Early life and career
Stewart attended St Edward's School, Oxford and his broadcasting career began in Hong Kong. While touring there as bass player with a jazz group, he got a job on a local radio station as a sports commentator, then as an announcer and, finally, as a disc jockey. He remained at this station for 4 years. In July 1965 Stewart became a DJ on the offshore station Radio London and was its chief DJ by the time it closed on 14 August 1967.
Later career with BBC Radio and Television
In 1967, Stewart became one of the first DJs to join BBC Radio 1, presenting Happening Sunday and What's New. In 1968, Stewart took over the weekend morning Junior Choice show, where he remained for 12 years. The show reached 17 million listeners. In 1972 he also presented Radio 1's Sunday Sport show. One week in early 1972, he stood in for Alan "Fluff" Freeman on Pick of the Pops, as well as sitting in for the likes of "Diddy" David Hamilton and Terry "Wogan" Wogan through the 1970s.
Stewart became a regular presenter of the BBC television programme Top of the Pops in 1971. He also presented the children's programme Crackerjack in the 1970s, and had a short-lived programme Ed and Zed.
Stewart moved to the commercial radio station Radio Mercury (now Mercury FM), for six years, presenting their mid-morning show.
Back to the BBC
Stewart rejoined BBC Radio 2 in 1991, firstly presenting a series of shows and then a regular Saturday afternoon show throughout the summer. In 1992, he once again presented weekday afternoons. This time, the show was broadcast from 3.30pm - 5pm, before moving to 3pm - 5pm in 1996 and 2pm - 5pm in late 1998.
In the summer of 1999, Stewart was taken off the weekday afternoon slot, moving to his Sunday evening show from 5pm - 7pm. At the time the official word was that Stewart had decided to go into semi-retirement, however he later revealed in his autobiography that he was removed from the afternoon programme by then controller Jim Moir.
His Sunday show was a blend of music and chat, plus listeners' letters and 'Where Are They Now?', a feature that attempts to re-unite old friends who have lost touch with each other.
Stewart eventually retired from Radio 2 in April 2006, not long after releasing his autobiography where he questioned the position of his colleagues Sarah Kennedy and Johnnie 'Jimbo' Walker on the network. He was replaced on Sunday afternoons by Johnnie Walker.
Stewart was heard on BBC Radio 2 presenting Junior Choice on Christmas Eve on Monday 24 December 2007, and again the following year he hosted an edition of Junior Choice on Christmas Day 2008 from 11-1pm. Stewart hosted further editions of Junior Choice on Christmas Day 2009, 2011 and 2012 from 9-11am and Christmas Day 2010 from 8-10am.
Stewart also hosted the afternoon show on BBC Radio Bristol for two days in the run up to Christmas 2001.
Other radio work
Stewart was heard on Big L 1395 covering for David Hamilton on 18 December 2006, and also in January 2007. He also covered for Mike Read there in March 2007. He has presented special shows on Classic Gold on Christmas Day 2006, New Year's Day 2007 & also May Day Bank Holiday Monday 2007. He did a one off Sunday morning show (10am-2pm) on KCFM in September 2008. He also stood in, for Shaun Tilley on his programme "I Haven`t Heard It For Ages" (2.00pm-4.00pm) on Sundays on KCFM 2008/9.
Stewart also stood in for Shaun Tilley on the networked show The Retro Chart Years for a week in August 2009, & again in 2010. He also appears on another of Shaun 'Tillster' Tilley's shows The Vintage Top 40 Show, which goes out on various BBC Local Stations on Sundays at 5pm.
In 1995, Stewart made radio history when he broadcast his Radio 2 show live from the summits of Ben Nevis and Snowdon, in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. He also broadcast from the Falkland Islands just after the 1982 conflict and on the 75th anniversary of the RAF.
For many years Ed was the 'figurehead' for children's magazine Look-in, the 'Junior TV Times'. Starting in 1971 with a feature on a day in his life, he was brought in as a regular with a feature called 'Stewpot's Look-out' which later became 'Stewpot's Newsdesk'. They also used Ed's name in other features such as 'Stewpot's Starchart'. Newsdesk ended in 1980, as did Ed's association with the magazine.
He is also a regular reader of Woking Talking Newspaper.
A trademark of Stewart's was a recording clip of a young boy saying "'Ello darling!" in a broad cockney accent, followed by a brief burst of laughter. This was first used on the Junior Choice programme, but has remained with him ever since. Listeners often requested it as a greeting for loved ones.
- Stewart, Ed. (2005) Ed Stewart: Out Of The Stewpot: My Autobiography John Blake Publishing ISBN 978-1-84454-086-0