Obituary: Adrian Love

LIKE MILLIONS of other radio listeners in the South East, I grew up with Adrian Love. He was part of life in London. Capital Radio saw to that, and later, his show Love in the Afternoon on BBC Radio 2 became a regular date for many nationwide.

At the London station Capital Radio from 1976, though, he was the firm but fair presenter of a nightly phone-in which was compulsive listening. He was no "mister nasty", a style which was in vogue among so many of his phone-in host colleagues at the time, but a man who seemed to talk just like the rest of us. Idiosyncratic perhaps, but he connected with people, and that was his strength. It did not matter whether it was a top international celebrity (and he knew many, as he often reminded us) or the postman delivering letters to his house near Edenbridge, in Kent, Love got close to people.

He coined a phrase on that programme at Capital that became the ultimate radio brand - to listeners it came to sum up the whole show. "Anna and the doc" was his description for the problem phone-in he presented with the agony aunt Anna Raeburn and the doctor, whose name to this day eludes me. The show was an unforgettable insight into the lives of others.

To Anna Raeburn it was unforgettable for other reasons. She recalls her first show with Love, who was driving her to despair with his fidgeting. At the end, she laid into him: "While you are clicking and twitching, I am trying to do something for people." His reply was typically simple and disarmingly honest: "You do realise I am terrified of you, don't you?"

Meeting him was a bit of a shock. Listening on air, one built up a mental picture of a big man with that amazing vocal characteristic, a strange mix of sandpaper and fresh honey, with a pair of lungs that had fought the good fight with cigarettes and won. The reality was somewhat different. He was a tall lean man who looked as though he could spend a week in a fast-food restaurant without showing signs of overeating.

The son of the bandleader Geoff Love, Adrian was born, in 1944, into a showbiz family. He told stories of how he entered the "business" as a child and never left it. He began his broadcasting career with the pirate radio station Radio City in 1966 and moved to the BBC Light Programme the next year, followed by work with the World Service, LBC and UBN (United Biscuits Network, the "biscuit factory" station, where he worked with Nicky Horn, Roger Scott and other radio icons).

It would be easy to think that he had led a charmed life from the outset, but life was no picnic for Love. After a move from Capital to an award- winning show on Radio 1 he fell from grace; he was sacked in 1982 for presenting his show while drunk. He made no secret of his alcohol addiction, and even shared his experience with listeners.

He was a family man, and he gave credit to his wife Ros for getting him through the addiction that nearly finished him off. He frequently shared personal moments from his family life on air; Ros and Love's three daughters became part of the bigger family he created with his listeners.

He moved from Love in the Afternoon on Radio 2 to Jazz FM. He then became part of the starting line-up when Classic FM was launched in September 1992. In more recent years he worked for the local BBC radio station Southern Counties Radio, broadcasting to Surrey and Sussex.

Love had an inner strength which you could hear on the air, and which helped him through his alcohol addiction. Unknown to many, he used that strength to help others, through charity fundraising. It also showed in his unnerving enthusiasm to get back to work after a car accident in December 1997 that led to continued ill-health. Simon Bates, a former colleague from Radio 1 described Love's burning enthusiasm for his radio programmes as "exhausting for everyone else".

During what his colleages hoped would be his recuperation from his operation, a couple of us went to visit him at his house. We expected to see a man who was somewhat frail, but he would have none of it, he was full of life: "OK boys, what's the gossip, and when can I get back on the air? Let's start with the goss first."

Adrian Love did get back on the air, but it was not long before his lungs, weakened by a lifetime of asthma attacks, took him off again. He will be remembered by colleagues at Southern Counties as the consummate professional - especially when things didn't quite go the way they were planned - for being unflappable in the face of adverse odds, and for being a friend, not just to those who knew him, but to the listeners, who loved him. As one listener put it, "He was a friend to everybody. I never met him, I didn't even know what he looked like, but he was like a best friend to me."

Adrian Love, disc jockey: born York 3 August 1944; three times married (two daughters, one stepdaughter); died Tunbridge Wells, Kent 10 March 1999.

Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl

First look at Oscar winner as transgender artistfilm
Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Arts and Entertainment
A life-size sculpture by Nick Reynolds depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix hangs in St Marylebone church
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Escalating tension: Tang Wei and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Blackhat’
filmReview: Chris Hemsworth stars as a convicted hacker in Blackhat
Arts and Entertainment

Oscar voter speaks out

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars race for Best Picture will be the battle between Boyhood and Birdman

Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)
tvReview: Wolf Hall
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Meighan of Kasabian collects the Best Album Award
Arts and Entertainment
Best supporting stylist: the late L’Wren Scott dressed Nicole Kidman in 1997
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey


Arts and Entertainment
Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor)
tv occurred in the crucial final scene
Arts and Entertainment
Glasgow wanted to demolish its Red Road flats last year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower