The news that former Radio 1 Kevin Greening has died in his sleep, aged 44, is news that fills me with sadness. I have been a big fan of his since hearing him on his early weekend shows on Radio 1 in the early 1990s.
He was a presenter who just came across on air as a nice, friendly person – and with a great sense of humour to boot. His dry humour made his shows a must-listen for me, as I followed him round the schedules of Radio 1. In my student radio days, I always thought that if I had just a quarter of the talent he had, I’d be a very lucky man. Of course I didn’t have anywhere near that in the talent stakes, but I could dream.
Reading the articles and obituaries now, it’s abundantly clear the respect and admiration that he had from those he worked with, and those who listened to his programmes. Indeed, he was made a fellow of the Radio Academy. Reading through the list of his fellow fellows, is like reading a list of the great and the good of radio broadcasting. Controllers, producers, directors and a smattering of presenters. Kevin being one of them. Just minutes after finishing his final Radio 1 show in January 2000, his colleague Mark Goodier described him as “One of the best DJs this station has ever had.” How very true.
One of my favourite memories from his many shows seems rather small and insignificant in many ways, but for me sums up everything I loved about his shows. He just came back after a record and said, “Sorry about that. I was busy preparing my ad-libs”. Still makes me laugh to this day.