Dave Lee Travis, also known professionally as DLT and the Hairy Monster (from 1978 the Hairy Cornflake), is a British radio presenter, best known for his career on BBC Radio 1.
Born David Patrick Griffin in Buxton, Derbyshire, he attended grammar school in Manchester, and his first job was as a graphic designer.
Travis began his radio career at the offshore pirate station Radio Caroline South from the MV Mi Amigo off the Essex coast in September 1965, later moving onto Radio Caroline North from the MV Fredericia off the Isle of Man until mid-August 1967. In 1967, offshore pirate radio was outlawed by the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act. Travis moved to Manchester and began working for BBC Radio 1.
Travis's Radio 1 career began in 1968, presenting the Pop North show from Manchester. In 1969, he took over a Sunday morning show from 10am-midday. In 1971, he was promoted to the weekday lunchtime show from 11am-1pm, moving back to Sunday mornings in 1973 and also presenting the Radio 1 Club on
Thursdays from 5–7pm.
On television, he provided the UK commentary for the Eurovision Song Contest 1971 in Dublin, Ireland, and in 1985 presented the Eurovision Song Contest Previews on BBC1.
In 1975, he took over the weekday teatime slot from 4.30-5.45pm (extended to run 4.30-7pm in 1977). He then took over the Breakfast Show from Noel Edmonds in May 1978 (coincidentally when the BBC Chart went from Top 50 to Top 75) and continued in this slot until December 1980. It was when he took over from Noel Edmonds that the heavily-bearded presenter, who had previously adopted the nickname 'The Hairy Monster' since the early 70s, began referring to himself as 'The Hairy Cornflake'.
In 1976, an on-air parody of the US hit "Convoy" (by C. W. McCall) led to a release of the song "Convoy GB" as a single, recorded with fellow DJ Paul Burnett under the name Laurie Lingo and the Dipsticks. The song reached number four in the charts and Travis appeared as the song's narrator "Super Scouse" on Top Of The Pops.
The sound effect "quack quack oops" became a famous Radio 1 feature, and was resurrected for his current weekend morning show on the Magic Network.
January 1981 saw Travis move to weekday afternoons from 2.30–4.30pm. Later that year he moved back to the weekday lunchtime slot from 11.30am–2pm, before moving to a Saturday morning show in 1983 from 10am–1pm, then Sunday mornings from 10am–1pm in 1987, taking over both Saturday and Sunday in September 1988.
Travis spent twenty years presenting the BBC World Service music request programme A Jolly Good Show (taking over from Noel Edmonds). In June 2011, Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said the programme had given her a lifeline. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who had spent 15 years under house arrest from 1989, told the BBC A Jolly Good Show had made her "world much more complete". Travis, who presented the show from 1981 to 2001, said he was "touched" but "not surprised" that she had remembered it.
On 8 August 1993 Travis resigned on-air during his Sunday morning show, stating that he could not agree with changes that were being made to Radio 1. Travis told his audience that changes were afoot that he could not tolerate - "....and I really want to put the record straight at this point and I thought you ought to know - changes are being made here which go against my principles and I just cannot agree with them..." It had been widely assumed from the time of new Controller Matthew Bannister's appointment that Travis would be one of the first victims of a cull.
On leaving Radio 1, Travis hosted a networked Sunday morning show (10am–1pm) across some of the UK's commercial radio stations. He also went to Classic Gold where he hosted the 10am–1pm morning show (later 9am–12pm), before moving to breakfast 7am–9am and then back to mornings 9am–11am.
In 2002, he left Classic Gold to work for the Army's Garrison Radio.
From March 2003 to March 2007, Travis returned to the BBC, and presented a Sunday morning show from 9am–12pm on BBC Three Counties Radio, his local BBC radio station.
In 2005 he was briefly heard on Spain's Spectrum FM, presenting a Saturday morning show, but that ended later the same year due to poor listening figures.
Since 8 July 2006, Travis has been on the Magic Network, a network of eight radio stations across the North of England on AM and DAB Digital Radio, where he hosts The DLT Show 10am–1pm on Saturdays and, since 4 February 2007, at the same time on Sundays as well with his co-host "Dangerous" Dan Black.
He is a Patron of The PACE Centre. A UK charity and school providing intensive input for children with motor disorders such as cerebral palsy.
DLT presented the German TV show Beat Club, where he introduced such acts as Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Steamhammer.
On BBC television, he presented editions of Top of the Pops in the 1970s and 1980s. He was also the presenter of The Golden Oldie Picture Show in the mid 1980s, an attempt by the BBC to create videos for classic pop songs that pre-dated the video age.
In 1993 he hosted children's television show "Go Getters".
He was also the United Kingdom commentator for the 1971 Eurovision Song Contest.
On 14 February 2000, Travis was the subject of the This Is Your Life program on British TV.
Other TV appearances include The Weakest Link, Noel's House Party, Mrs. Merton, Stars Reunited, Kick Start, Go Getters, Dave's Lee's and Travis's and Today with Des and Mel.