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MIKE DICKIN
23/9/1943 to 18/12/2006


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RADIO, STATIONS AND MEMORABILIA     AIRWAVES
In Memory Of
MIKE DICKIN
23 September 1943 to 18 December 2006

I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear of Mike Dickin's death in a car crash on the A30 near Bodmin in Devon, not far from his family home, on 18th December 2006.

Mike Dickin was one of Britain's finest radio journalists and a true broadcasting legend.  His last job was on Talk Sport between 1996 and 2006 where he was known as "Britain's Angriest Man".  He was, perhaps, not so much "angry" as completely and utterly incredulous with many aspects of our society and the state of the nation in general.

In many ways Mike Dickin, who started his radio career at BBC Radio Oxford in 1970, was the father of modern-day talk and speech radio.  His particular style, however, was unique and made utterly complusive listening.
Mike Dickin
Mike Dickin also worked for 2UE in Sydney,  spells at BBC Radio Stoke and BBC Radio Leicester, then LBC Radio and Capital Radio in London,  BBC Radio Four,  Talk Radio andlatterly  Talk Sport. 

Mike Dickin held strong views, which would sometimes divide opinion.  Occasionally the opinions he expressed on his radio programme seemed flawed and would spark furious debate, but in the main he stood for plain and simple common sense, something that our government so often  seems devoid of. He would often talk despairingly on this subject.  Mike would essentially speak up for the honest, law abiding and hard working members of our society, and would indeed be utterly incredulous, if not very angry, at the many injustices that occurred and particularly with the nonsensical political correctness and waste at national and local government level.  Perhaps so incredulous or angry was he with the mess that our political leaders had made that he was said by colleagues James Whale and Ian Collins to have, on more than one occasion (off the air) to have simply stood there and uttered the words "It's all shit isn't it really".

That was the real essence of Mike Dickin, while he could not use those exact words on the air, he really would simply tell it as it was - when things just seemed plain wrong, he would say so.  However he would also allow a detailed discussion and had a forensic mind that could cut to the very bone of any topic being examined.

A particularly hot topic on Mike Dickin's programmes would be the relentless pursuit and persecution of motorists by the authorities -  haven't they got something better to do, like catch real criminals?  Mike's programme would frequently feature Barrie Segal and Neil Herron - seasoned campaigners against  illegal parking tickets.  See  appealnow.com

I always enjoyed his crusade and tirades against political correctness, quangos and general waste & corruption, inept government and local councils, the feckless, the hoodies, yobs, thugs and scum that infect our world, lawlessness, lack of discipline, the ineptitude of the criminal justice system and general lack of respect and decency.  

We need more like you Mike.

Mike DickinI first heard Mike Dickin on LBC in the 1980's and from that moment I was hooked on his style of journalism and presentation. Although I did not not live in the LBC transmission area, which was a source of enormous frustration, I looked forward to tuning in to Mr Dickin's programmes whenever I could.  He was an utterly brilliant broadcaster and I was delighted when he joined Talk Radio (Talk Sport) and have listened to his programmes regularly ever since. His weekend programmes became THE highlight of the radio listening week.

Mike's well known retort to being asked by listeners "How are you Mike?" was usually a rather impatient "My health is not in question.".  He did not suffer fools or time wasters, and simply wanted to discuss whatever topic was under the Dickin microscope that particular evening to the fullest possible extent. He hated those over-used words such as 'basically' and 'y'know'.

Mike Dickin's death is stupefyingly awful and the world and radio is a great deal poorer without his presence.  He will be very sorely missed.
Our thoughts are with his family and his colleagues at Talk Sport Radio.

Mike Dickin was often referred to as The King, due to his resemlance to King Henry VIII - The king is dead.  Talk radio will never be the same again.

Thanks for all your words.

Farewell Mike Dickin - your health is no longer in question.


Mike Dickin
Mike Dickin - The King
1943 to 2006
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Talk Sport Radio

The Talk Sport website announced the devasting news thus:

It's with great sadness that we have to report that Mike Dickin passed away on Monday 18th Dec. Mike Dickin was truly a radio legend and he will be sorely missed by all of us here as well as the millions of listeners who he informed, entertained and argued with over the span of his 36-year illustrious career.

Mike Dickin was a broadcasting legend and will be sorely missed by the millions of listeners he has informed, entertained and argued with over his 36-year career.

