91-year-old DJ brings joy to patients

One of Britain’s oldest DJs is still broadcasting at the age of 91, as he believes in the power of music to spread joy and bring smiles to people’s faces. 

Patrick Murphy, from Odsal in Bradford, West Yorkshire, has had a twice-weekly show at his local hospital radio station for the past decade after he “got bored” with retirement – and he doesn’t intend to stop any time soon. 

“In 2012, I saw a story in the paper advertising for new DJs to help run programmes at hospital radio,” he told PA Media. “I went down to the station, had an interview, got the gig and have been there ever since.

“Hospital radio is an essential service, in my view. [It] means everything to me. For two mornings a week I am pleasing people and bringing them joy so what’s not to like about that?”

(Read more about the power of music for people with dementia)

Patrick broadcasts on St Luke’s Sound Hospital Radio every Wednesday and Thursday, from 9am to midday.

He’s originally from the Curragh in Co Kildare, and came to London in 1945 for work, before moving to Bradford where he was in the engineering trade from 1951 until he retired in 1995.

The pensioner said he has “always loved music” and used to go ballroom dancing with his wife Doris at the Station Hotel in Clayton Road, Bradford, every weekend in the 1960s.

It was around that time that he first tried his hand at DJing after getting “fed up” with the same songs being played.

(Read more about this radio which connects diasporas in Southern England) 

Patrick’s signature tune is Oldest Swinger In Town by Frank Cromit, but other favourite tracks include Billy Joe Spears’ Blanket On The Ground and Jamaican reggae singer John Holt’s Never, Never, Never.

His show covers “anything and everything”, from Ministry of Sound to reggae, baseline and ballroom – as long as it gets people dancing.

“I like to play music to get people’s toes tapping and smiles to their faces,” he said.

You can listen to Mr Murphy’s radio show via the St Luke’s Sound livestream

His music is played at St Luke’s Hospital in Bradford. The hospital trust has a charity – Bradford Hospitals’ Charity – which aims to improve health facilities for its patients. Find out more and donate.