John Edward
31st October 1945 – 23rd October 2021

(Left) John pictured outside the East Coast Rock Café in Harwich in 2001
with Radio London shipmates Ian Damon, Willy Walker and Keith Skues

(Below) Alan Field with John and his beloved wife Sue attending a Big L Reunion

Big L DJ John Edward, known on Radio City as Johnny Flux

Chris and I first met John at the Big L '97 Reunion dinner in Clacton and gave him a lift to the 'Summer of Love' dance afterwards. John's Knees Club nickname ' Purpleknees' came about after he signed his name John Purpleknees Edward on a letter that he sent me from the Galaxy in 1966. He said he had recalled a childhood scrape when his mum had applied gentian violet to a knee wound and changed the colour of his patella to purple.

John presented many of Radio London's onshore gigs and particularly recalled introducing Stevie Wonder at Billy Walker's Uppercut Club in London, while wearing a hired, blue suit!

We last saw John at a gathering in 2017 to celebrate Radio London's birthday.

Fans of the Fab Forty will be well aware of the major contribution that John made to the Oldies Project recordings of the charts. John was very proud of his input to the programmes and would have been pleased to know that the Oldies Project team intends to continue to air his voice on the weekly shows, on Sunday mornings, 1100 GMT, repeated Wednesday evenings 1800 GMT.

The original feature in The Sun newspaper that alerted us to the sad news of the John's death (unfortunately, mistakenly stating that he had died in August, when it should have been October) was followed up in the paper by the news of a campaign to save John's creation Metal Mickey by actors Gary Shail and Lucinda Freeman. Between 1980 and 1983, the pair co-starred with Mickey in his popular LWT TV show. Since his creator's demise, Mickey had continued to reside at John's flat, which landlordshad been refusing permission for anyone to access. Fortunately, access to the flat was gained eventually and Mickey is now safely installed at the offices of The Sun. The paper says, "There has already been interest from producers who want to make a reboot or he could be moved to a museum." John had been hoping to revive Mickey's career and would have been very happy to know that he has been rescued..

Mickey was regarded as a member of the Edward family and John and his late wife Sue would send greeting cards signed from the three of them. In recent years, John sent us this Christmas card.

John's own photo of his patellae

Bob le Roi has posted on his website the fascinating full story of John's career in music, radio and TV.

A report of John's Funeral
by Stephen Chesney

Wednesday, 5th January 2022, City of London Cemetery and Crematorium, Aldersbrook Rd, London E12 5DQ

(The photo on the right is a personal one of John's that he sent us for use on the Radio London website because he particularly liked it.)

John had resided in the flat where he passed away for the past 55 years. He was not a wealthy man, so his funeral was paid for by the Local Authority, who must be commended for their handling of the overall dignity and professionalism of this sad occasion. Just eleven of us attended, plus the humanist celebrant, who had been well briefed.

Describing John as "creative, funny and talented," the celebrant ran through his long career in music, radio and TV, mentioning his time both at Radio City and Big L. Three recordings were played. First, 'I Pity the Fool', John's 1965 recording with David Bowie and The Manish Boys. Second, a song by Metal Mickey which featured John's synthesised voice, I think called 'I Can Boogie'. (Metal Mickey's catchphrase was "boogie, boogie, boogie". ) You can probably guess the last one - 'Save Your Love' by Renee & Renato, which John co-wrote with his wife Sue. Originally intended to be a spoof, it became a huge surprise hit.

Two personal tributes were given. First by Jon Martin, who had only known John for a few months, and second by Malcolm Collins who said John had been his best friend over the last few years. They both spoke of John with great fondness and mentioned the problems he had suffered with his memory. At the time of his death he was interested in new projects but had forgotten some of his past.

After his beloved wife Sue died in 2014 John was in desperate need of companionship, friendship and comfort. Via the internet, he made contact with a woman called Cilla whom he once visited in her home country of the Philippines. Cilla seemed genuinely fond of him and was upset to hear of his death.

I spent some time before and after the Service chatting to some of the other attendees. They included the actor Philip Philmar, a woman who worked on the production of the Metal Mickey TV series and a man from the Performing Rights Society, who knows Keith Skues. It was clear that none of them had ever heard John on the airwaves as a DJ and some had not known about that part of his life. I was therefore pleased to have been able to represent pirate radio nostalgia.