Mike Dickin's family has requested that any donations in his memory be made to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Donate via the website at www.rnli.org.uk. After you have made your donation via the website, please e-mail pmiller@rnli.org.uk with the following info: Your name and address, your donation in memory of Mike Dickin and your transaction number, which you will receive by e-mail acknowledging your donation.

Talk Sport Radio webpages
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Talk Sport Radio

The Talk Sport website profiled Mike Dickin as:


Mike Dickin is an all-round sportsman; he smokes, drinks and gets into fights. He is Britain's angriest man!

Of course, we jest. Rarely has a man taken such a keen interest, and participation, in such a wide range of sporting activities and his background in broadcasting is as impressive as Sven-Goran Eriksson’s powers of persuasion.

Mike is a veteran of the radio industry and award-winning presenter - earning a Golden Rose award in New York for his coverage of the Lockerbie disaster.

He started off as a musician in the swinging sixties as a bass player and singer, but was deemed too ‘rock n’ roll’ for rock n’ roll and so took to playing music on the airwaves. Mike joined the BBC in 1970 where he enjoyed arguably the finest moment of his career when he became the first presenter on air at Radio Oxford.

Like fellow late night maestro Mike Mendoza, Dickin landed on his feet and landed a job on Australian radio, working for Sydney’s biggest station, 2UE.

When he returned to Britain in the late seventies he spent 17 years working for Radio 4, LBC and Capital Radio.

A keen sportsman, Mike now does more watching than participating. A few years ago he was a Hellenic League footballer playing for Abingdon United and had a trial with Headington in the season before they became Oxford United. He played cricket for Abingdon as well, and rugby for Oxford.

Also a keen horse racing, tennis, golf, fly fishing and shooting enthusiast, Mike sacrifices things like eating and sleeping to fit it in all his sporting pleasures.

Talk Sport tribute to Mike Dickin      Talk Sport Radio website
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BBC News
The BBC News website announced the news thus:

Radio host Dickin dies in crash.

TalkSport phone-in host Mike Dickin, known to listeners as "The King", has died in a road accident in Cornwall.  Dickin had been with Talksport for ten years.

The presenter, who was in his 60s, was involved in a six car pile-up on the A30 on Monday. He was airlifted to hospital but was pronounced dead.

Dickin started his career at BBC Radio Oxford in the 1970s, where he was the first presenter on the air. He also broadcast on Radio 4 and LBC, and won an award for his coverage of the Lockerbie disaster in 1988. The presenter, who broadcast from his home studio in Bodmin Moor, was known for his passionate, outspoken views. Listeners dubbed him Britain's angriest man, but he was also known as "The King" because of his supposed resemblance to Henry VIII. Dickin hosted weekend overnight phone-ins on Talksport and was last heard on the station last weekend.

Colleague James Whale paid tribute to the broadcaster, calling him "the original grumpy old man". "Radio will never be the same again," continued the presenter, who will pay tribute to Dickin in his programme on Thursday night 21/12/2006. (Podcast available on the TalkSport website)

BBC News Story     BBC News website
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Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph ran this article on Mike Dickin's premature death:


Mike Dickin, who died on Monday (18th December 2006) aged 63, was the robustly outspoken host of a popular three-hour weekend phone-in show on the Talksport radio station.

Affectionately known as "The King" by his fans, because of a supposed resemblance to King Henry VIII, Dickin was more generally known as "Britain's angriest man" on account of his come-off-it-you-bleeding-heart-liberals views on everything from asylum seekers to traffic wardens.

He was also known for catchphrases such as "My health is not in question" (his usual reply to the polite inquiry "How are you?"). Another was the gnomic: "If you were constipated, you'd be speechless."

Dickin's philosophy of life, broadly speaking, was that the world is going to hell, but what the hell can we do about it? A typical Dickin phone-in would involve the presenter laying into such targets as the police, social workers, town hall bureaucrats and all the other "people to whom I pay such vast sums of money to take care of things", and then inviting callers to pick up the gauntlet.

Dickin's pet hates also included anal sex, the EU, music in pubs, poetry, call centres, yobs, phrases such as "at the end of the day", trades unionists (whom he banned from his programme) and almost anyone who was not English.

