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'He felt they demeaned us all.'These events have now been overshadowed, of course, by what came next.

The spectre of Jimmy Savile, who also broadcast on Radio 1, looms over any recollections of the period, while some of the other station stalwarts have provided a decidedly tarnished coda to the golden age of broadcasting.

Fortunately he didn't turn up Still, not everyone was a seething mass of insecurity.

Hamilton says he managed to get through his Radio 1 years without falling out with anyone – as far as he knows – while some of the show's presenters come across as all-round good eggs, including the late Alan Freeman and Ed Stewart. Hamilton's book is a portrait of a very different era – a time when DJs could broadcast in the nude, and studios were festooned with underwear.'DJs loved playing tricks on each other,' says Hamilton.

The antipathy seems to have been so extreme that Peel later said that, fuelled by drink after a Radio 1 Christmas party, he and fellow DJs Kid Jensen and Paul Burnett had waited in an underground car park to 'beat up Bates'. It was not the only thwarted fight: some years later, Mike Read confided to Hamilton that Noel Edmonds had 'offered him outside', apparently offended by Read's decision to appear on a 2004 Channel 4 show lampooning Noel's career.

The list goes on: Simon Bates hated Steve Wright, who hated him back.

Simon Bates hated Steve Wright, pictured, who hated him back.Mike Read recalls arriving at one on the back of a Harley-Davidson with David Essex, driving through the crowds and on to the stage.With the garlands, however, came the huge egos jostling for position. Today, the 74-year-old is still on air, but in Hamilton's book he emerges as a rather brittle soul.'There was always the danger that the person who filled in for you on your two-week holiday was better or more popular than you.'Radio 1 had been launched in 1967 in response to the soaring popularity of pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio Luxembourg.At its peak, Radio 1 had a vast audience of 24 million a week, while its live Roadshows routinely attracted crowds in the tens of thousands.

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