Mad Mel

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For other uses, see Mad Mel (disambiguation).
Mad Mel
Mad Mel with The Beatles (1964)
Birth name Mel Potts
Born c.1945
Station(s) 2SM
Time slot 10 pm – midnight (M – F)
Country Australia
Previous show(s) KITN, CFUN (Canada)

Mad Mel (born c.1945 as Mel Potts, later changed to Mel Happy) is a Canadian-born Australian former disc jockey. He was part of the Good Guys team at radio station 2SM in Sydney.


In the early 1960s, Mel and his friend Rob McAdams started a local radio station (KITN) in Victoria, British Columbia. They bought air time from KONP in Port Angeles, Washington and broadcast via a telephone line from a local Victoria store from 4 pm to 8 pm on Monday to Friday, selling advertisements to local merchants.[1]

In 1963 Sydney radio station 2SM was relaunched as a Top 40 station featuring Australia's first team of disc jockeys, known as "The Good Guys".[2] Mel was recruited to present the 10 pm to midnight slot. He portrayed a zany character with alter-egos like "Granny Scoopshovel"; the opening soundtrack had him released from a cage to start the program.[3]

When The Beatles toured Australia in 1964, Mel asked his listeners to contribute to a Beatles gift of a woollen scarf. Over 11,000 pieces were received from as far as Tasmania and Fiji. Schoolgirls joined the pieces together in the 2SM foyer, the resulting scarf being over 10 metres long. To present the scarf, Mel hid at the Sheraton Hotel and surprised Paul McCartney in the corridor whereupon Mel was invited into The Beatles sanctum.[4] The scarf was too big for The Beatles to take back to England so Mel kept it. It has been valued at up to $10,000.[5] The scarf was put up for auction through Christie's in 2009.[6]

Mel subsequently befriended members of The Beatles and recorded banter with them for broadcast on his program.[7]

In 1965 Mel moved to CFUN in Vancouver,[8] presenting from 6 pm to 9 pm Monday to Friday, and 4 pm to 9 pm on Saturday.[9] Coincidentally, CFUN was also using the Good Guys format at that time, although Mel was known as the "Bad Guy".[10]

In 1969, 2SM program manager Rod Muir relaunched the Good Guys format and brought Mad Mel back to the station.[2] Mel promoted a number of events including the Mad Mel Big Stir, a concert under the Sydney Harbour Bridge featuring Tamam Shud and other bands.[11][12][13]

Mad Mel attempted a comeback in the 1980s on 2WS with additional material written by Vic Davies.[14]

It is believed that Mad Mel still lives in Sydney.


  1. ^ Bennest, Jack (4 June 2006). "Early Victoria Radio". Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "2SM". Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Mad Mel Intro". Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Baker, Glenn A.; Dilernia, Roger (1982). The Beatles Down Under. Wild & Woolley. ISBN 0-909331-44-8. 
  5. ^ Cockington, James (23 May 2007). "Blasts from the past". Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Lot 120: The Beatles". 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Mad Mel & Paul McCartney". 1964. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  8. ^ Robinson, Red (14 August 2009). "The Beatles And Mad Mel, 1964". Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "CFUN Gallery". Vancouver Radio Museum. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "Welcome to Mad Mel's Cage". Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  11. ^ "Mad Mel Giant Stir". 1969. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Stir". 1969. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Mad Mel's Giant Stir". 1969. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Farewell Vic". 12 November 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2010.