He caused an outcry north of the border by claiming that "the only reason we have to change the clocks is that Scottish farmers are too tight-fisted to pay for electric lighting", and was forced to apologise to Welsh listeners after saying: "If a Welshman mated with a pretty sheep, there is a one per cent chance of the result having some brains. But if it was an ugly sheep, there is no chance at all."

Woe betide any caller who betrayed emotional vulnerability. When, during a phone-in about workplace bullying, an anxious caller rang to say that his daughter, off work for a month, was being bullied by her boss, Dickin retorted: "I know where my sympathies lie. While she's trotting off to see the doctor, who's doing her job? Maybe your daughter's incompetent."

Not that Dickin hated everything. He liked motor racing, Nicole (the girl in the Renault Clio adverts who said "Papa?"), and Princess Diana's figure. Indeed it was Dickin who first broke the news of the Princess's death on the air waves, though he apparently subscribed to the view that she had been murdered.

But he generally disliked it when callers agreed with him. If they also happened to be female he might conclude the conversation with the insultingly suggestive: "I've got to go: I'm beginning to enjoy myself."

When one caller rang to suggest that Dickin and the Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn "put your heads together and form a political party we can bloody vote for", Dickin revealed that they had considered the idea and that the suggested name was "Littledick".

Michael Dickin was born on September 28, 1943 and started out as a bass player and singer in the 1960s before joining the BBC in 1970 as the first presenter on air at Radio Oxford.

In 1977 Dickin moved to Australia, where he worked for the Sydney radio station, 2UE. Returning to Britain in the late 1970s he worked for BBC Radio 4, LBC and Capital Radio, winning an award for his coverage of the Lockerbie disaster in 1988. He was voted Radio Personality of the Year in 1994.

He joined Talksport (then Talk Radio UK) in 1996 and became host of its phone-in show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. All of his shows were broadcast from a studio deep below Mount Folly in the centre of Bodmin, Cornwall, a few miles from his home.

On Monday night Dickin was gravely injured in an accident involving six cars on the A30 near Bodmin. He was airlifted to hospital but later died.

He is survived by his wife, Karen, and by five children.

Daily Telegraph story
    Daily Telegraph Website
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Talk Sport Radio

Mike Dickin's Talk Sport colleagues left these messages of condolence on the Talk Sport web page:


Andy Jacobs, talkSPORT Presenter:

“Its very sad. Mike was known as one of the angriest men on radio but in fact he was one of the loveliest guys I know. He loved his sport, especially the horses and really was one of the originals”


Paul Hawksbee:

“I’m still taking in the news. It’s a terrible shock for everybody and my condolences go out to his family. The angry character you heard on the radio was born from his passion for life and off air he really was a pussycat. Mike was a wonderful guy and a legend."


Rhodri Williams, talkSPORT Presenter:

Mike will always be thought of as a radio legend. Anyone working in this medium will have picked up some tips while listening to a master of the airwaves. He was a huge personality and possessed charisma in abundance. His voice and his views will be sorely missed.


Mike Allen, talkSPORT Presenter:

"He was a master of Talk Radio, and no stranger to pure theatricals on air"


Adrian Durham, talkSPORT Presenter:

“For someone like me to have the opportunity to work with a man like Mike Dickin was amazing. He was a great man, steeped in radio tradition and he was a first class broadcaster.”


Duncan Barkes, TalkSPORT Presenter;

“Mike was one of the reasons why I gravitated towards doing talk radio and stopped playing the songs. He gave me some valuable advice and tips on the way up and he always believed you should be true to yourself. Radio has lost a legend.”


Keith Arthur, talkSPORT presenter:

I am old enough to remember Mike Dickin from his days with Capital, his late evening shows were really a taste of what speech radio was to become, with music in between. When I started Fisherman's Blues with Talk Radio, on a Sunday evening as it was then, Mike was one of the radio names that I instantly recognised. When Talk Radio became TalkSPORT and we moved studios, I was given a Saturday morning slot, as well as Sunday evening, and I took over from Mike Dickin's overnight show. It is difficult to explain how proud that made me feel: a newcomer to radio being 'thrown to' by one of the true greats. We had many chats about fishing, I even managed to track Mike down a new fly fishing outfit – Temple Fishery was literally at the end of his road.


Mike was the genuine article. He didn't make up an argument: if he made a statement he believed it. Anyone with an opinion that didn't match his, had better watch out! That was what made him brilliant: he meant every word he said on air, and off it, where he did not suffer fools gladly either.

