A LOVE of music sent Johnnie Walker out to sea to pursue his dreams.

After leaving his job selling car parts at W Canning & Co he decided to dive head first into a career as a radio DJ.

Johnnie, now 74 and preparing for a return to Swindon next month, started out in the industry with an offshore radio station known as Swinging Radio England before moving to Radio Caroline.

His passion had been sparked at an early age.

Johnnie said: “I have always loved music. My elder brother, who had a good record collection with the likes of Elvis Presley, introduced me to it.

“So I loved it from the get go. When I went to Norfolk with my family there was an arcade there with a jukebox with good music.

“That sort of grew the whole idea of entertaining people, it appealed to me.”

But being on a boat as a DJ radio presenter wasn’t plain sailing.

Johnnie’s first gig wasn’t what he hoped it to be.

He told the Adver: “At times it wasn’t easy, the first wasn’t very well planned.

“As DJs we would just sleep in sleeping bags on the floor.

“After six months I moved onto another boat. It was better planned and the team was nicer, which was great.”

He moved on from pirate radio when the government forced it to close in 1967.

From there he moved to BBC Radio 1 before joining Wiltshire Radio in 1983.

Johnnie presented for the local station in the 11am to 2pm slot.

He filled Radio 2's drivetime slot for many years before leaving in 2006.

The subsequent success of his Sounds of the 70s show on Sunday afternoons sparked a nationwide tour, which will visit the Wyvern Theatre on Friday, March 6.

“It’s a real treat for me to be taking my Sounds of the 70s radio show on the road," said Johnnie.

“It’s going to be a great celebration and sing song of one of the greatest decades in music, we’ll talk about the artists who made it so special and will have an incredible band performing all those classic 70s hits,” he said.

The live show will be hosted by Johnnie, who will be telling audiences of personal stories and memories of the era.

It will feature a live band and singers who will perform hits from the decade.

He said: “Tony Blackburn paved the way because of his 60s tour, it seemed to be the obvious thing to put the 70s on the road.

“I love it. It is a really good concept. People like a bit of chat with the music to listen to the songs and it’s a fantastic range of music.

“People really do enjoy it and have good time and we all appreciate that. I think it sparks memories that people have when they see this show.

“It also bring them together, friends could be separated but they join together for this one night.”

It isn’t the first time he has been on stage.The DJ went on tour after releasing his book in 2007.

“I did a one-man show when my autobiography came out so I have done something similar to this and I do enjoy it,” he said.

The tour will be taking in 20 venues across the UK.

It will see the band performing classic tracks from the likes of David Bowie, The Doobie Brothers and many others.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to being back in Swindon. I’ve been there before on tour and when I worked at Wiltshire Radio and it was great.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit swindontheatres.co.uk.