Michael David Kenneth Read (born 1st March 1947) is an English radio disc jockey, writer, journalist and television presenter.
Mike's professional broadcasting career began in March 1976 at Reading's Radio 210, where he co-hosted a show with Steve Wright, before joining Radio Luxembourg late in 1977.
He joined BBC Radio One at the end of 1978 and was soon presenting the night time programme before John Peel's show, where he championed new groups and featured live sessions. He was one of the most popular Roadshow presenters during his time at the station and took over the Breakfast Show in January 1981.
Mike left Radio 1 in 1991 and moved to Capital Gold, (then a London-only station), where he remained until he left the station in late 1995. In addition to a daily show on Capital Gold, he joined Classic FM, where he presented a weekend show. In 1996, he presented the networked Breakfast Show on Classic Gold stations around the UK. From September 1999, he presented the Breakfast Show on Jazz FM in the North of England, then in 2001 joined Spirit FM in Chichester.
Between 2003 and 2004, he presented a Saturday morning show on the Magic network around the UK. In May 2005, he became the weekday morning presenter on Big L 1395, a station modelled on the 1960s pirate radio station. From 17 November 2008, he launched a 10am-2pm weekday programme slot on Star 107.5 covering Gloucestershire and the Malverns. Read recently presented a weekday show between 5am and 7am (Feb 09 - Sept 09) on internet radio station Wight FM (this was voicetracked). He also presented a regular slot called "Dancing Through The Decades" on Saturday evenings between 6 and 10pm on KCFM.
In October 2009 he was reported to be part of a team of veteran DJs forming a new radio station One Gold to rival the BBC. In November 2009 Mike began hosting a mid-morning show on the TotalStar network in the west of England.
Mike has won many 'broadcaster of the year' awards including Sonys, Smash Hits and Carl Alan Awards.
He combined his radio work with a second career as a TV presenter, hosting the popular 1980s Saturday morning programme Saturday Superstore, as well as the Saturday Night music game show Pop Quiz, which regularly got audiences of 10 million and featured rock and pop stars answering music trivia questions.
Additionally, he presented UK Gold's TV genre quiz Goldmaster in 1997, having more memorably presented Top of the Pops on many occasions between 1978 and 1989, and hosted Yorkshire Television's children's series Pop Quest from 1977 to 1979.
Mike wrote lyrics to Simon May's TRIC Award-winning Trainer TV theme. The resulting UK Top 30 single, "More to Life", was performed by Cliff Richard. Read provided a guest rap on Slade's 1991 UK Top 30 hit Radio Wall Of Sound.
Mike recorded a charity single when he lyrically re-worked Hank Mizell's Jungle Rock and as The Jungle Boys with Neil 'Razor' Ruddock and Lord Charlie Brocket had a UK Top 30 hit single. The follow-up, which made the top 75 was a new version of Mungo Jerry's In The Summertime. In 2005, Mike's song Grief Never Grows Old featured on a charity recording in aid of victims of the 2004 Tsunami. Performed by an ensemble of artists named One World Project, the single reached Number 4 in the UK singles chart.
Mike has written music to accompany many poems written by John Betjeman. Thirty of these songs were recorded by artists including Cliff Richard, David Essex, and Gene Pitney for the 2006 various artists' album Words/Music, and subsequently re-released in 2008 as a double CD titled Sound of Poetry.
Mike has had many musicals on stage, including Young Apollo, Oscar, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Cliff the Musical and Ricky Nelson...Teenage Idol. He took one of the lead roles in the Cliff Musical, touring with it and appearing for a three month run in the West End at the Prince of Wales Theatre. His Betjeman show, based on his many collaborations with Sir John Betjeman form the basis of a show that has occasionally been staged for charities. Eminent actors appearing in his musicals and shows have included Nyree Dawn Porter, Brian Glover, Colin Baker, Anton Rogers, Jeremy Irons, Alvin Stardust and Bernard Cribbins.
He was one of the founder editors of the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, the best-known UK chart reference book, and also co-wrote many of the other Guinness music books. In his own right he is the author of 35 books, including 'Forever England' a biography of Rupert Brooke, Major to Minor: The Rise and Fall of the Songwriter (2000) and, with Richard Havers, Read's Musical Reciter (2004), a collection of trivia from the music business. His poetry books include The Aldermoor Poems, Elizabethan Dragonflies, A Room With Books and New Poems for Old Paintings. Also on the Poetry front he has edited and supplied biographies for the two best-selling poetry books 100 Favourite Poems and 100 Favourite Humorous Poems and contributed to many of the Poets' England series.