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News Archive > General > Smiley to hit the road again!

Smiley to hit the road again!

By Beth Perry 1st August 2018

Smiley to hit the road again!
Back on the beach: Tony ´Smiley Miley´ on Fistral for the anniversary. Photo: Beth Perry

On July 23, 1973, the Radio 1 Roadshow was broadcast live from Newquay for the first time, launching a great British summer-time tradition which spanned more than three decades.

To mark the anniversary Tony ‘Smiley’ Miley made the journey back to the very spot on Fistral where he was welcomed by members of the community and visitors alike who all had fond memories of the Roadshow.

Tony said: “I had lots of interest with people coming up and telling me what year they attended and what they remember. It was lovely because Cornwall was such an important part of the Roadshow. We used to pull in tens of thousands of people to a place and some people used to book their summer holidays around it.

“The Roadshow ran for nine weeks each summer and three weeks of that was spent in the South West – that’s how important Cornwall and the region was to us – all the DJs wanted to do the Cornwall shows.”

The first show was a tense one for Tony and the organisers because they had no idea if the people of Newquay would show up.

After driving for more than eight hours to reach the resort, Tony was forced to sleep in the Roadshow vehicle as there was no security, and next morning it was discovered some of the power cables were not long enough, which prompted a frantic drive to Plymouth.

But the late, great DJ Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman and Smiley were amazed when thousands of locals and holidaymakers filled the area above Fistral Beach, starting a summertime tradition remembered fondly by many in Newquay. Initially starting out as a radio show involving local people, the Roadshow grew to become hugely popular and soon pulled in up and coming celebrities such as Wham, Take That and the Spice Girls.

Tony said: “The Roadshow quickly become a launch pad for new bands. We had Wham in their early days, Take That before they hit the real big time and we even had LuLu, Cliff Richard and Kyle Minogue.”

As well as the celebrity groups and musicians, Smiley Miley himself entertained the crowds with his pranks, jokes and famous mileage game where people had to estimate the distance travelled between each Roadshow. The winners would get a coveted T-shirt or a mug.

Those who couldn’t make it to Newquay would listen intently on Radio 1 as the whole event was broadcast across the country.

But thousands of people did make the journey every year, with the event growing to such a scale on Fistral Beach that the Roadshow had to move further down the beach to accommodate the crowds or take place in the grounds of the Headland Hotel.

Tony said: “Newquay was one of the only towns we actually shut down with our arrival. The bin lorries and delivery vehicles would stop and change their route, the roads were shut and all of the businesses would get involved.”

The Roadshow lives on in memory for many people, but soon a new generation could be introduced to the tradition.

Although the original Roadshow vehicle no longer operates, Tony is refurbishing the mark four 65ft rig, which will be known as the Not the Radio 1 Roadshow.

He’s aiming to bring it back to Fistral and the rest of the country for a number of shows, teaming up with former Roadshow DJs such as Mike Read, Dave Lee Travis and Tony Prince as part of their new internet station, United DJs.

Tony said: “These are exciting times, so many people will have fond memories of the Roadshow. Now it’s time for this iconic piece of British history to hit the road again.”

By Beth Perry 1st August 2018

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