How DJ ‘Diddy’ David Hamilton is planning to put a smile on the faces of people in Sussex
After a year of global misery caused by the Covid pandemic, legendary DJ ‘Diddy’ David Hamilton is on a mission to cheer up the nation.
The veteran broadcaster - who lives on the edge of Horsham in the farmhouse where he spent much of his childhood - is to present The All Time Happy Music Show on BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey on Boxing Day from 10am.
“It’s going to be an odd Christmas this year with many people not able to see those they love,” said the former Radio One DJ.
And, after a year of sacrifice and lockdowns, David is determined to do his bit to help lift spirits.
“I’ll be playing the happiest records I can find - four hours of songs with the feelgood factor to help us forget the troubles of the year.”
David acknowledges that he and his wife Dreena have been ‘luckier than many’ during lockdown. “We’re on a farm and have a nice big garden where we can walk the dog” - cocker spaniel Amber.
“There are a lot of people much worse off than we are and we have just kept that in mind,” said David.
But the pandemic has hit everyone hard including those in the entertainment business with radio and TV shows cancelled and public speaking engagements postponed. “Freelance artists haven’t had any money at all,” said David.
And this Christmas is going to be different for most people, including David and Dreena, who have five children and nine grandchildren between them.
“We will be spending Christmas alone this year,” said David. “Normally we see all the family. But this year on Christmas morning we’ll go for a walk and then have lunch here on our own.”
David, 82, remembers staying at his farmhouse - previously his grandfather’s home - during the war.
“This really is an extraordinary time,” he said. “It’s the equivalent of a modern war, but this time it’s an unseen enemy, you don’t see it, not like planes and tanks. I find it worrying times.”
But it won’t stop him from trying to put a smile on people’s faces this Boxing Day. “I’ve been doing the radio show every Boxing Day for years but this year I just thought what am I going to do for my music theme and I came up with the idea of finding the happiest songs I can.
“We’ll also do messages for people who would normally be together.”