Now BBC renames wing dedicated to DJ John Peel at its London HQ – as Glastonbury rebrands stage name
The BBC has renamed the John Peel wing at Broadcasting House headquarters ‘to help staff and visitors navigate the building’ – after a landmark claim was made against the late DJ.
The company reportedly sent an internal email to staff last month explaining that it was simplifying the entire campus to become London Broadcasting House.
It comes after the site of the former Egton wing, where the former BBC Radio 1 DJ broadcast until 1996, was renamed in his honor in March 2012.
Peel, who died suddenly of a heart attack in Peru in October 2004 aged 65, was then described as ‘one of the BBC’s great radio talents’ who ‘represented so much of what the BBC stands for: quality, creativity and innovation’ .
But campaigners have called for Peel’s name to be removed from BBC offices, as well as a stage at Glastonbury, after historic allegations of sexual abuse came to light.
Peel, who died suddenly of a heart attack in Peru at the age of 65 in October 2004, was then described as ‘one of the BBC’s great radio talents’.
The BBC has renamed the John Peel wing at Broadcasting House headquarters (pictured) ‘to help staff and visitors navigate the building’
Glastonbury organizer Emily Eavis revealed this week that the John Peel Stage (pictured), which replaced the New Bands marquee in 2005, will now be called Woodsie
Allegations include one from a woman named Jane Nevin, who claimed in 2012 that she became pregnant by Peel during a three-month affair when she was a 15-year-old schoolgirl in 1969.
Both the BBC and Glastonbury have denied that the allegations were responsible for the decisions.
The BBC’s West London campus now consists of Zones A to H, rather than the now former names Old Broadcasting House, the Bridge, the Peel wing and New Broadcasting House.
The Peel Wing, now Zone H, was opened by the late Queen in 2006 as the Egton Wing.
It subsequently housed BBC London and the company’s Arabic and Persian television services.
Meanwhile, Glastonbury organizer Emily Eavis revealed this week that the John Peel Stage, which replaced the New Bands marquee in 2005, will now be called Woodsies.
She said the decision was part of an effort to name stages after the fields they are in, such as West Holts and Silver Hayes.
It followed a petition last summer calling for the festival to take action on the allegations, although it received fewer than 2,000 allegations.
Ms Eavis added: “We’ve had John Peel for 20 years and it’s been an honor to use his name,” she told The Guardian.
Ms Eavis then stressed that the name change was not a response to the petition, saying: ‘I’m not involved in that because it’s not our area.
‘We have a very good relationship with the Peel family and everyone participates.’
Glastonbury’s New Bands Tent was renamed after Peel’s death in Peru.
He is said to have met Mrs. Nevin at a Black Sabbath concert when he was 30. She claims he had sex with her in the BBC studio and backstage at concerts.
Born John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, Peel worked as a DJ for the BBC from 1967 until his sudden death in Peru
In an interview with The Sunday Correspondent in 1989, Peel said: ‘Girls used to line up outside. Usually not for sh*****g.”
Peel added, “Oral sex they were especially fond of, I remember. One of my, er, regulars turned out to be 13, so to speak, although she looked older.’
An interview originally published in The Herald in April 2004 stated that Peel admitted to having had sexual contact with “lots and lots” of underage girls.
In an interview with The Guardian in 1975, while talking about women, Peel said: ‘All they wanted me to do was sexually assault them, which of course I was only too happy to do.’
Born John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, Peel worked as a DJ for the BBC from 1967 until his death.
Moves: Ms Eavis said the decision to rename the stage – pictured last year – was part of an effort to name stages after the fields they are in, such as West Holts and Silver Hayes
In 1965, Peel – then 26 – married a 15-year-old American girl named Shirley Anne Milburn.
He later claimed that she and her family lied about her age.
They divorced in 1973 and years later she allegedly committed suicide.
In 2012, eight years after Peel’s death, Ms Nevin came forward with allegations of an affair with the respected DJ.
She said she had a “traumatic” abortion in Ealing, west London, after he got her pregnant.
A postcard, reportedly sent to Mrs Nevin from Peel after she contacted him about their relationship 30 years later, read: ‘Jane, Well, you’ve scared the hell out of me. For years I’ve been expecting a letter that begins, “We had a brief fling in the 1970s – and your son/daughter, now 27 years old, would like to meet you.”
“What exactly do you want me to do. I live near Ipswich so Croydon is quite inaccessible. I wait to hear from you again. John.’
Who was John Peel?
John Peel was a famous rock DJ for the BBC
John Peel, born John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, was a popular British DJ.
Born on August 30, 1939 in Heswall, Merseyside, he was known for promoting rock music on the BBC’s radio stations, among others.
In 1965, he married his first wife, Shirley Anne Milburn, when she was 15. They married in the US, reportedly in Texas, and Peel always insisted she told him she was 16.
Two years later he joined BBC Radio 1 when the station started, building a career in discovering emerging artists.
He and Shirley separated soon after, divorcing in 1973, and Shirley died in 1987, reportedly by suicide.
Peel married his second wife, Sheila Gilhooly, in 1974 and the couple had two boys and two girls.
Throughout his broadcasting career, the DJ was seen as someone who could help artists break into the industry, and was sent records, CDs and tapes.
He also created the John Peel Sessions in which bands recorded exclusive tracks for broadcasting.
Besides Radio 1 he also broadcasts on stations in the Netherlands, Finland, Austria and Germany.
He occasionally presented Top of the Pops on BBC1 between the late 1960s and 1990s, appearing more frequently between 1982 and 1987.
He also hosted the BBC TV broadcast of Glastonbury Festival.
In 1998 he was awarded an OBE for his work in the music industry.
He died at the age of 65 of a heart attack in 2004.
Glastonbury renamed the New Bands Tent after Peel in honor of the DJ.
In his autobiography, published after his death, Peel claimed to have been raped by an older pupil when he was a boarder at Shrewsbury School.