My life through a lens: legendary music broadcaster Bob Harris, 75

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My life through a lens: legendary music broadcaster Bob Harris, 75, shares the stories behind his favourite snaps

Celebrities share the stories behind their favourite photos. This week it’s legendary music broadcaster Bob Harris, 75.

Music broadcaster Bob Harris, 75, shares the stories behind a selection of his favourite snaps

Music broadcaster Bob Harris, 75, shares the stories behind a selection of his favourite snaps

1947: Here I am as a toddler on holiday with my parents. I grew up an only child in Northampton, where my biggest love was playing rugby, but my school days ended suddenly after I was spotted, aged 17, drinking a half of shandy in a pub. It was reported to my headmaster who was going to cane me, but in a stupid, dramatic gesture I threw my school books across his desk, said, ‘I’m leaving!’ and cycled home

1947: Here I am as a toddler on holiday with my parents. I grew up an only child in Northampton, where my biggest love was playing rugby, but my school days ended suddenly after I was spotted, aged 17, drinking a half of shandy in a pub. It was reported to my headmaster who was going to cane me, but in a stupid, dramatic gesture I threw my school books across his desk, said, ‘I’m leaving!’ and cycled home

1966: This is me in my early days at the BBC. My dad was a policeman and I was briefly a police cadet, but I’d been captivated by radio and rock’n’roll. Dad came to London for my first show and met Terry Wogan. When my dad asked him how secure radio work was, Terry replied, ‘Put it this way Mr Harris, I’m on a 13- week contract, and my first was for six weeks.'

1966: This is me in my early days at the BBC. My dad was a policeman and I was briefly a police cadet, but I’d been captivated by radio and rock’n’roll. Dad came to London for my first show and met Terry Wogan. When my dad asked him how secure radio work was, Terry replied, ‘Put it this way Mr Harris, I’m on a 13- week contract, and my first was for six weeks.’

1971: I was the compere on T. Rex’s first UK tour, and this is me backstage with the band’s lead singer Marc Bolan. I loved Marc, who died aged just 29 in a car crash. My first wife Sue and I used to hang out with him and his wife June. He had an apartment overlooking the canals in London’s Little Venice and we’d sit on the floor for hours playing our favourite old rock’n’roll singles. Just such lovely memories

1971: I was the compere on T. Rex’s first UK tour, and this is me backstage with the band’s lead singer Marc Bolan. I loved Marc, who died aged just 29 in a car crash. My first wife Sue and I used to hang out with him and his wife June. He had an apartment overlooking the canals in London’s Little Venice and we’d sit on the floor for hours playing our favourite old rock’n’roll singles. Just such lovely memories

1974: At the time this picture was taken, former Beatle George Harrison had just founded his Dark Horse record label and was putting out his own albums. I had gone along to Friar Park, his mansion in Henley-on-Thames, to discuss it. I loved his vision and his beautiful, gentle way; there was a wisdom about George. His American-born widow Olivia still lives there when she's in this country. You can imagine the great responsibility she has running the George Harrison estate

1974: At the time this picture was taken, former Beatle George Harrison had just founded his Dark Horse record label and was putting out his own albums. I had gone along to Friar Park, his mansion in Henley-on-Thames, to discuss it. I loved his vision and his beautiful, gentle way; there was a wisdom about George. His American-born widow Olivia still lives there when she’s in this country. You can imagine the great responsibility she has running the George Harrison estate

2007: Robert Plant and I have been good friends since the early 1970s, and this is us in my home studio in Oxfordshire. One day he was listening to my show while driving and was mesmerised by the voice of country singer Alison Krauss. Three months later, she came on my show and said,'Robert sends his love.' They had met and started recording together. In 2011, Robert and I were both given awards by the Americana Music Association at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville – that was an incredible moment

2007: Robert Plant and I have been good friends since the early 1970s, and this is us in my home studio in Oxfordshire. One day he was listening to my show while driving and was mesmerised by the voice of country singer Alison Krauss. Three months later, she came on my show and said, ‘Robert sends his love.’ They had met and started recording together. In 2011, Robert and I were both given awards by the Americana Music Association at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville – that was an incredible moment

2010: Elton and I have been friends forever. I co-founded Time Out magazine in 1968 and would sell copies in stores around London. In one Soho record shop, the man behind the counter said,'I'll stock a few if you review my new album in your next issue!' It was Elton John, and he handed me his album Empty Sky. We did review it, and I gave Elton lots of support when I joined Radio 1 in 1970. When I was on This Is Your Life in 2003, he sent me a message saying,'You were one of the first people to help me'

2010: Elton and I have been friends forever. I co-founded Time Out magazine in 1968 and would sell copies in stores around London. In one Soho record shop, the man behind the counter said, ‘I’ll stock a few if you review my new album in your next issue!’ It was Elton John, and he handed me his album Empty Sky. We did review it, and I gave Elton lots of support when I joined Radio 1 in 1970. When I was on This Is Your Life in 2003, he sent me a message saying, ‘You were one of the first people to help me’

2011: Robin Gibb and I are at a Cancer Research fundraiser here. Later that year he was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer; I'd been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007. At the height of the Bee Gees' fame in the late 70s I got a call saying they'd love me to stop off in Miami to listen to the album they'd just recorded, the follow-up to Saturday Night Fever. But there was a technical problem at the studio so I had to squash into a sound booth with the three Bee Gees singing the whole record to me live, leaning over my shoulder! To be one of the first to hear songs like Tragedy was amazing

2011: Robin Gibb and I are at a Cancer Research fundraiser here. Later that year he was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer; I’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007. At the height of the Bee Gees’ fame in the late 70s I got a call saying they’d love me to stop off in Miami to listen to the album they’d just recorded, the follow-up to Saturday Night Fever. But there was a technical problem at the studio so I had to squash into a sound booth with the three Bee Gees singing the whole record to me live, leaning over my shoulder! To be one of the first to hear songs like Tragedy was amazing

2011: Here I am at Windsor Castle with my wife Trudie, daughter Charlie and son Miles after Princess Anne had presented me with my OBE. We had a wonderful conversation. She said,'I thought you were in Nashville for the Americana Music Awards?' as her opener. I said I had been, but asked how she knew about Nashville. She told me she listened to my programme. We carried on talking and the other people in the room photo were getting quite restless. I thought she was fabulous

2011: Here I am at Windsor Castle with my wife Trudie, daughter Charlie and son Miles after Princess Anne had presented me with my OBE. We had a wonderful conversation. She said, ‘I thought you were in Nashville for the Americana Music Awards?’ as her opener. I said I had been, but asked how she knew about Nashville. She told me she listened to my programme. We carried on talking and the other people in the room photo were getting quite restless. I thought she was fabulous

As told to Yvonne Swann. The Country Show With Bob Harris airs on Thursdays at 9pm on BBC Radio 2 

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