John Peel: me, JFK, Germaine, and a nightmare at school

There is also speculation that the memoirs will reveal that the BBC DJ, who died last year, may describe his encounter with John F Kennedy on the day that the US president was shot dead.

The release of the book next month has been timed to coincide with John Peel Day, which has been organised by BBC Radio 1 as a tribute to the much-loved broadcaster. A Channel 4 documentary about his vast record collection including thousands of CDs and singles will follow.

John Peel revealed shortly before he died last October on a trip to Peru that he was victimised as a "cute" 13-year-old arriving as a boarder at Shrewsbury school in 1953.

The allegations of abuse by older boys have been backed up by former schoolfriends. Malcolm Davis told The Sunday Times that he was "loosely" aware of his friend's ordeal.

John Peel also told Mr Davis that while working as an insurance clerk and part-time DJ in Dallas in 1963 that he was one of the last people to speak to John F Kennedy on the day he died. He is understood to have told Mr Davis that the president invited him, after hearing his English accent, into the presidential car to take better photographs.

The broadcaster wrote the first chapter of the book before he died at the age of 65, and his wife Sheila, whom he affectionately called "Pig", completed the manuscript.

The memoir will chart his progress from public school through national service to working as a radio DJ in America. He managed to secure his break in radio after claiming to come from Liverpool and to know the Beatles.

In the US, he married his first wife, who later turned out to be only 15. In the early 1970s, he had a one-night stand with the feminist Germaine Greer, before his second marriage.

John Peel told his former schoolfriends that his aim was to dedicate his life story to his housemaster Hugh Brooke, whom he credited with making his later years at Shrewsbury so enjoyable.

John Peel, whose real name was John Ravenscroft, was allowed to join Shrewsbury despite failing his common entrance exam. His father, a rich cotton trader, had been a pupil, as had Peel's uncle and both his grandfathers .

As part of the John Peel tribute season, The Who's Roger Daltrey, Peter Hook of New Order and new bands including the Futureheads have recorded a Band Aid-style version of one of Peel's favourite songs, "Ever Fallen in Love" by the Buzzcocks.

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