Ed Stewart

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For the American football player, see Ed Stewart (American football).
Ed Stewart
Ed Stewart.jpg
Ed Stewart in 1976
Born Edward Stewart Mainwaring
(1941-04-23) 23 April 1941 (age 74)
Exmouth, Devon
Nationality British
Other names Stewpot
Occupation Broadcaster
Known for BBC Radio 1
Junior Choice
BBC Radio 2
Top of the Pops
Spouse(s) Chiara Mainwaring
(m. 1974–2005, divorced)

Ed "Stewpot" Stewart (born 23 April 1941) is a British broadcaster. He is principally known for his work as a DJ on BBC Radio 1 (particularly Junior Choice) and BBC Radio 2 and as a presenter for Top of the Pops and Crackerjack on BBC Television.


Early life and career[edit]

Stewart was born Edward Stewart Mainwaring in Exmouth, Devon on (1941-04-23)23 April 1941. He attended St Edward's School, Oxford and his broadcasting career began in Hong Kong.[1] While touring there as bass player with a jazz group, he gained 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.

Career with BBC Radio and Television[edit]

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. By this time, Stewart was using a short clip of a young boy saying "'Ello darling!" in a broad cockney accent, followed by a brief burst of laughter.

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 David Hamilton and Terry Wogan through the 1970s. On 10 September 1973 Stewart became the first presenter of Radio 1's Newsbeat programme.

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,[2] and had a short-lived programme Ed and Zed.

In 1980 Stewart moved to BBC Radio 2, presenting Family Favourites and the weekday afternoon programme from 2pm to 4pm. He was dropped from the Radio 2 line-up in late 1983.[3]

Commercial radio[edit]

Stewart moved to the commercial radio station Radio Mercury (now Mercury FM), for six years, presenting their mid-morning show.[citation needed]

Back to the BBC[edit]

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 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.

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 left 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 back for Radio 2's 40th birthday on Sunday 30 September 2007 hosting Junior Choice. He was also heard on the Ken Bruce show and Pop Master on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 2 October 2007.

Stewart was heard on BBC Radio 2 presenting Junior Choice on Christmas Eve on Monday 24 December 2007. Stewart hosted further editions of Junior Choice on Christmas Day from 2008 to 2014. Stewart also hosted the afternoon show on BBC Radio Bristol for two days in the run up to Christmas 2001.

Other radio work[edit]

In February 2005, Stewart took over the weekday afternoon show on Spectrum FM, an English-speaking radio station that broadcasts to Spain.

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 could be heard presenting on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 9.00am and Noon (February 2009 – September 2009) on internet radio station Wight FM (this was voicetracked).

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.

Look-in Magazine[edit]

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.

Personal life[edit]

Stewart's two main interests are playing golf (he often met listeners of his programme who volunteered to caddy for him) and football; he is a supporter of Everton F.C.. He is also a regular reader of Woking Talking Newspaper.

Stewart met his wife when she was 13 and he was 34,[4] they married four years later.[5] They divorced in 2006.[6]

He was a close friend of Max Bygraves. On Bygraves's death in 2012 he recalled him as a "unique talent" whose skills as a comedian, actor and singer "brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people."[7]

Stewart is also an advocate and supporter of Phab Ltd, a charity that operates in England and Wales, that promotes inclusion for children and adults with disabilities. Stewart attends events annually that helps raise awareness of Phab's work.


  1. ^ "Ed Stewart Profile". Radio Rewind. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Internet Movie Database (IMDB)". Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Radio 2 Drops Ed Stewart
  4. ^ Stewart 2005, p. 146.
  5. ^ Stewart 2005, p. 153.
  6. ^ "Ed Stewart's pension snatch". This is Money. 29 November 2006. 
  7. ^ "Max Bygraves: Friend DJ Ed Stewart recalls 'a unique talent'". BBC News Website. BBC News. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 

External links[edit]