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Kenny Everett

Kenny Everett (born Maurice James Christopher Cole; 25 December 1944 – 4 April 1995) was an English radio DJ and television entertainer. A friend of the Beatles, Everett produced their last two Christmas Records in 1968 and 1969. He was also close friends with Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen, and played a pivotal role in getting Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" released as a single.

Career[]

After spells on pirate radio and Radio Luxembourg in the mid-1960s, he was one of the first DJs to join BBC Radio's newly created BBC Radio 1 in 1967. It was here he developed his trademark voices and comical characters which he later adapted for television.

Everett was dismissed from the BBC in 1970 after making a flippant comment on air after a news item concerning a government minister's wife. He was later re-instated at the BBC, working both on local and national radio, but, in the autumn of 1973, when commercial radio became licensed in the UK, he joined Capital Radio. Starting in the late 1970s, he transitioned to television where he made numerous comedy series on ITV and BBC, often appearing with Cleo Rocos, whose glamorous and curvaceous figure was often used to comic effect. Rocos would be his assistant in the 1987 BBC gameshow Brainstorm. He was a highly versatile performer, able to write his own scripts, compose jingles and operate advanced recording and mixing equipment. His personality also made him a regular guest on chat shows and game shows such as Blankety Blank.

Everett openly supported the UK's Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher and made publicity appearances at conferences and rallies. However, as a closeted gay man, he would face criticism for the hypocrisy of supporting a Conservative government that enacted Section 28, a clause of the Local Government Act which made it illegal for councils to promote gay rights and issues. He was diagnosed with HIV in 1989 and died in 1995.

Work with The Beatles[]

Everett was heard in May 1967 on the BBC's soon-to-be-discontinued BBC Light Programme previewing the Beatles' forthcoming album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and was one of the DJs on the new pop music station Radio 1 from its launch at the end of September 1967. Everett had previously struck up a friendship with the Beatles and accompanied them on their August 1966 tour of the United States, sending back daily reports for Radio London. He also produced their 1968 and 1969 Christmas records.

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