Remains found at Cribbs Causeway confirmed as DJ Derek

The 73-year old went missing in July


Remains discovered at Cribbs Causeway last Thursday have been confirmed as belonging to those of Bristol pensioner Derek Serpell-Morris, more commonly known as DJ Derek.

DNA tests have confirmed that the remains are those of the 73-year old pensioner who went missing last July after travelling to Cribbs Causeway in the early hours of the morning.

The remains were discovered near the Mall on 10th March, and have only been identifiable by further DNA tests after an initial post-mortem proved inconclusive. 

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Looking back on DJ Derek’s life

More than just a big name locally, Derek Serpell-Morris began his working life at Cadbury’s after impressing Lady Cadbury, but turned his back on the confectionary world for the clubs of Bristol and London.

DJ Derek began his music career as a resident DJ of the Star and Garter pub, and became a local favourite known for his charming personality and impressive 1960s reggae sound.

Derek had been on the clubbing scene for more than four decades, and has even performed at Bestival, Big Chill and Glastonbury to name but a few.

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Alongside his DJ lifestyle, Derek made a pact to visit every new Wetherspoons when they first opened. DJ Rob da Bank, co-founder of Bestival even remembered having to organise his travel to the festival to make sure it passed a Wetherspoons.

DJ Derek has performed all over the UK, and was even invited by Dizee Rascal to appear in the 2010 music video for Dirtee Disco – he can be seen DJing at the party in the video.

DJ Derek concluded his music career with a 2013 gig in London, citing Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ as the perfect closing song for his sets.

The 73 year-old from St Paul’s in Bristol went missing last July after leaving a Wetherspoons in the early hours of the morning.

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A huge search effort took effect, with the head of Wetherspoons circling pictures of the pensioner in the hope that someone would recognise him.

Now, with the discovery of his remains, DJ Derek’s family are having to face the reality of their lost loved one, a man so influential that he was awarded a medal by Bristol’s Lord Mayor for outstanding contribution to Bristols music scene.

The happy memories that DJ Derek left behind are not something Bristol will soon forget, with documentary maker Helena Appio, who made a film about his life, describing him as a “kind and gentle man”.