Stuart Maconie

Stuart Maconie
Stuart Maconie
Born Stuart Maconie
13 August 1960 (1960-08-13) (age 51)
Whiston, Lancashire, England
Occupation Radio presenter, television presenter, journalist, author

Stuart Maconie (born 13 August 1960)[1] is an English radio DJ and television presenter, writer, journalist, and critic working in the field of of pop music and popular culture. He is currently a presenter on BBC 6 Music, where he hosts an afternoon show five times a week (Monday to Friday, 1pm - 4pm), alongside Mark Radcliffe, called the Radcliffe and Maconie Show. The pair had previously presented an evening show on BBC Radio 2. He used to present his own solo show on Saturday afternoons from April 2006 until 29 March 2008, and is a frequent stand-in for holidaying presenters on Radio 2. He also hosts BBC 6 Music programmes The Freak Zone, on Sundays from 5.30-8 pm and The Freakier Zone, on Friday night/Saturday mornings from midnight-1am.

He lives in and broadcasts from Birmingham,[citation needed] though the Radcliffe and Maconie show is broadcast from BBC's studios in Manchester.


Musical career

Maconie was born in Whiston Hospital, Lancashire.[2] While still at St John Rigby school in the sixth form, Maconie formed a band named (after several iterations) "Les Flirts", featuring Maconie on guitar/vocals, Nigel Power on bass and Jem Bretherton on drums.[3] They performed at Wigan venues like the BierKellar and 'Trucks'. Performance style was influenced by the early Elvis Costello school of delivery. Set highlights included the self-penned "Little Flirts" and a crowd-pleasing cover of "Satellite of Love".

Maconie (right) with bassist Nigel Power

Writing career

In his career as a writer and journalist he has written for Q, Word Magazine, Elle, The Times, The Guardian, the Evening Standard, Daily Express, Select, Mojo, Country Walking, Deluxe and was an assistant editor for the NME. In September 2008, he began a new monthly column for Cumbria Life magazine. Maconie previously worked as an English and sociology teacher at Skelmersdale College, Lancashire for one year in 1987-88.[4] He has written screenplays for television and films. He is also the author of Cider With Roadies, an autobiography of his experiences as a music journalist. Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North, a humorous book that discusses the modern reality of the North of England (as opposed to the popular myths), was published in February 2007, with an audio version following in March 2009. Maconie, himself a 'northerner', uses his own childhood experiences alongside anecdotes from recent visits to illuminate the book. A third book, Adventures on the High Teas: In Search of Middle England was published in March 2009.

Maconie also is credited with starting the urban legend that Bob Holness, UK host of the game show Blockbusters, played the sax solo on Gerry Rafferty's hit single "Baker Street".[5] The rumour first appeared as a blatant joke in a spoof NME 'Believe It or Not' feature, but has since been repeated elsewhere as if it were true.[5] He also claims to have coined the well used phrase Britpop in the 1990s. "I’m sure someone must have used the expression before me about the Hollies, or the Beatles, back in the '60s. But I was the first person to use it about bands like Oasis and Blur".[6]

Broadcasting career

Radio 1

He was a music reporter for Mark Goodier's Evening Session on BBC Radio 1, alongside Andrew Collins. Also on Radio 1, from 1995–1997, Maconie joined forces with Collins presenting a music review called Collins and Maconie's Hit Parade, which originally went out on Monday nights from 9-10 pm and then on Sunday afternoons from 3-4 pm. From 1994 to 2001, he presented the satirical news review The Treatment, on BBC Radio 5 Live.

In addition to this, in October 1996, Maconie took over a weekly album show on Radio 1 on Sunday nights, until late 1997.

Radio 2

Maconie joined BBC Radio 2 in 1998, with shows such as All Singing, All Dancing, All Night, a northern soul music show, and, for several years, Stuart Maconie's Critical List on Saturday evenings. He also presents documentaries and deputised for Johnnie Walker on Radio 2's Drivetime programme.

From April 2006 to 29 March 2008, Maconie presented the Saturday afternoon show previously presented by Chris Evans.

