VIDEO: David Hamilton smiles for Sussex

Tucked away in the West Sussex wilderness, residing in a 15th century timber-framed house and surrounded by flourishing fields, David Hamilton has returned to simpler living, away from the bright lights and big city.

Donning a tall pair of gardening boots and his shirt sleeves rolled up, David potters about his cosy home that exudes old-world charm with its leaded light windows and inglenook fireplace.

JPCT 240513 DJ David Hamilton will have a spot on the new radio station - Smile Sussex. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 240513 DJ David Hamilton will have a spot on the new radio station - Smile Sussex. Photo by Derek Martin

Followed closely by his Cocker Spaniel, David takes to the sofa. The excitable dog, named Amber, pines for attention and leaps at the sight of the photographer’s lens.

“As soon as there’s a camera, she thinks it’s all about her,” David says, chuckling.

Radio host and TV presenter, known fondly as ‘Diddy’ David Hamilton, the 74-year-old’s career spans seven decades from the British Forces Network in 1959 Germany to Radio 1 alongside the likes of Terry Wogan, John Peel and Noel Edmonds in 1973.

Flaunting his warm, distinctive voice that partly defined Radio 1’s relaxed but fun-loving appeal, David is still in the game with no intention of retiring any time soon.

“No, I don’t want to and I certainly wouldn’t retire from something like Smile Sussex – it’s aimed at my age group anyway.”

Smile Sussex, that David speaks of, is his latest venture on the airwaves and his very first into the realm of digital radio.

Featuring the immortal voices of soul, swing and jazz. Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin (to name a few) will be the calibre of artists to expect on the DAB station.

“Digital is the new form of radio and there’s more than 30 per cent of drivers in the UK with digital radios in their cars these days. I think digital is the radio of the future.”

For the full feature see July’s Horsham edition of etc Magazine.