Robert Michael Dickin
28 September 1943
|Died||18 December 2006 (aged 63)|
Dickin used to present the 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. slot at weekends on Talk Radio UK from 1995 to 2001. He returned, filling in for James Whale during Whale's battle with kidney cancer. He was given the morning show slot soon afterwards, and then moved to the 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. show on weekends before his death.
Born in 1943 in Reading, Berkshire, he started out as a musician in the 1960s: Dickin was a bass player and singer who found he preferred playing records to making them when he joined the BBC in 1970 as the first presenter on air at Radio Oxford.
In 1977, he competed in the London to Sydney Rally in a Mini 1275GT, co-driven by musician Simon Park. The same year, Dickin moved to Australia where he worked for Sydney's biggest radio station, 2UE. Upon returning to Britain in the late 1970s, he spent 17 years working for BBC Radio 4, LBC, and Capital Radio. He started at Talksport (then Talk Radio UK) in 1995, taking over from Nick Miller.
Dickin was on air in the UK overnight when news was broken of the car crash that subsequently killed Diana, Princess of Wales, and he was still on air to make the announcement of her death as a newsflash.
Although he had a reputation as an argumentative controversialist, his put-downs were withering and waspish enough without needing to raise his voice. During a phone-in on religion in late 2005, a caller mentioned Scientology, to which Dickin replied sardonically: "Ah, yes. Tom Cruise and John Travolta - two of the great theologians of our age."
Dickin was famous for his strongly-held views. His passion led to him being labelled "Britain's angriest man" by talkSPORT listeners. Typical discussions on his show included crime, cars, trains, taxis, the problems of young people, the downfall of Britain, the incompetence of people in the service industry, speed cameras, parking tickets, and call centres. He was also known for his catchphrases, such as, "My health is not in question", when asked how he was. Other catchphrases include: "If you were constipated, you'd be speechless", "I've had a gutful...", "You don't have two brain cells to rub together".
Dickin liked motor-racing. Some of his shows were broadcast from a studio in Bodmin, Cornwall, a few miles from his home. A staunch atheist, Dickin's last show was all about the afterlife and the existence of God; famous atheist and author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, was Dickin's guest on his last show.
Mike Dickin was killed in a car crash while driving on the A30 near his home in Cornwall, on 18 December 2006, at the age of 63. James Whale presented his tribute show. Dickin left a wife (second marriage) and 6 children, including two from his first marriage and one from a brief relationship.
- TalkSport presenter Mike Dickin has died, Press Gazette coverage of death
- Radio host Dickin dies in crash, BBC News article about his death
- Audio of Mike Dickin's newsflash on death of Diana, Princess of Wales, extracted from the MHP Media Service, at www.meldrum.co.uk/mhp/