A radio buff who devoted himself to chronicling a children's show has died.

Wallace Grevatt owned the largest collection of Radio Times magazines in Britain and also wrote a history of the popular Children's Hour show.

Mr Grevatt, 77, of Swanborough Drive, Brighton, started collecting issues of the magazine when he was five and eventually had more than 4,000 copies neatly filed at home.

He was considered such a Radio Times expert that the magazine took him on as a freelance archivist.

He was also regularly contacted for advice about programmes, having been a dedicated listener and viewer for years.

Former college lecturer Mr Grevatt much preferred radio to television and especially loved Children's Hour, which ran from 1922 to 1964.

The programme launched the careers of many former child performers including Jane Asher, Vanessa Redgrave, Stanley Baxter, Robert Powell, Michael Aspel and James Galway.

"Uncle Mac" Derek McCulloch, head of the programme between 1938 and 1950, famously ended each show with the words: "Good night children, everywhere."

Mr Grevatt published BBC Children's Hour: A Celebration Of Those Magical Years in 1988, having started work on his labour of love as a child.

As a ten-year-old prep school pupil, he wrote to the BBC asking for information "because I am writing a history of Children's Hour".

When the Corporation decided to axe the show in 1964, he organised a petition in a vain attempt to save the programme.

An exhibition of his Radio Times collection went on display at the Pavilion Gardens Cafe in Brighton in August 1997.

At the time, he said: "I still love Radio Times. It is part and parcel of my life and when I was younger I cycled miles and miles if I knew it was on sale somewhere a day or two early."

He plastered the walls of his house with front covers from his collection, which included the first issue, published on September 28, 1923.

He believed radio was a much more useful medium for educating children than television.

He said: "It stimulates their imagination, allows listeners to create their own personal visual images, rather than just staring at the box all day."

Mr Grevatt also believed the BBC had neglected quality children's programming ever since ending Children's Hour.

Mr Grevatt was a leading figure in the organisation CHE, which campaigned for gay rights during the Seventies.

Malcolm Martindale, his partner of 32 years, said: "He was an inspiration to all who met him."

Mourners have been invited to make donations to the British Heart Foundation or a cancer charity, according to Mr Grevatt's wishes. He will be buried privately.