PAUL MATTHEW GAMBACCINI (born April 2, 1949) is an American-British
radio and television presenter and author in the
United Kingdom . He
has dual United States and British nationality, having become a
British citizen in 2005.
Known as "The Great Gambo" and "The Professor of Pop", Gambaccini
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 presenter for 16 years, including 11 years at the
helm of a Billboard Top 30 countdown show. A regular contributor to
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 's long-running arts programme Kaleidoscope , Gambaccini
was a long-time TV morning show correspondent for British television,
and makes regular appearances on other British TV magazine shows. He
was the host of the 12-part Classic FM series Paul Gambaccini's Hall
of Heroes, and chairs the Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint . Inducted
Radio Academy Hall of Fame in 2005, Gambaccini is the author
of more than 15 books.
* 1 Biography
* 1.1 Education
* 1.2 Broadcasting career
* 1.3 Books
Comic book fandom
* 1.5 Personal life
Operation Yewtree arrest
* 1.7 Charity work
* 2 Awards
* 3 Bibliography
* 4 References
* 4.1 Notes
* 4.2 Sources consulted
* 5 External links
Born in the
Bronx , Gambaccini studied at
Dartmouth College , from
where he obtained a degree in history in 1970.
He then migrated to the
United Kingdom and attended University
Oxford , where he read for a degree in politics, philosophy
and economics . He has since returned to
Oxford , where he delivered a
series of lectures in January and February 2009, as the News
International Visiting Professor of Broadcast Media. In February 2010
he was invited by the Vice-Chancellor of
Oxford University , Andrew
Hamilton to deliver the inaugural
LGBT lecture Out on Monday to the
LGBT staff, students and faculty.
Gambaccini's broadcasting career began at
Dartmouth College , where
he was music director of WDCR , a former student-operated Top 40 radio
station. Gambaccini may have first achieved wider prominence when his
tips for playlisted songs likely to see greater chart action were
published in the 11 May 1968 issue of the international trade
publication Billboard , alongside similar tips from radio programming
talent at major commercial stations across the United States.
Having left Oxford, Gambaccini was considering further study in law
Yale but had the opportunity of writing for Rolling
Stone magazine as British correspondent. He attributes his
broadcasting career to this post—especially an interview in 1973
Elton John which brought him to the attention of
producer John Walters who arranged for him to present on
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 .
Gambaccini then started broadcasting in the UK on
BBC Radio 1
September 1973, which he did for 13 years, first as a music reporter
John Peel Saturday show, Rockspeak. He started his own U.S.
chart show on 27 September 1975. He was the presenter of the Billboard
US Top 30 singles chart in the UK every Saturday afternoon until his
last show on 8 February 1986. Thereafter, he moved to independent
radio to host American Countdown. In 1990, he returned to Radio 1 but
was removed by controller
Matthew Bannister in 1993.
In 1992, Gambaccini became a founding presenter on the UK's classical
music station Classic FM , where he presented the weekly Classical CD
Chart show. He left for
BBC Radio 3
BBC Radio 3 in 1995, where he presented an
hour-long morning programme, in a slot formerly used for Composer of
the Week. Gambaccini increased the audience share, but came under
attack as an example of the reforms that the Radio 3 Controller
Nicholas Kenyon was trying to introduce but which did not go down well
with the existing audience. Some listeners welcomed his presence,
according to Kenyon, as their musical tastes had developed from Radio
1's content. He returned to Classic FM in 1997.
Alongside his work in music radio, he contributed regularly to BBC
Radio 4 's long-running arts programme Kaleidoscope between 1975 and
For 13 years Gambaccini reviewed films for breakfast television,
TV-am and then
GMTV . In the early 1980s he presented The
Other Side of the Tracks on
Channel 4 , which ran for three series.
His other television appearances include
Pebble Mill at One , Call My
Bluff , Music for the Millennium, and
The South Bank Show
The South Bank Show .
In 1998, he joined
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 . His first show was on 18 April 1998,
once again opening the first of his weekly shows America's Greatest
Hits with "Born to Run " by
Bruce Springsteen . In 2002, he quit his
role at Classic FM , to present a weekly chart show on London's Jazz
FM until 2004. He was also a contributor to the London station LBC
when it was taken over by Chrysalis.
He has worked widely across the
BBC and the British Forces
Broadcasting Service (BFBS) as well as contributing to many television
shows, mostly related to music, film, and the arts. He narrated the
BBC Radio adaptation of
Espedair Street , the
Iain Banks novel.
Gambaccini has presented the annual
Ivor Novello Awards
Ivor Novello Awards since 1990,
Parliamentary Jazz Awards since 2005, the Music Industry Trust's
Man of the Year Dinner since 1999, and the
Radio Academy Awards
Radio Academy Awards for a
ten-year stretch from 1998 to 2008.
