Neil Fox (broadcaster)
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
12 June 1961 |
Harrow, Middlesex, England
|Residence||East Preston, West Sussex
|Other names||Dr. Fox
|Occupation||Radio & television broadcaster|
Neil Andrew Howe Fox (born 12 June 1961 in Harrow, Middlesex) is an English radio DJ and television presenter, known for many years as Dr. Fox before he became "Foxy" in the 2000s. He is now known simply as Neil Fox.
He was a judge on Pop Idol between 2001 and 2003 alongside Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman, and Nicki Chapman. He appeared as himself (judging a superhero talent show) in BBC Three sketch show The Wrong Door. The Wrong Door finished in 2008.
As a boy he moved to Thames Ditton, Surrey where he lived for a number of years. He was then educated at Kingston Grammar School in London and joined the Air Training Corps, before becoming a management student at the University of Bath, where he joined the student radio station University Radio Bath, and began his career as a radio presenter using the pseudonym Andrew Howe. Contrary to public opinion, he is not a qualified doctor although did receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath in respect of his contributions to the media and charity. It is popularly believed that the idea to use the "Dr Fox" moniker came from '80s girlfriend Julie Metcalfe, a local glamour model, who used it as an affectionate term to indicate his intelligence compared to her own.
In 1984 he started his professional radio career on what is now Free Radio Herefordshire & Worcestershire (then Radio Wyvern) in Hereford and Worcester, starting off with a show called Mellow Yellow. This was broadcast on Friday nights from 9.00pm-11.00pm & Saturday nights from 8.00pm-11.00pm. In 1985, Fox took over the weekday evening show from 6.00pm-9.00pm, before moving to their weekday afternoon show from 2.00pm-6.00pm. He also presented a Saturday morning show for the station, which went out from 10.00am-1.00pm. He remained there until late 1986, then joined Radio Luxembourg in early 1987 before joining Capital Radio in October the same year.
Fox presented the station's evening show from 7.30pm-10.00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays (sharing weekday evenings with Pat Sharp), where some of his first shows were broadcast only on medium wave, because Capital were then broadcasting "adult" rock music on FM while mainstream chart music was played on MW. However this soon ceased, the MW transmitters were given over to 'oldies' station Capital Gold, and the FM service became Capital FM. He also presented a Saturday morning show.
In the very early 1990s, there was a short period in which Fox hosted a show starting at midnight on Saturday, specifically aimed at the club crowd. It was for this show that he adopted the moniker "Dr. Fox", with the full title of the programme being "Dr. Fox's Midnight Surgery". This was at the suggestion of Capital's Programme Director, Richard Park, who some years previously had been a presenter on Radio Clyde and had hosted a similar show under the pseudonym "Dr. Dick". Many people called the show for requests, Foxy was well known for lots of banter with the callers and the "Surgery" was soon extended to his weekday evening shows.
Fox was establishing himself as one of Capital FM's most popular DJs, and in 1993 he began presenting the Sunday-afternoon Network Chart Show; which due to sponsorship went on to be called the Pepsi Network Chart before becoming simply the Pepsi Chart in 1996 and then hit40uk, sponsored by Woolworth's in 2003. During Fox's tenure, this show, which had previously been hosted by David Jensen, overtook the official Top 40 show on BBC Radio 1 (broadcast at exactly the same time) in terms of audience share as published in the JICRAR figures during the time. In addition to this, he still continued with his evening show, although from 1995, he went out on Sundays to Thursdays. On Sundays, his show went out from 7.00pm-8.30pm on Sundays as he presented the Chart show beforehand. In 1997, it was rumoured that Matthew Bannister offered Fox the breakfast show on BBC Radio 1, following the departure of Chris Evans from the station. In late 1998 he took over Capital's 4.00pm-7.00pm drivetime show from David Jensen which was later extended to 8.00pm.
Fox also presented a show on Channel 5 based around the Pepsi Chart from 1998 until 2002, and he was famously a judge on Pop Idol, as well as presenting various other ITV1 shows. On Capital FM he moved from the weekday evening show to the drivetime show in 1998, again succeeding David Jensen. He deputised for Chris Tarrant on the station's breakfast show on many occasions, especially after Tarrant changed to part-time work in 2003, but was passed over in favour of Johnny Vaughan as Tarrant's successor.
Fox claimed that he wanted to leave Capital when he didn't get the breakfast show, but he initially changed his mind and remained for a while longer. On 30 May 2004 he presented his last hit40uk after 11 years, but remained on Capital FM until the spring of 2005 when he left the station after 18 years, his drivetime show being taken over by Richard Bacon.
Since 12 September 2005, he has been the presenter of the "More Music Breakfast Show" on Magic 105.4 FM in London, and on DAB, Freeview and Satellite across the UK. The show is broadcast every weekday morning from 6.00am-10.00am
Fox holds nine Sony awards and was awarded the Gold award for lifetime achievement in 2009, as well as having been voted to claim the "Best Disc Jockey" award from the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party multiple times.
On 12 October 2008, Fox joined his fellow ex-Pop Idol judges Pete Waterman and Nicki Chapman on Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice, a spoof on the talent show genre of programmes.
Fox appeared on the satirical show Brass Eye's controversial 2001 Paedophilia Special, where he claimed that "Paedophiles have genetically more in common with crabs than they do with you or me. Now that's scientific fact... there's no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact."
Other television work and appearances include Doctor Fox's Video Jukebox on LWT, Ice Warriors (voiceover) and The Big Call (host) on ITV, and Not the Jack Docherty Show (host) on Channel 5.
He was also on the end of every episode in Dirty Tricks when Barry and Stuart "killed" him, using various methods.
He appeared on Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs, where he received his puppy Bonzo.
On 2 April 2014, Fox appeared on an episode of Big Star's Little Star with his daughter Martha.
- Mix'o'matic (1996)
The album Mix'o'matic is a remix album, containing fifty songs over two discs mixed together by Fox.
- Neil Fox
- Neil Fox on the Brass Eye special – YouTube
- Paedophile spoof Brass Eye nominated for TV Bafta | Mail Online
- "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.