Uncle Dugs

Uncle Dugs: A Decade On Rinse FM

Uncle Dugs’ weekly #RunComeFollowFriday show recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. The show is the most listened to on Rinse FM, which is an incredible achievement for a late morning/early afternoon slot on a Friday.

This feature is merely an appreciation of blood, sweat and tears that Simon Duggins has dedicated to Rinse FM, Jungle / Drum & Bass and keeping the pirate radio sound alive – this sound is for the underground.

I’ve known Dugsy for around two years or so now. I remember celebrating his engagement on Brick Lane with his incredible life partner Sarah and Rompa, who I was interning for at the time. Ever since I saw him do his Friday residency show live (just before we all went to Snowbombing Festival in Austria), I’ve had nothing but the utmost respect for him and his weekly show on Rinse.

DJ Geeneus founded Rinse in 1994, operating as a pirate radio station for close to fifteen years before being awarded its FM broadcast license in June 2010.

‘I’ve known Geeneus for ages, been mates since the mid-90s. We even ran a club night in Romford together called ‘SEX’ back in the day’.

During the early days of Rinse, Dugs worked closely with Geeneus helping out at the station. It became evident very quickly that his presence was not only just appreciated, but considered something of an unspoken and mutually beneficial natural transition. Not long after he installed the first radio transmitter, Geeneus started to tell artists & DJs to talk to Dugs rather than going directly to him, as in his words “Dugs runs the station”.

Dugs had a brief 5-year residency stint at renowned London-based pirate-radio station Kool FM but returned to Rinse after they were granted FM status. ‘Myself and Geeneus are now closer than ever… You know if you’re meant to be together one of you will make it happen’. 

‘Rinse took a big gamble with my show, having an afternoon slot playing mostly old skool was something unheard of, but as the years went by the listeners just kept coming in – and staying’! 

‘I think they trusted in me to pull this show off because they know how hardworking I am and especially in regards to everything I’ve done with Rinse. Also, the fact that I genuinely care about the station and preserving the legacy of the scene. I’m loyal to Rinse the same way that someone would be loyal to a football team, this is my station and I’m not leaving.’

‘My Rinse residency was the best thing that has ever happened to me, apart from meeting Sarah at Innovation’. 

One of the things I admire and respect most about Dugs is how humble he is and still to this day all these years later after he started working with Rinse, he still counts his blessings and describes his Radio success as “a natural and unexpected turn of events – just a pirate bedroom DJ with an opportunity – it gave me a newfound respect for life”.

His club night venture Vibena Jungle was the idea of his partner Sarah. Who once said in response to Dugs’ predicament of not enjoying as much playing particular music purely to accommodate a crowd’s reaction. “I love how small and intimate our nights are. It’s not Andy C at Wembley and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do – playing to a hundred or so people in a sweaty basement. Purely old-school, purely vibes. One set I played purely B-sides from 1992. Everyone loved it – it honestly feels like I’m playing to people that care”.

I was going to conclude by asking Dugs what his plans with the show are for the future but evidently, that answers itself – being able to ask Fabio & Grooverider to cover the slot when he’s away and Goldie wanting to be interviewed on it, you know you’ve got a winning formula.

You can catch Uncle Dugs’ presents #RCFF on Rinse FM, every Friday at 11am-2pm – listen to the tenth-anniversary show below.