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Former Ball Hill resident and pioneering DJ Janice Long dies on Christmas Day aged 66



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The DJ Janice Long died on Christmas Day following a short illness.

Ms Long, who was 66, was the first woman to have her own weekday show on BBC Radio 1 and the first to become a regular presenter of Top of the Pops.

In the late1980s she and her partner Paul Berry, whom she married in 2017, moved to a cottage in Ball Hill, which, she told the Newbury Weekly News at the time, was 'a place of sanctuary after a hard day's work'.

Janice Long with Paul Berry and their son Fred, shortly after his birth, in February 1988
Janice Long with Paul Berry and their son Fred, shortly after his birth, in February 1988

Speaking to the paper in 1986 she said: "On Saturdays I love wandering around the market and the Kennet Centre. Beynons in the market place is one of my favourite shops."

Ms Long's move to the area meant that she was living close to her brother Keith Chegwin, who lived in East Woodhay at the time and who died in 2017, aged 60.

While still in the area, she and Mr Berry had their son Fred in February 1988, but unfortunately it cut short her career at Radio One when her show was axed just four weeks after she gave birth.

Janice Long with her son Fred in February 1988
Janice Long with her son Fred in February 1988

She is quoted in the NWN as saying: "I said I would need six weeks off after Fred's birth but Radio One said I should take four months as I might get post-natal depression or want to stay at home and breast-feed.

"I wonder what Fred will make of it all when he's 18 and reads that this sort of thing happened in the 1980s."

The radio station offered her a half-hour slot on Sundays, but she turned it down and accused the station of discriminating against women.

Ms Long went on to work in independent radio, as well as having stints on BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 2.

Janice Long with her son Fred in Ball Hill in 1989
Janice Long with her son Fred in Ball Hill in 1989

In 1989, she gave an interview to the NWN in which she talked of the her love for the north Hampshire countryside and that her ideal pastimes included walking in the country with Paul and Fred, baking, cycling and listening to her complete collection of records by the Smiths.

"And reading – I don't get much time to read any more."

In later years she moved back to her home town of Liverpool. She is survived by her husband Paul, son Fred and daughter Blue.

Can you help us solve the mystery of this picture of Janice Long photographed locally with a group in July 1989? Were you one of the girls in the picture? Email: newsdesk@newburynews.co.uk

Mystery picture: Janice Long pictured locally in a group in 1989. Do you know what the event was? Were you one of the girls in the picture?
Mystery picture: Janice Long pictured locally in a group in 1989. Do you know what the event was? Were you one of the girls in the picture?


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