Frank Wappat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Frank Wappat
Birth nameFrank Wappat
Born(1930-02-17)17 February 1930
OriginHebburn, County Durham, England
Died17 February 2014(2014-02-17) (aged 84)
Newcastle on Tyne
Occupation(s)BBC Radio Presenter
Years active1950s–2010
WebsiteOfficial website

Frank Wappat (17 February 1930 – 17 February 2014) was an English radio personality, disc jockey and singer from Hebburn, County Durham. He worked with The Premier Band, Bobby Thompson, Renato Pagliari, The Pipe-dreamers, Flintlock, The Dooleys and many others in a career spanning the 1950s to 2010s.[1]


Wappat founded the Al Bowlly Circle,[2] Memory Lane magazine, the British Band-Leaders Club and The Thirties Club. He was the longest serving presenter on BBC Radio Newcastle, having started in 1970, following his early broadcasting via Radio 390 on the Thames Estuary.[3]

In 1999, he won a Sony Radio Academy Award for his Master Joe Peterson programme (a thirties music hall star who turned out to be Mary O'Rourke),[4] and in 2000 he won a second for Investigative Journalism, with Wappat unearthing the truth about the death of 1940s Chick Henderson, later publishing a biography.[5][6]

Both his Gospel and Inspiration show and Frank Wappat Nostalgia show continued on BBC Radio Newcastle,[7] BBC Radio Humberside and BBC Radio York[8] until August 2010,when Wappat decided to retire after 40 years.[9]

Wappat's son Paul was a radio presenter at BBC Radio Newcastle, before moving to 97.5 Smooth Radio in January 2008.[10][11]

Wappat died of heart failure on 17 February 2014, his 84th birthday, at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.[12]


  1. ^ "Frank Wappat Website". Retrieved 2008-06-06.
  2. ^ Al Bowlley Website Archived 2009-09-12 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Profile:Frank Wappat". BBC. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
  4. ^ The Glasgow Herald, April 2, 1998, Page 9
  5. ^ NME website
  6. ^ The Chick Henderson story and complete discography, Frank Wappat, Printability, 1990, ISBN 978-1-872239-04-0, 55 pages
  7. ^ BBC Radio Newcastle schedules
  8. ^ BBC Radio York schedules
  9. ^ "Veteran broadcaster Frank Wappat bows out". Evening Chronicle. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  10. ^ Article from Smooth Radio website Archived 2009-09-14 at the Wayback Machine,
  11. ^ Liz Lamb, Evening Chronicle, May 24, 2008
  12. ^ "Veteran BBC radio broadcaster Frank Wappat dies". BBC News. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.

External links[edit]