Des Britten Profile

Chris Bourke
13 Feb 2020

“Hi there you there, Des here” was Des Britten’s introduction when he was one of several pioneering pop DJs on New Zealand’s airwaves.

After the arrival of rock’n’roll, a local radio revolution was inevitable – albeit within the confines of the New Zealand Broadcasting Service. It began on 2ZC in Hawke’s Bay, with the emergence of the country’s first true pop DJs, Neville Chamberlain, David Ford, Keith Richardson, and Des Britten.

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At the Pines, Wellington, early 1960s. From left: Garth Young, Peter Caithness (founder of Salem Records), a visiting US pop star, broadcaster Des Britten, and the singer’s chaperone.
Photo credit: Don Peat
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"One Big Twist and All." Des Britten comperes a show at Wellington Town Hall, 24 February 1962. 
Photo credit: Roger Watkins archive
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Advertisement for a teenage talent quest, to be judged by Des Britten, Upper Hutt Leader, 21 September 1961
Photo credit: Upper Hutt City Library
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"Hi there you there!" Des Britten, The Hi-Fi Club Show.
Photo credit: Merv Thomas archive
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Des Britten, host of the Coca-Cola chart in the early 1960s, writes to Keith Richardson at 2ZC. Des explains the process to Keith but not how the chart was compiled.
Photo credit: Keith Richardson collection
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Des Britten with the Keil Isles - Son This Is She (Viking, 1962). The song had been a No.15 hit for UK singer/actor John Leyton the year before.
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Watch: 'Making Of A Record', a compilation film shot by HMV's A&R man Bruce Ward. Includes footage of Des Britten as DJ.
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Des Britten with the Keil Isles - So Long Baby (Viking, 1962)
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Four NZBC disc jockeys, Wellington, early 1960s. From left: Scott Newman, Bas Tubert, Des Britten and Ted Thorpe. 
Photo credit: Peter Downes archive
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Promoter Ken Cooper and Des Britten with Max Merritt & The Meteors in Wellington
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
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Promoter Ken Cooper and Des Britten with Max Merritt & The Meteors in Wellington
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
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