Britain’s oldest DJ hangs up his headphones… at the age of 72

DJ Derek in action. He's now retiring at the age of 72
DJ Derek in action. He's now retiring at the age of 72

Britain’s oldest DJ is hanging up his headphones and taking his final spin – at the age of 72.

Legendary DJ Derek has starred in music videos with stars including Dizzee Rascal and played with groups like Massive Attack.

But after decades at his decks the aging star is calling it a day.

DJ Derek in action. He's now retiring at the age of 72
DJ Derek in action. He’s now retiring at the age of 72

Derek – real name Derek Morris – will see out 2013 in style and play his last show tomrrow at Notting Hill Arts Club in London before he fades into retirement.

He said: “This New Year’s Eve will be last gig I do there and will also be my last ever gig.

“I turned 72 this month and while I’m reasonably healthy it’ll be nice to do some travelling without carting my gear around.”

Derek, from St Paul’s, Bristol, gave up work as an accountant at chocolate makers Cadbury after 18 years to become a full time performer.

He is known for his reggae collection and has played at some of the UK’s largest festivals including Glastonbury and The Big Chill.

He said: “I was not even a DJ when I was at Cadbury.

“I was originally a washboard player in a local skiffle group and then a drummer in The Ramrods, a Bristol rock’n’roll group.

“But even back then I knew I loved black music more than I loved rock’n’roll and I used to see all the blues artists who came to play gigs in Bristol.”

Derek’s love of reggae and a growing record collection eventually led him to start DJ-ing at local pubs like the Star and Garter for beer money.

But the cardigan wearing DJ’s popularity has grown in recent years and he was awarded a local “OBE” – for outstanding Bristolian entertainer- at his final outdoor show at Bristol’s Harbour Festival in July.

Derek plans to spend his retirement travelling and visiting more of his beloved local pubs and listening to his favourite music at home.


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