Tony Blackburn to return to BBC a year after being ‘sacked’

Veteran DJ said he was made a "scapegoat" when he parted ways with the corporation in February

Tony Blackburn will return to BBC radio in the New Year.

The veteran DJ, 73, lost his job at the corporation in February. Director-General Lord Hall said he “fell short of the standards of evidence” required by Dame Janet Smith’s inquiry into Jimmy Savile’s sexual abuse on BBC premises.

At the time, Blackburn said the BBC had made him a “scapegoat”. He also pointed out that he had been cleared of any wrongdoing.


The BBC announced today that Blackburn will return in January to present an hour-long Radio 2 show on Fridays. He will also broadcast for the corporation on local radio.

The corporation said in a statement: “The BBC stands by the findings of Dame Janet Smith and the decision it made to take Tony Blackburn off air at the start of this year based on Dame Janet’s Smith’s preference for the documentary evidence relating to meetings that took place over Tony Blackburn’s statements.”

Blackburn added: “I do not seek to criticise the BBC for decisions it has made in the past. I have had a difficult year personally, but I’m pleased to be returning to the BBC and can’t wait to get behind the mic again.”

Writing on Twitter today, Blackburn thanked fans for their messages of support.

Blackburn joined the BBC in 1967, when he became the first DJ to broadcast on BBC Radio 1.


He shared a statement in February shortly after parting with the BBC. Blackburn wrote at the time: “In 1971 allegations were made by the mother of a 15-year-old girl whose diary apparently contained suggestions that she had been seduced by celebrities including me.”

The same year, the girl tragically took her own life, Blackburn explained in his statement.

He then added: “Dame Janet’s report makes no suggestion that I was guilty 45 years ago of any misconduct whatsoever with this girl. Nor did a Coroner’s inquest into her death or a subsequent police inquiry. The BBC have made clear that they are not terminating my relationship with them because of any misconduct.

“They are destroying my career and reputation because my version of events does not tally with theirs.”


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