Trevor Neil Brookes
|Education||Seabridge Secondary School, Newcastle-under-Lyme|
|Known for||Radio 1's UK Top 40|
Immedia chief executive
(m. 1994; div. 2002)
Trevor Neil "Bruno" Brookes (born 1959 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) is an English former radio presenter who became prominent on British radio in the 1980s. He was CEO of in-store radio company Immedia from 2000-2020.
Early life and career
Brookes attended Bradwell and Seabridge secondary schools in Newcastle-under-Lyme. He became a disc jockey through youth club discos in his home town before he sent a successful audition tape created for him by George Wood (Judder) to his local station, BBC Radio Stoke. He used to wash cars to raise money for buying equipment. He spent three years there before being recruited by BBC Radio 1, the national pop network, where he worked as a stand-in presenter for Steve Wright before taking over the teatime show from Peter Powell in September 1984.
In addition to this show, Brookes presented a rundown of the UK Top 40 singles chart on Sunday evenings between 1986 and 1990 and between 1992 and 1995.
In April 1989, Brookes moved to the weekend breakfast show, co-hosting with Liz Kershaw, taking over from Mark Goodier. and also regularly deputised for Simon Mayo on the weekday breakfast show. Three years later he moved to the weekday early breakfast slot, where he remained until he was dismissed in 1995 by Trevor Dann, who said "...why is Bruno on? you know, he seems to have a charmed life, because if the view was 'we must get rid of the dinosaurs', you know we've got this behemoth striding the airwaves of dawn" in the BBC TV documentary Blood on the Carpet: Walking with Disc Jockeys in 2001.
Brookes, along with another former chart show presenter Mark Goodier, returned to the station for a one-off Top 40 countdown show on Sunday 30 September 2007, providing new pre-recorded inserts into the show, which was hosted by the then-current (but outgoing) presenters JK and Joel. This special show formed part of the station's celebrations of the 40th birthday of BBC Radio 1.
Brookes was also an early supporter of the fledgling acid house scene by championing Stakker Humanoid, a November 1988 hit for Humanoid (AKA Brian Dougans). In a 2013 interview with The Guardian, Brookes explained that he was given a white label of the record and immediately fell under its spell. "It just got to me. I remember listening to it and thinking it was one step ahead of everything techno that was coming out. It wasn't copying anything else; it was just fabulous." As a result, he played the record twice in one show – a very unusual step for a prime-time radio DJ.
"Killing in the Name" controversy
While presenting the Top 40, Brookes accidentally played the full uncensored version of "Killing in the Name" by Rage Against the Machine on 21 February 1993. The song contains 17 instances of the word "Fuck". Brookes was not made aware of the language in the track and, as a new entry, included it in the broadcast. Brookes and his producer Simon Sadler were preparing a trail for the following week's show whilst the song played, so were unaware of what was going out on air. The station immediately received 138 phone calls of complaint.
During his period at Radio 1, Brookes was on the Top of the Pops host roster and also presented Beat the Teacher on BBC television, a children's quiz where pupils took on teachers in a general knowledge game based on noughts and crosses. He was the last of the show's three presenters, following Howard Stableford and ex-Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones. He also hosted the dating show Love at First Sight and the angling show Tight Lines on Sky.
Brookes founded the corporate communications company Immedia in 2000, a provider of in-store radio stations including to HSBC, Ikea, and Topshop. The company was founded as Storm Radio, initially providing internet radio services, and was floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2003. After May 2001, the stations removed human DJs and were automated and they closed in 2002 in favour of in-store stations. He resigned as CEO in May 2020.
Brookes was in a relationship for eight years with TV presenter Anthea Turner until the early 1980s, when she left him for fellow DJ Peter Powell. She later said he was abusive, which he said was an exaggeration. He married model Debbie Brooker in 1994, living with her in Newbury, but they separated in January 2002 and were divorced.
He received a 12-month driving ban in 1999 for drink driving. In May 2006, Brookes suffered a heart attack and was treated at St Thomas' Hospital, London where he was interviewed by Nadia Sawalha as a patient on BBC One's City Hospital. In the interview he said he would try to give up smoking which he acknowledged as the main reason for his illness.
- Elliott, Louise (12 January 2020). "14 of the most famous people from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire". Stoke Sentinel.
- "BBC Genome Project". Bruno Brookes. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
- "Radio 1 is right on song". Glasgow Evening Times. 2 March 1989. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- "BBC Radio 1 schedule". Chart Show. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
- Stuart Aitken (11 November 2013). "Stakker Humanoid: how the Future Sound of London won hearts and minds". guardian.co.uk.
- "rage: Articles/Interviews". Musicfanclubs.org. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
- Dixon, Stephen (4 May 2010). "Attempt to get to the heart of the brass-necked, enigmatic 'Dark Prince of Comedy'". Irish Times.
- Peck, Tom (6 January 2012). "Want to know who's to blame for all those shop radio stations? Try Bruno Brookes". The Independent.
- Nair, Praseeda (1 October 2004). "Playing it right: Immedia". GrowthBusiness.
- Vickers, Amy (21 May 2001). "Bruno Brookes station unveils second launch". The Guardian.
- Rannard, Storm (1 May 2020). "Bruno Brookes to step down as Immedia Chief Exec". Insider Media.
- Finn, Gary (14 November 1998). "Bruno Brookes, 37, joins Trendy Tories". The Independent. London. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
- Davies, Hugh (25 October 2000). "Ex-lover denies that he beat up Anthea Turner". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- MccGwire, Scarlett (24 October 2000). "'I felt it was my fault'". The Guardian.
- Carroll, Sue (26 August 2000). "Anthea did it her way but I don't care.. I am worth pounds 10m thanks to internet". The Mirror.
- "Bruno Brookes splits with wife". BBC News. 8 January 2002.
- "DJ on drink charge". The Independent. 28 August 1999.
- "Ex-Radio 1 star has heart attack", BBC, 27 May 2006.
| BBC Radio 1
chart show presenter
30 March 1986 – 23 September 1990
| BBC Radio 1
chart show presenter
15 March 1992 – 16 April 1995