Bob Dylan fan’s amazing life as war reporter and radio DJ

Andy Kershaw.
Andy Kershaw.

Andy Kershaw has led an extraordinary life, in fact his CV reads as if it were a Hollywood film script.

It all started when he ran out of his A Level exam halfway through to go to see a Bob Dylan concert. He still managed to get a Grade A, in half the allotted exam time.

Since then his employment history has just got bigger and bigger. By the age of 20 at Leeds University he was promoting major rock concerts, booking the likes of Ian Dury, Dire Straits, the Clash, Elvis Costello and Iggy Pop. He “fell” into a broadcasting career, becoming a BBC Radio 1 DJ for 15 years and is the only broadcaster to have have had a programme transmitted simultaneously on BBC Radio 4.

As a foreign correspondent for the BBC Andy has reported on three civil wars and one volcanic eruption. He has made four visits to North Korea, the world’s most secretive country, and was an eyewitness to the heinous Rwandan genocide. During his lifetime he’s visited 97 of the world’s 194 countries!

Whilst he’s built up this remarkable CV his record collection has also got bigger and bigger – his LP and CD collection now weighs in at an impressive seven tons. In fact his love of music has been the soundtrack to his varied life and also led to other ‘bits’ of work.

There’s the time he was Billy Bragg’s driver, roadie and tour manager. He presented BBC2 rock music programme, Whistle Test and was the first to secure a British television interview with Bob Dylan – by giving Bob a jar of jam.

You can catch Andy Kershaw for an interesting audio-visual evening on Sunday, September 18, at Buxton’s Pavilion Arts Centre, 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £17.50.