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For the last 44 years, Deke Duncan has been spinning records from a studio in his garden shed for “the smallest audience in the country” – also known as his wife.
Because he did not have a radio license, Duncan was only able to ‘broadcast’ through a speaker placed in the living room of the home he shared with wife Teresa.
His friends in Stevenage, England would often join him for non-stop weekend broadcasts in which they would record all of their shows onto the same old spools of tape because they couldn’t afford to buy new ones.
Though Duncan and his wife now live in the Greater Manchester area, he still plays records for her through their own special little radio setup – but now, his lifelong wish of broadcasting to a wider audience is coming true.
Back in October, BBC Archives tweeted a video interview they did with Duncan back in 1974, and it immediately prompted a social media search to find the self-made DJ.
#OnThisDay 1974: "The station's entire audience has decided to go down the shops" Radio 77 held the dubious distinction of broadcasting to the smallest audience in the country. pic.twitter.com/xkUZnfAPpR— BBC Archive (@BBCArchive) October 9, 2018
When the radio network finally managed to track him down, they asked him to co-present on a morning show with BBC Three Counties host Justin Dealey.
While recording the radio segment, Dealey told Mr. Duncan that they had an even bigger surprise in store for him.
Dealey explained how – during Duncan’s vintage interview from almost half a century ago – he had mentioned that his “ultimate ambition” was to DJ for his city of Stevenage, which has a population of about 87,000 people.
The Three Counties host then played a recording of his station editor telling Mr. Duncan that they wanted him to be the DJ of his very own hour-long radio show over Christmas—playing music not only for one town, but for the hundreds of thousands of people living in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Buckinghamshire.
Back in 1974, Deke Duncan ran a radio studio in his garden shed which broadcast to just one person - his wife. His lifelong ambition was to broadcast to the whole of Stevenage ?— BBC Three Counties (@BBC3CR) November 18, 2018
This morning he co-presented a show with @justindealey and there was a very special surprise... pic.twitter.com/PGVWLhuN2k
Now 73, the amateur DJ was beyond thrilled and emotional. “Pass the tissues,” he said, feeling speechless.
To top off the extraordinary saga, Host Dealey brought Deke Duncan back to the very home where he first started spinning records for his wife – and though the shed is no longer there, Duncan called the moment “magical”.
Deke Duncan and his Shed Radio story has gone viral. He’s waited 44 years for the credit he deserves. I love him. I took him back to his old house in Stevenage this morning where he built Radio 77. A station that was enjoyed by one person - his wife xxxx pic.twitter.com/jMXZQDbinK— Justin Dealey (@JustinDealey) November 19, 2018
Be Sure And Share This Sweet Musical Story With Your Friends On Social Media – Photo by BBC Three Counties