In August 2008, Gambaccini returned to Classic FM, to present a
12-part series Paul Gambaccini's Hall of Heroes on Sunday evenings
between 9 pm and 10 pm. In March 2008, he took over as chairman of the
Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint from
Edward Seckerson ; he was
temporarily replaced in 2013 by Russell Davies. He returned to Radio 2
with America's Greatest Hits on 15 November 2014 and hosted it until 2
July 2016 when he took over Pick of the Pops from
Tony Blackburn , the
following week, he started his final America's Greatest Hits' with
Born to Run " by
Bruce Springsteen and ended it with Justin Timberlake
Trevor Nelson took over the Saturday timeslot that was allocated to
Gambaccini's America's Greatest Hits programme for many years.
Gambaccini was co-author of The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles
and related titles, with Tim and Jo Rice, alongside Radio 1 colleague
at that time,
Mike Read , between 1977 and 1996. Gambaccini's own
books include Love Letters, Radio Boy, Top 100 Albums and Track
Records. The Ultimate Man, a musical about a comic book superhero ,
was co-written with
Alastair King and Jane Edith Wilson, and produced
at the Bridewell Theatre in London in 2000.
COMIC BOOK FANDOM
Gambaccini was active in the realm of comic book fandom. As an
American teenager in the 1960s his missives were regularly published
in the letter columns of titles such as
Justice League of America and
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man . Gambaccini claims to have invented the term
"Brand Echh ", which later became widely used by
Stan Lee .
While still in high school, Gambaccini began contributing to comics
fanzines , including the publication Rocket\'s Blast Comicollector .
In 1964 he succeeded
Jerry Bails (the so-called "father of comic book
fandom") as executive secretary of the Academy of Comic-Book Fans and
Collectors , an umbrella organization for the burgeoning world of
comics fandom. As part of his involvement with the academy,
Gambaccini helped organize the comics industry's first awards, the
Alley Awards .
Gambaccini and television presenter
Jonathan Ross co-owned Top 10
Comics, a comic shop in London which opened in 1989 and closed in
1995. Gambaccini has been an official guest at many British comic
conventions, including the
United Kingdom Comic Art Convention (where
he co-presented the 1990 Eagle Awards and the 1997 National Comics
Awards ), and
Comics Festival UK .
A character introduced in The Flash #141 named
Paul Gambi , a tailor
specializing in super-villain outfits, is an homage to Paul
Gambaccini has always been openly gay, asserting in 2013: "I was
never 'in '." In June 2012, he entered into a civil partnership .
One year later, he married Christopher Sherwood, in New York Botanical
In 2013, Gambaccini revealed he had been highlighted as a potential
security risk by the
BBC earlier in his career due to his sexuality.
He lives in the
South Bank area of London.
OPERATION YEWTREE ARREST
On 1 November 2013, it was reported that Gambaccini had been arrested
on suspicion of historical sexual offences as part of an investigation
Operation Yewtree in the United Kingdom. He was released on bail
and his spokesman said that he denied the allegations. It was
announced on 10 October 2014 that no charges would be brought. Giving
evidence to the House of Commons
Home Affairs Select Committee on 3
March 2015, Gambaccini said he believed he was used as human "fly
paper" to encourage other people to come forward and make allegations
against him and that he had lost more than £200,000 in earnings and
legal fees. The
BBC reported that he also “said he suspected his
bail was repeatedly extended until the end of high-profile cases
involving other celebrities because police did not want juries to hear
a former Radio 1 DJ had been cleared of sexual wrongdoing”.
Gambaccini also argued in favour of a 28-day bail limit; Home
Theresa May had announced in December 2014 that she was
consulting on such a limit in all but exceptional cases. However,
Gambaccini’s allegations of a "witch-hunt" were denied by the
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The 28-day limit came into
effect in April 2017.
Gambaccini wrote an account of his experience in his book Love, Paul
Gambaccini: My Year Under the Yewtree, which was published in 2015.
In February 2016, the Irish Supreme Court Judge
Adrian Hardiman used a
review of this book to criticize what he described as the radical
undermining of the presumption of innocence , especially in sex cases,
including Gambaccini's case, by the methods used in Operation Yewtree
(among other instances). In February 2017, Gambaccini sued the
Metropolitan Police, citing a loss of £200,000 during his time under
Gambaccini has been a supporter of gay-related charities. In 1995, he
was named Philanthropist of the Year by the National Charity
Fundraisers for his work on behalf of the
Terrence Higgins Trust . He
is a patron of the London Gay Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, he won an
episode of celebrity Mastermind , with his chosen beneficiary charity
being Stonewall .
