"DAFFY" DON ALLEN

Don Allen was born in Ontario, Canada, on 8th March 1940, Don attended broadcasting school in Chicago and his first radio job was in north Manitoba. He worked throughout Canada, the USA and Mexico before coming to Britain to meet his English wife's family. He became interested in the offshore stations and was quickly snapped up by Caroline, where he started on the South ship. Sea-sickness intervened and he transferred to a shore-based job in Caroline House.

The following year there were some vacancies on the North ship and Don was asked to help out temporarily. He found the larger ship much more stable and comfortable and ended up staying until the station close-down in March 1968.

As well as hosting his own Big Wide Wonderful World of Daffy Don Allen, he also took over the Country and Western Jamboree when Jim Murphy left. On Caroline North, Don  had a couple of laughter drop-ins that he used quite frequently on his shows. Don used to play a laughing track of a chap he nicknamed Hank. At the end of the laughter, the guy would say two words, "Funny, funny!" The other track Don used was a bunch of guys laughing till the laughter turned into hysteria and ended with the words, "Forget it!"

Don was Senior DJ up until Caroline's closure when he joined Manx Radio. A Manx Radio promo listing all their "friendly hosts" described Don thus: "The smooth-voice Chief announcer, keen on country-style sounds. Lost of radio experience & lots of fun!"

 

He was also heard on BBC Radio Merseyside, before in 1972, he returned to sea with Radio Northsea International as senior DJ / Programme Director and is best associated with The Don Allen Country & Western Jambouree programme. His first show on RNI was aired on November 3, 1972. 

There was one amusing incident reported about him in 1973 (April/May I think) when Don's chair collapsed under him while he was on air - much to the amusement of everyone onboard the Mebo.

On September 17, 1973, Don played the "War of the Worlds" double album, which had just been released in Europe, in its entirety. While it was playing, the DJs on the Mebo apparently sat, listening in the darkened studio.

He remained with the station until its close on August 31, 1974, co-presenting the final half-hour with Brian McKenzie

 

Don's business card (1974)

Don quit radio in 1976, the same year that, on July 20, he & wife Sandra divorced. Don then took up industrial engineering, which he continued to do until 1980. He was then contacted by former Caroline DJ Robbie Dale who was working in Ireland. The offer of a job followed and Don relocated to "the Emerald Isle".

He was on a number of stations there, including in 1982 - Radio Nova. In 1985, Don Allen was working for Cavan Community Radio. He left the following year and moved to Radio West in Mullingar, where he hosted his first programme, the weekday Breakfast Show, on Monday 15th September 1986. His last station in Ireland was Radio 3 Tullamore.

He died in Ireland on 13th.May 1995 following a heart attack.