As well as loving his radio work, Mike was also a motoring aficionado; there was rarely the same car twice outside Talk Towers on a Sunday morning.

I will miss you Mike, as will all other lovers of speech radio. Rest in peace.


Jon Gaunt, talkSPORT Presenter:

"I never met him face-to-face, but only last Friday we were having a right old ding-dong on air. He truly was Britain's angriest man and I'm sure his millions of listeners will miss him dearly"


Alan Brazil, talkSPORT Presenter:

“This is devastating news, I knew him well and although I hadn’t seen him for a long time I liked him a lot. He was a genuine radio legend and I'll really miss him'.


Mike Parry, talkSPORT Presenter:

“Mike Dickin was a very very powerful influence on my broadcasting life. He had a huge intellect and could not be beaten in debate. He was one the best and it will be years before we discover another of his calibre”.


Charlie Wolf, talkSPORT Presenter:

'Mike was a consummate professional and somebody I looked up to as a colleague and a friend'


Mike Mendoza, talkSPORT Presenter:

"Words almost fail me at this time and I will be saying how I felt about Mike Dickin over the weekend. Over the past 5/6 months, since i moved to the weekend shows I have had the pleasure of chatting with Mike for our crossovers. Every weekend I look forward to that moment and tragically that moment has been taken from me, I loved our chats both on and off air. I had the pleasure of working with Mike Dickin at LBC in the old 'Hammersmith' days, he was a real fun person who did mix with many of the others in the company, not the loner some make him out to be. He enjoyed life to the full, played hard and worked harder. He was the true professional on air and is certainly a true legend and is a great loss to us all, not just at talkSPORT who worked with him but the listeners and more especially his family who he held so dear. My thoughts and condolances and best wishes go out to them at this tragic time..."


George Alexander, Mike Dickin's producer:

Mike Dickin was truly an all-round radio performer. He was known as the Angriest Man in Britain, which he may well have been, but he took great joy in his anger, and in his act, which was polished to perfection.

He knew exactly how to get callers fired up, how to provoke the biggest reaction, how to structure an argument. Mike carefully crafted his programmes out of precise amounts of despair, debate and humour.

While he never suffered fools gladly, he was incredibly loyal to those who worked with him, and devoted to his family, for whom it is truly a devastating loss.

It was an honour to know him, and to work with him for the last few years of his phenomenal career. Mike will be sorely missed, not only as a giant of British broadcasting, but as a unique and much loved human being.

Talk Sport tribute to Mike Dickin     Talk Sport Radio website
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LBC Radio 97.3 FM, 1152 AM

Mike Dickin

Chris Lowrie remembers the former LBC presenter, who died last Monday

He was known as the grumpy, gruff man of radio but I'm going to let you into a secret: he was actually a teddy bear and passionate about life. He loved his horses, the countryside, fast cars and the odd drink.

I first met Mike back in 1989 when he returned to LBC and presented an afternoon show on what was then called London Talkback Radio (Our Medium Wave station at the time).  At first I was frightened of him because he was this big burly guy who had a reputation for being fierce. But he wasn't really like that at all. Yes, okay, he did get a bit bad tempered at times, but I soon discovered he was a friendly guy with a warm heart.

He was one of the last of the old troupe of hard living talk show hosts, and I know that many of my ex-LBC colleagues and friends at TalkSport will miss him enormously. So shall I. 

LBC website
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FROM NEIL HERRON's Blog Site:

The following report is a report of the tragic death and career of TalkSPORT radio host Mike Dickin.

Barrie Segal and I became a regular fixture of the 'angriest man in Britain's' phone-in on TalkSPORT. Mike certainly lived up to his reputation when callers rang up to highlight their personal parking injustices. He did not hold back when he aired his thoughts on the illegality of decriminalised parking and the behaviour of those involved.

He will be a very big miss.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Mike's family.

Radio host Dickin dies in crash


Mike Dickin had been with Talksport for ten years.

Talksport phone-in host Mike Dickin, known to listeners as "The King", has died in a road accident in Cornwall.The presenter, who was in his 60s, was involved in a six car pile-up on the A30 on Monday. He was airlifted to hospital but was pronounced dead.

Dickin started his career at BBC Radio Oxford in the 1970s, where he was the first presenter on the air.

