BBC Radio DJ Tony Blackburn to celebrate 50 years on air

The DJ will host a special one-off show to mark the occasion

Tony Blackburn: The first man to be heard on Radio 1 when it began broadcasting in 1967, Blackburn spent 17 years there. He presented a show with Chris Moyles last week as part of the 40th anniversary. Pic: PA Photos
BBC Radio DJ Tony Blackburn will celebrate 50 years on the air with a special one-off broadcast across all BBC local radio stations.

Digital Spy reports that the special presentation will air on Friday, July 25 at 7pm. The show will be partly pre-recorded in front of a live studio audience and a host of special guests are expected to feature, including Smokey Robinson, Beverley Knight, Jaki Graham, Noel Edmonds and Pat Sharp.

The 71-year-old took to Twitter yesterday evening (July 18), revealing his delight at reaching the milestone.



Blackburn began presenting the Radio 1 Breakfast Show when the station launched on September 30 1967. Prior to that he worked on offshore pirate radio stations Radio Caroline and Radio London and, over the years, he served as a regular host of Top of the Pops.

Currently Blackburn can be heard on BBC London 94.9, playing classic soul and Motown records on Sundays from midday. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph earlier this year, he spoke of his ongoing passion for broadcasting.

"For me, it's always been about the music," said Blackburn. "I love soul, that's where my heart lies, but there are still great songs being written and great artists performing them. I love Beyoncé and Jesse J and Alicia Keyes… the joy of music is that there’s always something – someone – new emerging."

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