* 1995 – Philanthropist of the Year by the National Charity
* 1996 – Outstanding Contribution to Music Radio Award from the
* 2003 – Sony Radio Academy Award for Music Broadcaster of the
* 2005 – Sony Radio Academy Silver Award for a Weekly Music
* 2005 – Inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame
* A Conversation With
Elton John and Bernie Taupin – Putnam
Publishing Group 1975
* Paul McCartney in his own words – Omnibus Press 1976
* The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles with Tim Rice, Jo Rice
Mike Read – Guinness, first published 1977: several subsequent
Paul Gambaccini presents The Top 100 Albums – Pavilion Books
* Rock Critics’ Choice: The Top 200 Albums – Music Sales Corp
* Masters of Rock – Omnibus Press 1982
* Track Records – Elm Tree Books 1985
* Radio Boy: An Adolescent DJ’s Story – Elm Tree Books 1986
United Kingdom Top 1000 Singles (with
Tim Rice and Jo Rice) –
Gullane Children’s Books 1988
* The Guinness Book of British Hit Albums (with
Tim Rice and Jo
Rice) – Guinness First published 1983: several subsequent editions
* Hits of The 80s (with Jo Rice,
Tim Rice and Tony Brown) –
* Top 40 Charts (with
Tim Rice and Jo Rice) – Guinness 1992
* Television’s Greatest Hits (with Rod Taylor) – Network Books
* Love Letters – Michael O’Mara Books 1996
* The McCartney Interviews: After the Break-up – Omnibus Press
* Close Encounters – Omnibus Press 1998
* The Complete Eurovision Song Contest Companion (with Tim and Jo
Rice and Tony Brown) – Pavilion Books 1998
* The Eurovision Companion (revised edition), Pavilion Books 1999
* Complete Book of the British Charts (with Tony Brown and Tim Rice)
Omnibus Press 2000.
* Love, Paul Gambaccini: My Year Under the Yewtree - Biteback
* ^ Burrell, Ian. "Paul Gambaccini: Here, there and everywhere,"
The Independent (09 April 2007)
* ^ Topping, Alexandra. "RIP rock\'n\'roll? Professor of pop reads
the last rites: Rock songs in the charts fall to lowest level in 50
years, with only three tracks appearing in the top 100 best-sellers,"
The Guardian (10 January 2011).
* ^ A B C D E F G H Schelly, Bill . Founders of Comic Fandom:
Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers, Collectors, Writers, Artists and
Other Luminaries of the 1950s and 1960s, (McFarland, 2010), pp.
* ^ "Programming Aids". Billboard . 11 May 1968. pp. 20–24.
* ^ Rosser, Michael (25 June 2009). "Paul Gambaccini,
BBC Radio 2".
Broadcast . (Subscription required (help)).
Paul Gambaccini (August 16, 1973). "Elton John: The Rolling
Stone Interview". Rolling Stone.
* ^ Thistlethwaite, Felicity (22 May 2014). "
Paul Gambaccini hosts
Ivor Novello awards six months after arrest under Operation Yewtree".
Daily Express . Retrieved 14 August 2014.
* ^ Gardner, Lyn (11 May 2000). "The Ultimate Man".
theguardian.com. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
* ^ "With a Little
Help From His Friends...," Alter Ego vol. 3, #25
(June 2003) pp. 14-19.
* ^ Schelly, Bill. "Jerry Bails' Ten Building Blocks of Fandom,"
Alter Ego vol. 3, #25 (June 2003), pp. 5-8.
* ^ "Media Monkey + Jonathan Ross: The Guardian\'s blog on
advertising, marketing and the media industry," The Guardian (9
* ^ Urchin, Zoe. "Top Ten Soho comic book store 1989-1993".
Wolfshead. Wolfshead Promotions. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
* ^ Founders of Comic Fandom: Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers,
Collectors, by Bill Schelly
* ^ Paul Gambaccini: The
BBC singled me out as a ‘potential
security threat’ for being gay. Pink News. 24 July 2013. Retrieved
27 April 2014.
* ^ Youde, Kate (13 May 2012). "Paul Gambaccini: Ivor & me –
celebrating a 25-year relationship". London:
The Independent .
Retrieved 23 October 2012.
* ^ A B Grice, Elizabeth (23 July 2013). "Paul Gambaccini,
interview". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
* ^ Paul Gambaccini: The
BBC marked me out for being gay. The Daily
Telegraph . 23 July 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
* ^ "
Paul Gambaccini arrested in
Operation Yewtree inquiry", BBC
News, 1 November 2013
* ^ "
BBC News - No charges for broadcaster
Paul Gambaccini in
BBC News. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.
* ^ "
Paul Gambaccini backs 28-day bail limit after Operation
BBC News. 3 March 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
* ^ Peck, Tom (2 April 2017). "Police bail for suspects capped at
28 days". The Independent. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
* ^ John Clarke (5 October 2015). "Love,
Paul Gambaccini by Paul
Gambaccini - book review: An absorbing account of a year of
The Independent . Retrieved 7 March 2016.
* ^ A B
Paul Gambaccini (2015). Love, Paul Gambaccini: My Year
Under the Yewtree.
Biteback Publishing . ISBN 9781849549943 .
Retrieved 8 March 2016.
* ^ "Hardiman questions methods of UK sex-claim inquiries". Irish
Times . 13 February 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
* ^ O'Neill, Sean; Hamilton, Fiona (14 February 2017). "Victims of
abuse inquiry blunders sue Met for £3m".
The Times . Retrieved 15
* Radio Rewind biography
* Pick of the Pops at
BBC Programmes (
BBC Radio 2)