Ed Stewart

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Ed Stewart
Ed Stewart.jpg
Stewart in 1976
Born Edward Stewart Mainwaring
(1941-04-23)23 April 1941
Exmouth, Devon, England
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Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Nationality British
Other names Stewpot
Occupation Broadcaster
Known for BBC Radio 1
Junior Choice
BBC Radio 2
Top of the Pops
Spouse(s) Chiara Henney
(m. 1974–2005, divorced)
Children 1 son, 1 daughter

Edward Stewart Mainwaring (23 April 1941 – 9 January 2016), known as Ed "Stewpot" Stewart, was an English broadcaster. He was principally known for his work as a DJ on BBC Radio 1 (particularly the Saturday morning Junior Choice) and BBC Radio 2 and as a presenter for Top of the Pops and Crackerjack on BBC Television.


Early life and career

Stewart was born Edward Stewart Mainwaring, the son of a Treasury solicitor, in Exmouth, Devon, on (1941-04-23)23 April 1941.[1] He attended St Edward's School, Oxford, and his broadcasting career began in Hong Kong.[2] While touring there as bass player with a jazz group, he gained a job on a local radio station as a sports commentator, then as an announcer and, finally, as a disc jockey.[3] He remained at this station for four years. In July 1965 Stewart became a DJ on the offshore station Radio London and was its chief DJ by the time it closed on 14 August 1967.

Career with BBC Radio and Television

In 1967, Stewart became one of the first DJs to join BBC Radio 1, presenting Happening Sunday and What's New. In 1968, Stewart took over the weekend morning Junior Choice show, where he remained for 12 years. In 1968 he recorded the charity single "I Like My Toys", a cover of The Idle Race song, as "Stewpot And Save The Children Fund Choir".[4]

In 1972 he also presented Radio 1's Sunday Sport show. One week in early 1972, he stood in for Alan "Fluff" Freeman on Pick of the Pops, as well as sitting in for the likes of David Hamilton and Terry Wogan through the 1970s. On 10 September 1973 Stewart became the first presenter of Radio 1's Newsbeat programme.

Stewart became a regular presenter of the BBC television programme Top of the Pops in 1971. He also presented the children's programme Crackerjack from 1973 to 1979,[5] and had a short-lived programme Ed and Zed.

In 1980 Stewart moved to BBC Radio 2, presenting Family Favourites and the weekday afternoon programme from 2pm to 4pm. He was dropped from the Radio 2 line-up in October 1983. Stewart said he was "shocked and disappointed" by the decision of Radio 2 controller Bryant Marriott not to renew his contract.[6]

Commercial radio

Stewart moved to the commercial radio station Radio Mercury (now Heart FM), for six years, presenting their mid-morning show.[citation needed]

Back to the BBC

Stewart rejoined BBC Radio 2 in 1991, first presenting a series of shows and then a regular Saturday afternoon show throughout the summer. In 1992, he once again presented weekday afternoons. This time, the show was broadcast from 3.30pm to 5pm, before moving to 3pm to 5pm in the spring of 1996 and 2pm to 5pm in the spring of 1998. In 1995, Stewart made radio history when he broadcast his Radio 2 show live from the summits of Ben Nevis and Snowdon, in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. The senior guide on the ascent, Wayne Naylor, said at the time that Ed Stewart had carried his own equipment and was accompanied by his wife.

In the summer of 1999, Stewart was taken off the weekday afternoon slot, moving to his Sunday evening show from 5pm – 7pm. At the time the official word was that Stewart had decided to go into semi-retirement, however he later revealed in his autobiography that he was removed from the afternoon programme by then controller Jim Moir.

His Sunday show was a blend of music and chat, plus listeners' letters and 'Where Are They Now?', a feature that attempts to re-unite old friends who have lost touch with each other. Stewart left Radio 2 in April 2006, not long after his autobiography was published in which he questioned the position of his colleagues Sarah Kennedy and Johnnie Walker on the network. Walker replaced him on Sunday afternoons.

Stewart was back for Radio 2's 40th birthday on Sunday 30 September 2007, hosting Junior Choice. He was also heard on the Ken Bruce show and Pop Master on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 2 October 2007.

Stewart was heard on BBC Radio 2 presenting Junior Choice on Christmas Eve on Monday 24 December 2007. Stewart hosted further editions of Junior Choice on Christmas Day from 2008 to 2015. Stewart also hosted the afternoon show on BBC Radio Bristol for two days in the run up to Christmas 2001.

Other radio work

In February 2005, Stewart took over the weekday afternoon show on Spectrum FM, an English-speaking radio station that broadcasts to Spain.

Stewart was heard on Big L 1395 covering for David Hamilton on 18 December 2006, and also in January 2007. He also covered for Mike Read there in March 2007. He has presented special shows on Classic Gold on Christmas Day 2006, New Year's Day 2007 and also May Day Bank Holiday Monday 2007. He did a one off Sunday morning show (10am-2pm) on KCFM in September 2008. He also stood in for Shaun Tilley on his programme "I Haven't Heard It For Ages" (2.00pm-4.00pm) on Sundays on KCFM 2008/9.

From February 2009 to September 2009 Stewart could be heard presenting on Saturday and Sunday mornings between 9.00am and noon on internet radio station Wight FM (this was voicetracked).

Stewart also stood in for Shaun Tilley on the networked show The Retro Chart Years for a week in August 2009 and again in 2010. He also appears on another of Shaun Tilley's shows The Vintage Top 40 Show, which goes out on various BBC local stations on Sundays at 5pm.

In 2014, he took part in a Radio Legends week on BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey.

Look-in Magazine

For many years Stewart was the figurehead for children's magazine Look-in, the "Junior TV Times". Starting in 1971 with a feature on a day in his life, he was brought in as a regular with a feature called "'Stewpot's Look-out", which later became "'Stewpot's Newsdesk". They also used his name in other features such as "Stewpot's Starchart". Newsdesk ended in 1980, as did Stewart's association with the magazine.[citation needed]


The male voice saying "Excuse me, may I have the pleasure of this dance?" on the original 1973 single Won't Somebody Dance with Me by Lynsey de Paul belonged to Ed Stewart. [7]

Personal life

Stewart's two main interests were playing golf (he often met listeners of his programme who volunteered to caddy for him) and football; he was a supporter of Everton F.C.[citation needed]

Stewart met his wife when she was 13 and he was 31; arriving at her parents house he was "greeted at the door by what I can only describe as a 13-year-old apparition. She was simply stunning."[8] The couple married four years later[9] and divorced in 2006.[10] The couple had one daughter and a son.[11][1]

He was a close friend of Max Bygraves. On Bygraves's death in 2012 he recalled him as a "unique talent" whose skills as a comedian, actor and singer "brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people."[12]

Stewart was also an advocate and supporter of Phab Ltd, a charity operating in England and Wales which promotes inclusion for children and adults with disabilities. Stewart attended annual events held to raise awareness of Phab's work.[13]


Stewart died at the age of 74 on 9 January 2016 in hospital in Bournemouth following a stroke.[14]



  1. 1.0 1.1 [1]
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  4. [2]
  5. "DJ Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart dies after stroke", Oxford Mail, 9 January 2016.
  6. Radio 2 Drops Ed Stewart
  7. Won't Somebody Dance With Me by Lynsey de Paul
  8. Stewart 2005, p. 146.
  9. Stewart 2005, p. 153.
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  11. [3]
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  13. "Louis Goldberg Award Winner 2015, House of Lords on Thursday 8th October. Awards presented by Phab’s President Ed Stewart and Baroness Campbell of Surbiton DBE", Phab.
  14. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.

External links