First grandson for veteran DJ

By Rebecca SheppardVETERAN DJ John Peel is celebrating after becoming a grandfather - and has been searching through his extensive record collection to find a suitable track for his first grandson.

By Rebecca Sheppard

VETERAN DJ John Peel is celebrating after becoming a grandfather - and has been searching through his extensive record collection to find a suitable track for his first grandson.

Archie was born at Ipswich Hospital at 8.21am on Wednesday to proud parents Alexandra, Mr Peel's 25-year-old daughter, and Ashley, 29.

Mr Peel, who has a three-nights-a-week show on Radio 1 and also presents Home Truths on Radio 4, said the programmes he had broadcasted from his home in Great Finborough, near Stowmarket, this week had been “very strange”.


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He added: “Tuesday night I was slightly hysterical as Alexandra had been in labour for about 24 hours by the time that I started the programme. I was getting more and more anxious and fraught.

“On Wednesday night when I tried to announce Archie's birth,I started to cry. I've got a recording somewhere of doing exactly the same thing when my son William was born and I had to put a record on quickly. At least there is consistency.”

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Mr Peel said Thursday night's programme had been devoted to finding tracks with Archie in the title.

“We had lots of e-mails saying congratulations to Alexandra and Ashley from all over the world with suggestions of tracks we could play,” he added.

“In between playing records I was rushing around the house to find them. The only one I could find was Archie the Red Nose Reindeer, which is a reggae record and not entirely appropriate.”

Looking at his grandson yesterday, who weighed 7lb 7oz when he was born on the same ward as his mum, aunt and two uncles, Mr Peel said: “He doesn't look like a baby, he hasn't got a fleshy face as babies have.

“You can see he's got a little personality. He looks like a person, not a jelly baby.”

Although Mr Peel, 64, said it felt “pretty good” to be a grandfather, he conceded: “It won't make me feel and younger and I don't think it will make my knees feel any better.”

The long-serving DJ - who has introduced generations of radio listeners to hip hop, reggae and punk - said he would probably not try to encourage Archie into the music industry on the basis he had done “poorly” with his own children.

The family will also be waiting on tenterhooks to see which football team Archie supports.

It is already divided as Mr Peel supports his home team Liverpool, his wife Sheila has allegiances to Ipswich Town Football Club, while Ashley, Archie's dad, is a Queens Park Rangers fan.

But as Archie was wearing a blue-and-red striped romper suit yesterday, his grandfather voiced suspicions he will be a Crystal Palace supporter.

FIVE TRACKS JOHN PEEL COULD PLAY FOR HIS FIRST GRANDSON

n Sugar, Sugar - The Archies

n Baby Boy - Big Brovaz

n When I'm 64 - The Beatles

n Grandad - Clive Dunn

n Baby Love - The Supremes

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