garden shed to locate the copy, a deed that involved climbing up shelves to reach it because there was no step ladder.
  • 15 May 2003: Live from Peel Acres with Herman Dune live in session, featuring Pig on backing vocals at one stage, a year to the day after they'd had a live session at Maida Vale on 15 May 2002. Peel says he's hardly recovered from the previous live event at Peel Acres (Laura Cantrell a week earlier, on 08 May 2003).
  • 21 October 2003: JP: "You may have noticed in that a reference to driving to the tractor boy contest and of course, the other tractor boys had a hell of a result at Crystal Palace tonight and won in the last minute I think actually. The Pig has been to the pictures in Ipswich tonight, but I bet she wishes she'd been at the match. If you're driving home Pig, drive carefully."
  • 23 October 2003: JP's baby grandson Archie makes his first radio debut. Sheila tells JP that his voice is making Archie to sleep. JP then says "Is it...OK the music can't be sending him to sleep, that would be insulting".
  • 05 November 2003: No Pig's Big 78 because Sheila was not feeling well and Peel forgot to record any anyway.
  • 06 November 2003: Peel lost his glasses during their recent visit to Brighton: "They're in a brown case and they've got two cleaning cloths in there - although I don't use either of them I'm ashamed to say - and I think one of the Pig's shopping lists. If you find such a pair of glasses, they belong to me and I'd like them back so I didn't keep bumping into the microphone.". JP: "I should explain that the Pig has risen from her bed of pain in order to introduce this record, cos she has a very bad cold and sounds like a bloke, actually." Royal Military Band: Dan Cupid (78)
  • 11 November 2003: Whilst in Brighton, Peel was given "the best ever" photograph of Mark E Smith. It now hangs in the hall at Peel Acres. Peel says, "I wanted to put it in our kitchen, 'cos hitherto the only person whose picture was allowed to hang in our kitchen was Bill Shankly. I thought, Mark E Smith should be in here as well. But Sheila vetoed it. I bowed to a superior authority."
  • 29 November 2003 (BBC World Service): (JP: 'My wife Sheila is currently appearing as Michaela in a village production of Bizet's 'Carmen', so this seems like an appropriate record with which to end the programme)
2004
  • 08 January 2004: Peel tells the story of a terrifying ride on a temporary ferris wheel that he and Sheila made during a private visit to Groningen a couple of years earlier.
  • 27 January 2004: Peel plays Jawbone for the first time, having found the time over the weekend to listen to the LP in full. Peel thinks it is wonderful: "When I'd played it at home, Sheila said, 'well it's a bit like the White Stripes meet Medicine Head'. That is a recommendation to me."
  • 29 April 2004: Sheila is in attendance in the studio, but there's no Pig's Big 78. Pat Nevin and Camera Obscura drop by for chats. Due to the amount of talk, the DJ Rupture session set is put off until a future occasion.
  • 31 October 2004 (Andy Kershaw): (Peel clip from Top Gear, later rebroadcast on Radio Radio) “Well, we do have about 20 seconds to fill in, and this morning I found an ancient and rather damaged hurdy-gurdy down Westbourne Grove, and the Pig will now play it for you...” (Sounds of hurdy-gurdy) “OK, stop! She's gone mad. That is some fine hurdy-gurdy. That was Abide With Me, in case you didn't recognise it.”

See Also

External Links

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