We arrive in the leafy London suburb in glorious spring sunshine. David and his beautiful Gordon setter, 'Mister' Max, greet us at the door. He was recently a star of the Channel 4 programme; It's Me or the Dog. “He's not changed much,” says David, commanding the dog to lie down. The doleful eyes look up, but he won't budge. “You see, it's us that need training,” he laughs.
Having been on the road for a couple of hours, I'm in need of the little girls' room. David is delighted to show me his downstairs toilet which is covered, floor to ceiling with picture discs from the 1980's - Madonna, Culture Club, The Thompson Twins - it's a comprehensive collection. He points out the device he's set up for alerting others that the 'little room' is occupied - when the door is locked, a genuine 'On Air' sign lights up outside. Genius!
David 'Diddy' Hamilton is one of Britain's best loved radio and TV presenters. 2006 marked his 50th year in the business. In that time, he has hosted an incredible twelve thousand radio shows (and counting) and one thousand television programmes.
But it was back in 1967, whilst appearing in Doddy's Music Box that David had his first big break on to a national television series. The show's front man, Ken Dodd, famous for his buck teeth, tickling stick and 'Diddy' men, recruited David as his sidekick. Because of David's small stature, Dodd nicknamed him 'Diddy', after the tiny residents (usually children dressed up) of his mythologised Knotty Ash. "Ken took me aside and asked me if it was OK to call me Diddy, because it was poking fun at me,” said David, “he told me he thought the name was likely to stick so wanted me to be happy with it. I said I didn't mind at all. In fact I think it helped people remember me in the early days."
The name certainly did stick, but it wasn't until 1990, when David heard about the D1 DDY number plate coming up for sale at auction, that he thought he would have some fun with it.