Has Glastonbury cancelled John Peel?
Festival stage drops DJ’s name after 20 years amid sexual abuse claims
JOHN Peel’s name has been dropped from one of Glastonbury’s stages.
Sexual abuse claims had come to light against the late BBC Radio One DJ – sparking a petition last summer for the festival to take action. One accuser, Jane Nevin, claimed in 2012 that she became pregnant by Peel during a three-month affair in 1969 when she was just 15.
Event organiser Emily Eavis said the John Peel Stage, which replaced the New Bands Tent in 2005, will now be called Woodsies. However she insisted it was not a response to the petition or the allegations. She said it was part of a push to name stages after the fields they stand in, such as West Holts and Silver Hayes.
‘We’ve had 20 years of John Peel and it’s been an honour to use his name,’ she told The Guardian. The event’s website described him as a ‘great DJ and Festival friend’. On the petition, Ms Eavis said: ‘I haven’t got involved in that because it’s not our area. We’ve had a really good relationship with the Peel family and everyone’s on board.’
Jack Owens, the 26-year-old organiser of the petition, said the stage was ‘long overdue’ a change and had asked organisers to remove Peel’s name. It was named after him following his death in 2004 from a heart attack aged 65.
Peel is alleged to have met Ms Nevin at a Black Sabbath concert when he was 30. She claims he had sex with her in a BBC studio and backstage at concerts.
In an interview with the Sunday Correspondent in 1989, Peel said: ‘Girls used to queue up outside. One of my, er, regular customers, as it were, turned out to be 13, though she looked older.’
An interview published in The Herald in April 2004 stated that Peel admitted to sexual contact with ‘an awful lot’ of underage girls. In an interview with The Guardian in 1975 while discussing women, Peel said: ‘All they wanted me to do was abuse them, sexually, which, of course, I was only too happy to do.’ Peel, born John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, worked as a DJ for the BBC from 1967 until his sudden death in Peru in 2004. In 1965, he married 15-year-old American Shirley Anne Milburn when he was 26. He later claimed she and her family had lied about her age. They divorced in 1973 and years later she reportedly took her own life.
In 2012, eight years after Peel’s death, Ms Nevin came forward with her claims of the affair with the DJ.
She said that the relationship resulted in her becoming pregnant and having a ‘traumatic’ abortion.
A postcard, allegedly sent to Ms Nevin by Peel after she contacted him about their relationship 30 years later, read: ‘Jane, Well, you’ve scared the daylights out of me. For years I’ve been expecting a letter starting “In the 70s we had a brief affair – and your now son/daughter, aged 27, wants to meet you”.
‘What exactly do you want me to do?’
‘An awful lot of underage girls’