AFTER failing his A-Levels, Johnnie Walker got a job as a car mechanic at the age of 16 and then became a car salesman.

In the evenings, Johnnie would go to discos and DJ. Soon he had to choose between being a DJ and selling cars.

He said: “When I was younger I had bad acne, which made me shy. Being a DJ was a way to be extrovert without people seeing you. But I loved records, the equipment and seeing people dancing and enjoying themselves. I loved helping them to enjoy their night by choosing the right records.”

In May 1966, he worked for Radio England and then in October 1966, started working for Radio Caroline – a British pirate radio station.

He added: “We would stay for two weeks on ship, three miles from the coast with millions of people listening to the music we played. I learnt so much about radio at this time.

“The government forced the pirate stations to close in 1967, so I left and joined Radio One in 1969. I was invited for lunch and we met on a float canal boat, as the BBC thought I would feel more at home after working for an offshore radio station.”

He stayed with the BBC and now presents Sounds of the 70s on Sundays and the Radio 2 rock show on Saturdays.

From January 17, Johnnie will be on tour with Sounds of the 70s.

He added: “There has been so much success with Sounds of the 60s, that I wanted to try other decades. And the 70s were a peak time for me, I had a lunchtime show on radio one with was huge. I introduced so many up and coming artists (well they were then) such as Rod Stewart, Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac and so on.”

DJ Johnnie Walker will bring his Sounds of the 70s tour to The Playhouse in Weston-super-Mare on Friday, January 17 at 7:30pm.