Charles Chilton MBE was a BBC radio presenter, writer and a producer. Born in Bloomsbury in London, England, his father (whom he never knew) was killed during World War I, and when he was still only six his mother died due to complications during an illegal abortion; Chilton was then raised by his grandmother. He was educated at St. Pancras C. of E. school.
Chilton left school at 14, and after a brief apprenticeship making electric signs he joined the BBC as a messenger boy. One year later he became an assistant in their gramophone library. In 1937 he formed the BBC Boys' Jazz band.
His first role as a producer was for 'I Hear America Singing', after which he moved to the BBC variety department. He then presented his own show between 11pm and midnight called 'Swing Time', and a weekly jazz programme called 'Radio Rhythm Club'. Next came five years' war service with the RAF, after which he was sent to Sri Lanka to run the forces radio station with broadcaster David Jacobs, later to participate in Chilton's Journey into Space.