The broadcaster, John Peel, was the champion of British rock music. For nearly 40 years, his late-night Radio 1 programme led the way in promoting new acts, from David Bowie, through Joy Division to Lamar.  He died this morning of a heart attack.

One of my earliest memories is listening to Peel playing the three Deaths on his show - Death, Napalm Death and Lawnmower Deth - and later and more memorably probably the worst single ever recorded - Boing by the Rotterdam Termination Squad - to win a bet from one of his listeners. Like the great hollywood artists, he will not be replaced.

[Update july 2006 : His autobiography, Margrave of the Marshes, is available on Amazon]