BBC Local Radio will mark the 50th anniversary of Tony Blackburn’s first radio broadcast - to the day - with a one-off, star-studded programme across all local BBC stations on Friday 25 July, 7pm.
The 50th anniversary special will feature guests who have shared Tony Blackburn’s life on air, and will include interviews and performances from the likes of Smokey Robinson, Beverley Knight, Jaki Graham and fellow Radio 1 presenters Noel Edmonds and Pat Sharp amongst others.
The show marks 50 years to the day since Tony’s first broadcast on the pirate radio ship Radio Caroline, and will be partly pre-recorded in front of a live studio audience on Monday 21 July, with an array of guests joining Tony on stage. Tickets were available to BBC London 94.9 listeners who shared their favourite memories from Tony’s career. They will join Tony’s friends, family and colleagues in the audience.
The programme will be broadcast live from the BBC London 94.9 studios to all BBC local radio stations across England, on Friday 25 July from 7-10pm with more guests joining in the celebration. Tony has strong connections to BBC London 94.9 where he has presented a regular Sunday slot for the last ten years and has previously hosted successful shows on the station predecessor, BBC Radio London, in the 80s.
Tony Blackburn said, ‘I can't believe it's been 50 years! Being a radio presenter is the greatest job in the world and I’ve loved every minute. I can’t wait to share some of my favourite tracks, people and memories on air with listeners around the country. I'm really looking forward to doing the show, it will be good fun. ‘
Tony has been broadcasting on the BBC for 47 years, since he began presenting the Radio 1 Breakfast Show when the station launched in 1967. This one-off special will be in addition to Tony’s regular shows on BBC Berkshire (Fridays 10am and Sundays 9am), BBC 3CR (Sundays 9am), BBC London (Sundays 12pm) and BBC Radio 2 (Pick of the Pops, Saturdays 1pm).