Peter ("Pete") Murray OBE, (born Peter Murray James on 19 September 1925) is a British radio and television presenter and a stage and screen actor. His broadcasting career spanned over 50 years.
Murray's autobiography 'One Day I'll Forget My Trousers', 1975, gives considerable detail about his vegetarianism. In brief:
As a child he didn't like meat but ate a lot of fried fish and chips. An uncle had given him a book on nature cure and by his teens he tried to give up the fried food as he felt it was making his teenage acne worse.
By the late 1940s he was visiting visiting vegetarian restaurants in London, apparently as the easiest way to find non-fried, non-meat food. By 1955 he was fully vegetarian for health reasons.
He spent some time in various 'health farms', nature cure clinics etc., always preferring those to orthodaox medicine, and remained vegetarian for life. He appears to have had some connection with the Vegetarian Society, speaking at youth camps, and he sent his son to Wycliffe College, where the President of the Vegetarian Society was the Headmaster.
from a history of The Vegetarian magazine, published by the Vegetarian Society UK:
In the 1960s the magazine was retitled 'The British Vegetarian'. Colour was also first used, though only upon the cover. Vegetarianism was now going mainstream and celebrities were regularly featured. DJ Pete Murray, the actress Gretchen Wyler, Charlotte Rampling and Julie Christie were all written about.
July 1973 brought bad news to vegetarian maidens everywhere. The magazine announced the forthcoming marriage of that most eligible vegetarian bachelor -- DJ Pete Murray.
He joined the English service of Radio Luxembourg in 1949 or 1950 as one of its resident announcers in the Grand Duchy, and remained there until 1956. Back in London, and now calling himself "Pete" rather than "Peter", he continued to be heard frequently on Radio Luxembourg for many years, introducing pre-recorded sponsored programmes. He also presented popular music on the BBC Light Programme, notably in Pete Murray's Party from 1958 to 1961, and hosted one of BBC Television's earliest pop music programmes, the skiffle-based Six-Five Special (1957–1958). He was a regular panellist on the same channel's Juke Box Jury (1959–1967). He was the "guest DJ" on several editions of ABC-TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars (1961–1966).
He was among the first regular presenters of Top of the Pops when it began in 1964. Murray was one of the original BBC Radio 1 disc-jockeys when that station started in 1967.
He is a lifelong teetotaller. He once broke down on live television after his son, Michael Murray James, who had been a pupil at Wycliffe College (Gloucestershire), also an actor, committed suicide at age 27, and afterwards he gave talks on coping with family tragedy. [Wycliffe College has a long history of links with vegetarianism, for many years having a fully vegetarian house, and hosted the IVU World Vegetarian Congress in 1947]