Neil Fox (broadcaster)

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This article is about the English broadcaster known as Dr. Fox. For the Conservative MP known as Dr. Fox, see Liam Fox.
For the former rugby player, see Neil Fox (rugby league).
Neil Fox
Neil Fox.jpg
Neil Fox at the 2007 ChildLine polo day at Ham Polo Club, London.
Born Neil Andrew Howe Fox
(1961-06-12) 12 June 1961 (age 55)
Harrow, Middlesex, England
Residence East Preston, West Sussex
Chelsea, London
Other names Dr. Fox
Foxy
Alma mater University of Bath
Occupation Radio & television broadcaster
Children 3

Neil Andrew Howe Fox (born 12 June 1961[1] in Harrow, Middlesex) is an English radio DJ and television presenter, known for many years as Dr Fox before he became "Foxy" in the 2000s. He is now known simply as Neil Fox.

He was a judge on Pop Idol between 2001 and 2003 alongside Simon Cowell, Pete Waterman and Nicki Chapman. He appeared as himself, judging a superhero talent show, in BBC Three sketch show The Wrong Door.

Early life[edit]

As a boy he moved to Thames Ditton, Surrey, where he lived for a number of years. He was then educated at Kingston Grammar School in London and joined the Air Training Corps, before becoming a management student at the University of Bath, where he joined the student radio station University Radio Bath, and began his career as a radio presenter using the pseudonym Andrew Howe. After leaving university he worked as a binliner salesman.[2] He is not a qualified doctor although did receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath in respect of his contributions to the media and charity. As a child he enjoyed making the trip to Adams Park to watch Wycombe Wanderers, a team he holds close to his heart.

Radio career[edit]

Radio Wyvern[edit]

In 1984 he started his professional radio career on what is now Free Radio Herefordshire & Worcestershire (then Radio Wyvern) in Hereford and Worcester, starting off with a show called Mellow Yellow. This was broadcast on Friday nights from 9.00 pm - 11.00pm & Saturday nights from 8.00 pm -11.00 pm. In 1985, Fox took over the weekday evening show from 6.00 pm - 9.00 pm, before moving to their weekday afternoon show from 2.00 pm - 6.00 pm. He also presented a Saturday morning show for the station, which went out from 10.00 am - 1.00 pm. He remained there until late 1986, then joined Radio Luxembourg in February 1987 before joining Capital Radio in October the same year.[2]

Capital Radio[edit]

Main article: Capital FM

Fox presented the station's evening show from 7.30 pm -10.00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays (sharing weekday evenings with Pat Sharp), where some of his first shows were broadcast only on medium wave, because Capital were then broadcasting "adult" rock music on FM while mainstream chart music was played on MW. However this soon ceased, the MW transmitters were given over to 'oldies' station Capital Gold, and the FM service became Capital FM. He also presented a Saturday morning show.

In the very early 1990s, there was a short period in which Fox hosted a show starting at midnight on Saturday, specifically aimed at the club crowd. It was for this show that he adopted the moniker "Dr Fox", with the full title of the programme being "Dr Fox's Midnight Surgery". This was at the suggestion of Capital's Programme Director, Richard Park, who some years previously had been a presenter on Radio Clyde and had hosted a similar show under the pseudonym "Dr Dick". Many people called the show for requests, Foxy was well known for lots of banter with the callers and the "Surgery" was soon extended to his weekday evening shows.

Fox was establishing himself as one of Capital FM's most popular DJs[citation needed], and in 1993 he began presenting the Sunday-afternoon Network Chart Show; which due to sponsorship went on to be called the Pepsi Network Chart before becoming simply the Pepsi Chart in 1996 and then hit40uk, sponsored by Woolworth's in 2003. During Fox's tenure, this show, which had previously been hosted by David Jensen, overtook the official Top 40 show on BBC Radio 1 (broadcast at exactly the same time) in terms of audience share as published in the JICRAR figures during the time[citation needed]. In addition to this, he still continued with his evening show, although from 1995, he went out on Sundays to Thursdays. On Sundays, his show went out from 7.00 pm - 8.30 pm on Sundays as he presented the Chart show beforehand. In 1997, it was rumoured that Matthew Bannister offered Fox the breakfast show on BBC Radio 1, following the departure of Chris Evans from the station. In late 1998 he took over Capital's 4.00 pm -7.00 pm drivetime show from David Jensen which was later extended to 8.00 pm.

Fox also presented a show on Channel 5 based around the Pepsi Chart[citation needed] from 1998 until 2002, and he was famously a judge on Pop Idol, as well as presenting various other ITV1 shows. On Capital FM he moved from the weekday evening show to the drivetime show in 1998, again succeeding David Jensen. He deputised for Chris Tarrant on the station's breakfast show on many occasions, especially after Tarrant changed to part-time work in 2003, but was passed over in favour of Johnny Vaughan as Tarrant's successor.

Fox claimed[citation needed] that he wanted to leave Capital when he didn't get the breakfast show, but he initially changed his mind and remained for a while longer. On 30 May 2004 he presented his last hit40uk after 11 years, but remained on Capital FM until the spring of 2005 when he left the station after 18 years, his drivetime show being taken over by Richard Bacon.

Magic 105.4[edit]

Main article: Magic 105.4

Beginning 12 September 2005, he was the presenter of the "More Music Breakfast Show" on Magic 105.4 FM in London, and on DAB, Freeview and Satellite across the UK. His last show was 30 September 2014, after which he was arrested on the studio's premises. Although ultimately acquitted in December 2015, Fox's contract expired in January 2016 and he never returned to Magic.[3]

Awards[edit]

Fox holds ten[4] Sony awards and was awarded the Gold award for lifetime achievement in 2009, as well as having been voted to claim the "Best Disc Jockey" award from the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party multiple times. Fox has also been rewarded with the Arqiva Lifetime achievement award.[5]

Television career[edit]

On 12 October 2008, Fox joined his fellow ex-Pop Idol judges Pete Waterman and Nicki Chapman on Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice, a spoof on the talent show genre of programmes.