In addition to his Saturday show, on 16 April 2007, Maconie joined forces with Mark Radcliffe to present a new show on BBC Radio 2 which was broadcast between Monday and Wednesday (Monday to Thursday up to April 2010) from 8-10 pm. As of spring 2011 this show was transferred to 6 Music in the afternoon slot, 1-4pm weekdays.

BBC 6 Music

He also joined BBC 6 Music from its inception in 2002 where he presents The Freak Zone radio show. It is described as "the weird, the wonderful and all that's in between", and is very diverse in musical content. This show is broadcast every Sunday from 6-8 pm, and has been supplemented in 2010 with The Freakier Zone, aired from midnight–1 am every Friday night/Saturday morning. As of Spring 2011 his Radio 2 show with Mark Radcliffe was moved to 6 Music, weekdays 1-4pm.

Other broadcasting

Maconie has also presented musical specialities for BBC Radio 4 and has appeared on television and in films. In 2007 he presented Stuart Maconie's TV Towns for ITV3, six one hour shows about TV and film locations in Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool and London.

Other projects

Maconie had his Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2001, collaborating with fellow BBC 6 Music presenter Andrew Collins, and with writer and pundit David Quantick, in Lloyd Cole Knew my Father, which has been re-broadcast on BBC Radio 2. The two also collaborated on the late night movie review television series Collins & Maconie's Movie Club in 1996 for ITV.

He wrote Folklore, the official biography of long-standing Manchester band James, and 3862 Days, the official biography of Blur.

In 2001, Maconie was the winner of the Sony Radio Academy Award for Music Broadcaster of the Year. He also won a silver Sony Award 2007 for the Freak Zone.

He also guest starred in Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights as the presenter of a spoof version of Crimewatch called 'Crimetime' and appeared as himself in Monkey Dust, becoming a victim of retro-obsessed serial killer Ivan Dobsky.

Maconie is also a keen fellwalker having completed, on 20 June 2009, all 214 Wainwrights[citation needed] (in the county of Cumbria). He is an honorary member of the Wainwright Society, and gave their Memorial Lecture in 2006. Married, he lives in the Midlands and, in late 2009, Experience Northwest released a series of short stories he wrote about the Hidden Gems in England's Northwest.[7] In December 2009 Maconie was awarded an honorary Masters Degree by Edge Hill University, Ormskirk.[8]

On 28 December 2009, he won an edition of BBC's Celebrity Mastermind by answering questions on his specialist subject of British poetry of the 20th Century.

Personal life

Maconie is a supporter of Wigan Warriors[9]. In July 2011 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from The University of Bolton.[10]


  • Maconie, Stuart (1999). 3862 Days: The Official History of Blur. London: Virgin. ISBN 9780753502877. 
  • Maconie, Stuart (2000). James – Folklore: The Official History. London: Virgin. ISBN 9780753504949. 
  • Maconie, Stuart (April 2005). Cider with Roadies. London: Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091897451. 
  • Maconie, Stuart (February 2007). Pies and Prejudice. London: Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091910228. 
  • Maconie, Stuart (March 2009). Adventures on the High Teas. London: Ebury Press. ISBN 9780091926502. 
  • Maconie, Stuart (October 2009). Short Stories for Short Breaks. Warrington: North West Regional Development Agency. 


  1. ^ Stuart Maconie,
  2. ^ Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust - Interview with Stuart Maconie
  3. ^ Maconie, Stuart (2004). Cider With Roadies (1st ed.). London: Random House. p. 122. ISBN 0-091-89115-9. 
  4. ^ Maconie, Stuart (2004). Cider With Roadies (1st ed.). London: Random House. p. 217. ISBN 0-091-89115-9. 
  5. ^ a b Maconie, Stuart (2004). Cider With Roadies (1st ed.). London: Random House. p. 256. ISBN 0-091-89115-9. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ BBC Radio presenter Stuart Maconie to be given honorary Masters degree by Edge Hill University at Ormskirk
  9. ^ "Stuart Maconie on his love for Wigan Athletic". BBC. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "University News Archive". 2011-07-11. 

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