12 March 1954
Cwmafan, Neath Port Talbot, Wales
|Occupation||Radio presenter, pianist|
|Employer||BBC Cymru Wales|
|Board member of||Founder, Chris Needs Hospital Appeal|
Early and personal life
Born in Cwmafan near Port Talbot, he was educated at the local schools. During his teenage years he was sexually abused as a child, by someone whom he refuses to this day to identify, and consequently tried to commit suicide.
Needs is an accomplished pianist and has accompanied Bonnie Tyler. His other jobs have included: language translator, actor, tour guide, and all-round vocal / piano entertainer, and through his work he has lived in Spain, Gibraltar, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Jersey. He speaks English, Welsh, Spanish and Dutch and is learning German.
He has been broadcasting for several years, and started his radio career with the Touch AM radio station before co-presenting the mid-morning magazine show Live Time on Radio Wales while also appearing on S4C television. Since 2002 he has had his own show, broadcast every week night between 22.00 and 1.00. In the period 2001 to 2003, Needs was joined nightly on his radio show by his friend Nikki-Sue, a talented show singer and Tina Turner impersonator.
Most of the people who call into his show belong to an organisation called The Chris Needs Friendly Garden Association. The Garden as it has become known, has almost 50,000 members from mainly Wales but also as far away as Queensland, Australia. Members of the Garden are given their own identification code, usually starting with an M for male members, A for Animals, or without a letter for Female members.
Needs established and heads the Chris Needs Hospital Appeal, a registered charity that supports South Wales hospitals. For his charity work and services to broadcasting he was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the 2005 New Year's Honours.
Shortly after his mother died in 2001, Needs had started having symptoms of diabetes. Eventually, when he went to his local pharmacy to have himself checked, his sugar level was 61 mmol/l (1,098 mg/dl). His pharmacist had never met anyone who had such a high blood sugar. Subsequently diagnosed with Type2 Diabetes, he acts as Diabetes Cymru's celebrity ambassador.
- 1996 – Sony Radio Academy Awards Silver Award for Best Regional Presenter.
- 2009 – Variety Club of Great Britain Lifetime Achievement Award.
- 2007 – Like It Is: My Autobiography
- 2008 – The Jenkins's's's's's
- 2009 – And There's More ... My Autobiography – part 2
- "Chris Needs" BBC Radio Wales [4 May 2007]. Needs said the song "Here in My Heart" by Al Martino was from the year he was born.
- Steffan Rhys (15 November 2009). "Gay taunts have made my life hell". South Wales Echo. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- Dr Sarah Jarvis. "Symptoms campaign – Our campaign to highlight diabetes symptoms". Diabetes UK. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
- BBC – Wales – Radio Wales – Chris Needs