Fox appeared on the satirical show Brass Eye's controversial 2001 Paedophilia Special, where he claimed that "Genetically, paedophiles have more genes in common with crabs than they do with you and me. Now that is scientific fact... there's no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact."[6][7]

Other television work and appearances include Doctor Fox's Video Jukebox on LWT, Ice Warriors (voiceover) and The Big Call (host) on ITV, and Not the Jack Docherty Show (host) on Channel 5.

He was also on the end of every episode in Dirty Tricks when Barry and Stuart "killed" him, using various methods.

He appeared on Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs, where he received his puppy Bonzo.

On 2 April 2014, Fox appeared on an episode of Big Star's Little Star with his daughter Martha.

Views[edit]

In August 2014, Fox was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[8]

Fox is an avid supporter of Wycombe Wanderers.

Arrest and trial[edit]

Fox was arrested on 30 September 2014 at Magic FM headquarters in London by police investigating claims of historical sex offences. The arrest came after separate allegations were made by two women. His arrest was not part of the high-profile sex crime investigation Operation Yewtree, which was set up in the wake of revelations about BBC presenter Jimmy Savile. Fox's homes in Fulham and Littlehampton, West Sussex, were searched.[9] He was subsequently released on bail until December 2014,[10] when he was rearrested in relation to three other alleged incidents; he was again bailed until March 2015. On 13 March, he was arrested for an alleged sexual offence against a woman in the early 1990s.[11] He remained on bail until late March, when he was then charged with nine sex offences against six people, of whom three were under the age of 16.[12] The offences allegedly occurred between 1991 and 2014.[13] He entered pleas of not guilty at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 16 April 2015.[13][14] He pleaded not guilty to six additional charges from 1987 and 1988 involving three girls under the age of 16 on 2 October.[15]

His trial began on 5 November 2015.[16] Prosecutors cleared him of five charges before the start of the trial.[17] The bench trial took place at Westminster Magistrates' Court.[18] He was found not guilty on all charges on 14 December.[19] Fox's trial was the first high-profile sexual abuse case to be decided by magistrates, rather than a jury, since the Savile scandal.[20] In the summary Judge Howard Riddle stated: "We heard evidence of about 10 allegations from six women. We believed each of the complainants. The question we must ask is whether we are sure of the facts alleged, sure of the context in which they occurred and sure that they amount to criminal offences."[21] Judge Riddle spoke of the difficulty in dealing with the historic cases, claiming they were not sure if the incidents occurred as described or if they amounted to criminal offences and was not sure if the most recent allegation was a criminal offence.[20][22] In a statement to the media following the verdict, Fox stated: "This case has once again raised concerns about how high profile cases such as this have been investigated by the CPS".[20] He then thanked supporters and expressed his interest in returning to broadcasting.[20]

Discography[edit]

  • Mix'o'matic (1996)

The album Mix'o'matic is a remix album, containing fifty songs over two discs mixed together by Fox.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Neil Fox". Biogs. 
  2. ^ a b John Plunkett. "Interview with Neil Fox: 'It's been a long-term disaster'". the Guardian. 
  3. ^ Cooke, Chris (14 January 2016). "Neil Fox won't return to Magic breakfast". Complete Music Update. Retrieved 18 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sony Radio Academy Awards 2011: full list of winners". the Guardian. 
  5. ^ "Station of the Year for Classic FM". RadioToday. 6 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Neil Fox on the Brass Eye special". YouTube. 
  7. ^ "Paedophile spoof Brass Eye nominated for TV Bafta". Mail Online. 
  8. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "BBC News - Neil Fox arrest: DJ 'Dr Fox' quizzed over 'sex assaults'". BBC News. 
  10. ^ "DJ Neil Fox released on bail". The Daily Express. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "DJ Neil Fox arrested over sexual assault allegation". BBC News. 
  12. ^ "Neil Fox charged with sex assaults". BBC News. 
  13. ^ a b "DJ Neil Fox Charged". Sky News. 23 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "DJ Neil Fox sexually assaulted young teenage girl, court hears". The Guardian. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Neil Fox Denies New Child Sex Assault Charges". Sky News. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015. 
  16. ^ "DJ Neil Fox to stand trial in November over alleged sex offences". The Guardian. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  17. ^ "DJ Neil Fox cleared of five sexual abuse charges, but still faces 10 others". Digital Spy. 5 November 2015. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  18. ^ "Verdicts in DJ Neil Fox sex attacks trail to be given December 14". Glasgow Evening Times. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  19. ^ "Neil 'Dr' Fox trial: Live updates as DJ hears verdicts in sex attacks case". Mirror. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  20. ^ a b c d Morgan, Tom (14 December 2015). "Magistrates raise 'difficulty' of historic sex cases as Dr Fox blasts prosecutors after being cleared of assaults". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  21. ^ Riddle, Judge Howard (15 December 2015). "Crown Prosecution Service v Neil Fox" (PDF). crimeline.info. Judiciary of England and Wales. pp. Page 44. Retrieved 15 December 2015. 
  22. ^ Riddle, Judge Howard (15 December 2015). "Crown Prosecution Service v Neil Fox" (PDF). crimeline.info. Judiciary of England and Wales. p. Page 31. Retrieved 15 December 2015.