He also broadcast on Radio 4 and LBC, and won an award for his coverage of the Lockerbie disaster in 1988.

The presenter, who broadcast from his home studio in Bodmin Moor, was known for his passionate, outspoken views.

Listeners dubbed him Britain's angriest man, but he was also known as "The King" because of his supposed resemblance to Henry VIII.

Dickin hosted weekend overnight phone-ins on Talksport and was last heard on the station last weekend.

Colleague James Whale paid tribute to the broadcaster, calling him "the original grumpy old man".
"Radio will never be the same again," continued the presenter, who will pay tribute to Dickin in his programme on Thursday night
Mike Dickin was a broadcasting legend and will be sorely missed by the millions of listeners he has informed, entertained and argued with over his 36-year career.

Now here is your chance to remember Mike in this Book of Condolences, which will be passed on to his wife, Karen, and family. Feel free to share your memories, anecdotes or just your simple condolences to this great broadcaster

Mike Dickin (1935 – December 18, 2006), was a late-night host on the British radio station talkSPORT. Dickin used to present the 1am to 6am slot at weekends on Talk Radio. He returned filling in for James Whale during his battle with kidney cancer. He was given the morning show slot soon afterwards. He was affectionately known as the King by his fans due to his resemblance to King Henry VIII.

Starting 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, Dickin moved to Australia where he worked for Sydney's biggest radio station, 2UE. Upon returning to the UK in the late seventies he spent 17 years working for BBC Radio 4, LBC and Capital Radio. He started at Talksport (then Talk Radio UK) in 1996.

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, parking tickets and call centres. He was also known for his catchphrases, such as “My health is not in question,” when asked how he is. Another catchphrase is “If you were constipated, you’d be speechless.”

Mike Dickin was killed in a car crash on the A30 near his home in Cornwall, on December 18th 2006.

Neil Herron's blog pages
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The Independent

Mike Dickin

Radio's  'Mr Grumpy'
08 January 2007
By Mike Allen

Robert Michael Dickin, broadcaster and journalist: born Reading 28 September 1943; twice married (two sons, three daughters); died Bodmin, Cornwall 18 December 2006.

One of the most challenging nights of Mike Dickin's career was being on air in 1997 as the news service IRN (Independent Radio News) announced that Diana, Princess of Wales had been involved in a car crash. At the time Dickin was working as host of a phone-in show on Talk Radio UK, the radio station now known as talkSPORT and, as the broadcaster who first announced the news of the Princess's death, he set the benchmark that night.

Born in 1943, Dickin worked early in his life as a motoring writer and later drove a Mini in the 1977 London to Sydney Rally. A job at BBC Radio Oxford in 1970 was the start of his career in "think-on-your-feet radio". There was a definite attraction on his part to theatricality (he played bass guitar as a hobby) that showed up again and again, especially when he had an on-air rant, and it earned him the title "Mr Grumpy".

In the late Seventies he moved to Capital Radio in London and worked on a show called Midnight Special. Even then, the format showed the way his future would develop. A mix of three callers and three records gave him a chance to express his opinions and disagree when he felt it was all going too smoothly. There was a later attempt to get a book he had written published - when he spoke about it, in a passing reference, about 15 years later, claiming that no one wanted to publish it, the regret in his voice was apparent.

As he was getting his show together, and his production staff were helping write up the cues and crib sheets, at some point there might be an explosive and outrageous reaction to a story on the wire services or in the newspapers' first editions. Then the production assistants would look at each other with barely masked grins; they knew from an outburst of pure Dickin that it was going to be "a good one tonight".

After working at Capital Radio, Dickin was asked to join LBC (London Broadcasting Company). His producer there was Nikki Townley. Townley recalls that, when Dickin was presented with the Local Radio Personality of the Year award in 1994, "A very well-known BBC presenter was on stage in front of Mike, just wrapping up her essential list of assistants - this wasn't lost on Mike. He followed her extended list of thanks by simply pointing me out as his entire production team and at the same time highlighting the disparity between the BBC and commercial radio - point made, I would suggest."

Townley also remembers that one event at LBC involving Mike Dickin inspired an episode of the TV hit Drop the Dead Donkey. People with large personalities generate urban myths, and my personal favourite is of Dickin's having done stunt-driving in the 1969 film The Italian Job. It turns out to be true.

Mike Allen


The obituary in The Independent     The Independent website


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