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Andy Kershaw

Andy Kershaw Leeds.jpg
At the unveiling of a Blue Plaque for The Who at the University of Leeds on 17 June 2006

Birth name Andrew Kershaw
Born 9 November 1959 (1959-11-09) (age 50)
Rochdale, Lancashire
Style Disc Jockey
Country United Kingdom

Andy Kershaw (born 9 November 1959 in Rochdale, Lancashire) is a British broadcaster, known predominantly as a champion of world music.

His shows feature a mix of country, blues, reggae, sounds from around Africa, folk music, Asian music and spoken word performance from the likes of Ivor Cutler and John Cooper Clarke.



The son of a headmistress, Kershaw and his sister, fellow presenter Liz Kershaw, were born in Rochdale.[1] Kershaw attended Hulme Grammar School, before studying politics at University of Leeds, where he also held the office of Entertainments Secretary for Leeds University Union.[2]

His career in broadcasting started with Leeds station Radio Aire. He then moved to London and worked as a roadie for various acts, including Billy Bragg.

He presented the music programme Whistle Test for BBC television in the mid-1980s which featured sessions from new and established acts, and during this period was one of the anchormen of the corporation's coverage of Live Aid.

He then joined the national pop network BBC Radio 1 to host a Sunday night show which, as his tastes broadened, eventually became a weekly outlet for world music, featuring acts and styles from all corners of the globe. He left the station after 15 years in 2000. Kershaw subsequently hosted a world music show on BBC Radio 3 and is a keen traveller.

In July 2003 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of music by the University of East Anglia,[3] and in 2005 he was similarly honoured by his old university, University of Leeds[4] (having failed to graduate originally).

Andy was critical of Radio 1's scheduling after his friend John Peel died in 2004.

In June 2005 Kershaw criticised Bob Geldof over the choice of artists due to play at Live 8, saying the bills for the various concerts included few black performers and even fewer Africans. This echoed his sentiments expressed over the choice of acts for Live Aid concert staged by Geldof in 1985.

Andy has been involved with two compilations called "Great Moments in Vinyl History" which document his wide music taste. In March 2007, he appeared on Desert Island Discs.

From July 2007 Andy was absent from his Radio Three show for an extended period and the show was hosted by numerous guest presenters.

In January 2008 Kershaw's show was replaced by a new world music programme entitled World on 3, presented by Charlie Gillett, Lopa Kothari and Mary Ann Kennedy.

In October 2009, Andy announced that he will be returning to Radio 3. After a curry with Radio 3 Controller Roger Wright, Andy has reported plans for him to present a new series of radio documentaries about world music.[5]

Personal life

Kershaw had a long term relationship with Juliette Banner, who owns a restaurant in Crouch End, North London. The couple have a son, Sonny, and a daughter, Dolly. Kershaw is a lifelong fan of the TT races, which first brought him to the Isle Of Man at the age of 14. Juliette bought a holiday home on the island in 2003. In April 2006, the couple moved permanently to the island, and planned to convert a former nursing home on the sea front in Peel into a home and studio complex, from where Kershaw could present his radio show.[6]

After the breakdown of the relationship in October 2006, when Banner discovered his infidelity of the previous summer[7][8], a restraining order was placed on Kershaw, forbidding him to contact her. On 30 August 2007, Kershaw was imprisoned for breaking the restraining order after being picked up near the home of Banner.[9] He was released a week later on £2,000 bail [10] before then pleading guilty to the offence when appearing in court on a drink-driving charge. He was charged with causing alarm and distress to Banner and her new partner Jim Imrie,[11] and on 9 October 2007 was sentenced to three months in jail suspended for 18 months at the Isle of Man Courts of Justice.[12]

On 11 December 2007 Kershaw made another court appearance in which he pleaded guilty to charges of being drunk and disorderly, breaching the restraining order for a second time and sending "text messages of an abusing nature" aimed at Miss Banner and Mr Imrie.[13] The judge advised Kershaw that "when we meet on 15 January it might be advisable to have your bags packed," and he was jailed for three months on 15 January 2008.[14] He was released on 29 February after serving 44 days of his sentence.[15]

On 3 March 2008, Kershaw was returned to jail after being freed only three days earlier.[16] He was arrested near his home on the Isle of Man for allegedly breaching the restraining order once again. At the subsequent court hearing on 4 March, he pleaded guilty to the charge and was given a six-month jail term suspended for two years, on condition that he agreed to leave the Isle of Man to sort out his personal problems.[17]

On 11 September 2008 it was reported that an arrest warrant for Kershaw had been issued in the Isle of Man for another alleged breach of his restraining order.[18]

After voluntarily returning to the Isle of Man in December 2008, Kershaw was arrested and given a six-month sentence suspended for two years for breaching the restraining order against him seven months previously. His advocate, Kevin O'Riordan, explained his client had received help for his alcohol habit and for anger management. He added that Mr Kershaw had been given a 'strong indication' that there was work for him at the BBC after the charge was dealt with. [19]

Kershaw was scheduled to be interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 programme 'On the Ropes' on 28 April 2009; however, the programme was cancelled by the BBC at the last moment because, according to Mark Damazer, controller of Radio 4, 'the programme did not work'.[20] In a piece for The Independent, Kershaw asserted that the cancellation occurred after Juliette Banner had approached the BBC, in spite of the programme having been okayed by BBC lawyers.[8]


  1. ^ "DJ Kershaw 'devastated' as ex says it really is all over". 24 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ UEA - UEA press releases
  4. ^ BBC - Radio 3 - World Music - Andy Kershaw Honoured
  5. ^
  6. ^ "BBC DJ Andy Kershaw banned from pubs after being freed from jail". 4 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  7. ^ Sharp, Rob (2008-09-04). "The Year My Life Fell Apart". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-08-08.  
  8. ^ a b Kershaw, Andy. "How the BBC left me on the ropes"]. The Independent. Retrieved 2009-08-08.  
  9. ^ BBC radio presenter in jail | The Sun |HomePage|News
  10. ^ Bearded Magazine :: When the country is in the brown, independent music gets BEARDED
  11. ^ Bearded Magazine :: When the country is in the brown, independent music gets BEARDED
  12. ^ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Suspended jail term for radio DJ
  13. ^ BBC NEWS | Entertainment | DJ Kershaw warned he faces jail
  14. ^ "Kershaw jailed for order breach". BBC News. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  
  15. ^ DJ Kershaw is freed from prison, BBC News, 1 March 2008
  16. ^ Arrested DJ Kershaw back in jail, BBC News, 4 March 2008
  17. ^ DJ told to 'go home with mother', BBC News, 5 March 2008
  18. ^ Arrest warrant for Kershaw, BBC News, 11 September 2008
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ Radio 4 Blog: On the Ropes

External links

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