BBC radio legend, 81, emotional in final broadcast after 43 years

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Tony Blackburn has now presented his final local BBC show.

The radio legend, who has spent 43 years filling our airwaves with music and his reassuring voice, is slightly changing course.

The Coronation Street superfan will be leaving local radio where he’s been a fixture on Berkshire, Oxford and Solent to instead concentrate on other projects including work on Radio 2.

On his final ever show, he began his final sign-off by acknowledging the last song he’d chosen: ‘That’s Law Rauls and You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.

‘Well, 43 years on BBC local radio and that’s it as far as I’m concerned.

‘Thank you so much. I want to thank you very much indeed for listening to me over the years. Thank you very much for that.

Tony Blackburn
Tony Blackburn signed off for the final time (Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

‘It’s been a pleasure being here and I look forward to being with you in other places let’s put it that way.

‘Once again thanks very much indeed for all the memories and all the lovely music, I hope you’ve enjoyed the music I’ve brought you on Sunday afternoons.

‘And from me Tony Blackburn to BBC Local Radio, bye-bye,’ he concluded.

Veteran radio DJ Tony Blackburn has presenting his final BBC local radio show.
Tony shared a message with listeners on the final show (Picture: BBC)

He originally announced his decision to leave his local radio programme after 14 years last month.

‘Hi there, just wanted to let you know that I have decided to end my BBC Local Radio Sunday afternoon show that goes out on @BBCBerkshire, @BBCOxford, @BBCRadioSolent and @BBCSounds,’ he wrote on X.

‘My last show will be on March 24th. I have been a part of the Berkshire lineup since 2012 and have loved doing the show bringing music from the 50s up to the present day.

‘I have loved the callers and the fun we’ve some stage I might come back to BBC Local Radio but, for now, I’m going to focus on my @BBCRadio2 shows, Sounds Of The Sixties and the Golden Hour and my theatre tour which comes back in March.’

Tony Blackburn
Tony’s shows will be missed (Picture: BBC)

Tony was the first disc jockey to take to the mic on Radio 1 when it launched in 1967 and went on to carve out a very successful career as one of the UK’s best-known radio stars.

In November 2010 he took over the reins of Radio 2’s Pick Of The Pops programme following on from its two previous long-serving hosts, Alan Freeman and Dale Winton.

To add to his list of accolades, he also won the first-ever I’m A Celebrity back in 2002.

Having lived such an incredible life, he was asked to write a book in 1985, which was called Living Legend: Tony Blackburn Story. Although, he’s now admitted one aspect of his romantic life was ‘made up’ to make the chapters more salacious.

Tony Blackburn
Tony Blackburn has been on the airwaves for decades (Picture: BBC Picture Archives)

Last year Tony was hospitalised with pneumonia after first announcing he had a chest infection.

It was later revealed he also contracted sepsis as he fought off the infection, spending two months in total in hospital.

In December, he stepped down from Soul On Sunday show on BBC Radio London after presenting various shows on the station since 1981.

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