Sunday, January 10, 2016

Djobit: Ed "Stewpot" Stewart

Ed Stewart, known as "Stewpot", has died.

One of the many who made the leap from pirate radio to the starting line-up of Radio One, Stewart wound up doing Junior Choice for years, playing Nellie The Elephant and the like.

Ah, Junior Choice. It's become a cliche to cough the word "yewtree" when writing about any DJ from this era, but his own autobiography - reviewed by Danny Baker for Rocking Vicar - did leave "Junior Choice" seeming somewhat appropriately inapproiate:

"I met my wife when she was 13, in 1970…" P.146 (He was 34 at this point)

"…my wife started on my stomach – and nothing else! – when she was 13…" P.147

"I arrived (at her parents) at 7pm and was greeted at the door by what I can only describe as a 13 year old apparition! She was simply stunning." (P147)

"…(the following year, so 14 now) I travelled to Italy to see her. I had just split from Eve Graham of The New Seekers and so, as the song goes, I was "Free Again"! P153

He marries the poor girl when she is 17. Elsewhere –

"We played a charity football match at a girls' school in Lingfield. After the match we visited some of the boarders, who were mostly epileptic. The pupils had just reached puberty and the girls wouldn't let us out of the dormitory. We had to be rescued by the staff!" (P 177)
But it's not all schoolgirls and cheeky winks. Stewpot also finds space to record his contributions to British culture, as Baker records:
And consider this. When you or I get to 66 years old and might, in a drunken orgy of self congratulation actually toy with penning something for the ages about our brief flit across these shifting sands – how much space shall we allow to that one edition of "Celebrity Weakest Link" we pitched up on. A line? A mention in the fulsome notes at the back?

Try NINE FUCKING PAGES! Nine fucking pages in a large print volume devoted to who said what on an edition of "The Weakest Link". That's a full life examined alright, Stewpot!

I swear I got through two complete highlighter pens. Wendy had to call me five times for dinner. Me! For dinner! Five times!
At Christmas 2014, the Daly Express caught up with him for a 'where are the now' piece:
I’m in touch with some of the old faces, including David Hamilton, Paul Burnett and Tony Brandon. We’ll either meet socially or at a convention, such as the tribute to pirate radio in Zurich five years ago
Not entirely convinced that people you saw at effectively a works do half a decade count as people you're in touch with.

He was alright on Crackejack, though. His role was presenter, effectively a headmaster whose idea of dress-down-Friday was to wear a blazer rather than a suit jacket. But somebody had to prove