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This article is about the radio music journalist. For the Welsh screenwriter associated with reviving Doctor Who, see Russell T Davies. For those of the same or similar name, see Russell Davis (disambiguation).

Robert Russell Davies (born 5 April 1946) is a British journalist and broadcaster.

Davies was born in Barmouth, North Wales. He attended Manchester Grammar School, according to his own statement on a November 2010 Brain of Britain programme. During his time there (1957–64) he acted in dramatic society productions and was appointed school vice-captain.[1]

He gained a scholarship to St John's College, Cambridge, and was awarded a first class degree in Modern and Mediaeval Languages in 1967, but soon abandoned his post-graduate studies in German literature when the opportunity arose to tour with the Cambridge Footlights revue. During his time in Cambridge he contributed topical cartoons to the news pages of Varsity, the undergraduate newspaper, under the pseudonym Dai.

As a journalist, Davies worked as a film and television critic for The Observer and The Sunday Times, features writer and sports columnist for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, a caricaturist for The Times Literary Supplement and was a deputy editor of Punch. He edited Kenneth Williams's diaries for publication, despite being the target of Williams's acid pen in those same diaries. He regularly appeared on television in the 1980s, presenting Saturday Review for BBC2.

In 1988 Davies was the presenter of a 12-part BBC radio series Radio Fun chronicling the history of comedy on the radio from the thirties to the present day. Since 2007 the series has been repeated most years on BBC Radio 4 Extra (formerly Radio 7), most recently ending in January 2011.[2]

Davies is a jazz musician, playing the trombone, and has presented television and radio documentaries on the subject, including in 1999 a year-long history for BBC Radio 3, Jazz Century. He has written and presented other radio programmes including BBC Radio 4's series Word of Mouth (winner of the 1996 European Radio, ONDAS prize), and a series on Radio 2 about songwriters Rodgers and Hart, Legends of Light Music. In 2003, Russell Davies wrote and presented Quest for Perfection, a film about jazz clarinetist and bandleader Artie Shaw, for BBC Four and produced by John Warburton (shortlisted for the 2004 Grierson Award). To date (July 2005), his film has been broadcast nine times.

His documentary on the life of the cartoonist Ronald Searle was shown on the BBC in 2006.

He presents Brain of Britain on Radio 4,[3] and until 2013 he presented a Sunday radio programme on BBC Radio 2, which spotlighted popular song. He has also presented the BBC Radio 4 music quiz Counterpoint.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Biographical Register of Old Mancunians. Manchester Grammar School. 1978. p. 789. 
  2. ^ "BBC Radio 7 - Radio Fun: The Story of Radio Comedy, Episode 12". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-01-09. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  3. ^ "Brain of Britain". BBC. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 

External links[edit]

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1223 news items

The Guardian

The Guardian
Thu, 21 May 2015 10:15:00 -0700

The New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra under Kazuyoshi Akiyama is gung-ho in Bartók; Dennis Russell Davies and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrücken never quite relax into Barber's softer-grained textures. The disc ends with the five-minute Tokyo ...

Radio Times

Radio Times
Mon, 12 Jan 2015 12:36:39 -0800

He shepherded Doctor Who back onto our screens in 2005 but Russell T Davies has emphatically stated he won't be returning to the BBC's flagship sci-fi series. “No. You have to move on,” he says in the latest edition of Radio Times magazine. The news ...

Burton Mail

Burton Mail
Sun, 17 May 2015 23:00:00 -0700

First, he beat out a goalbound effort from Jamie Russell before keeping out the follow-up from Russell Davies. Next, Evans hit Davies but he fired wide. The pressure continued with a wicked cross from Millar just missed by Davies as he closed in at the ...


Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:01:54 -0800

Russell T Davies is the man who gave us a triumphant reboot of Doctor Who, created the groundbreaking gay drama Queer as Folk and wrote a technicolour costume drama about the life of Casanova. These works, at first, may seem very different but they all ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:45:27 -0800

Russell T Davies is returning to UK television with a three-pronged penis. After a period in Los Angeles following his revival of Doctor Who, he is back in his spiritual (and actual) heartland of Manchester's gay community. Three concurrent new series, ...

The Journal

The Journal
Wed, 20 May 2015 14:28:42 -0700

Other speakers at yesterday's event included Russell Davies and Abe Adewunmi, who discussed the impact of their work with the Government Digital Service, and Bob Paton, managing director of Accenture's Newcastle Delivery Centre and interim chief ...


Mon, 13 Apr 2015 15:07:30 -0700

Russell T. Davies has been most recently known for bringing Doctor Who back to TV, but the British writer and producer also created the U.K. version of Queer as Folk, and bringing gay stories to television is important to Davies. This is especially ...
Sat, 11 Apr 2015 07:01:12 -0700

After breaking new television ground with projects like TORCHWOOD, QUEER AS FOLK and of course DOCTOR WHO. Russell T. Davies is back with a pair of new shows for Logo TV. It's a unique concept he details in our exclusive talk, plus is there a future ...

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