Tony Blackburn bigraphy, stories - British radio presenter, offshore broadcaster

Tony Blackburn : biography

29 January 1943 -

Tony Blackburn (born 29 January 1943) is an English disc jockey, who broadcast on the "pirate" stations Radio Caroline and Radio London in the 1960s and was the first disc jockey to broadcast on BBC Radio 1 in 1967. In 2002 he was the winner of the ITV reality TV programme I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!.

Recent years

Blackburn left Capital Gold in late 2002; he joined London's Jazz FM following the station's acquisition by GMG Radio in March 2003 as host of Real Soul every weeknight from 10pm until midnight, initially a live programme before a contract to host the Classic Gold breakfast show that May meant the show became voicetracked - Real Soul ended in March 2004. He was awarded the 'Oldie Of The Year' title in 2003. In addition, Blackburn presented a pre-recorded show entitled the Real Party Night, broadcast across the GMG Radio network and later by CN Radio stations every Saturday evening, prior to its conclusion in mid-2005.

In March 2004, Blackburn returned to BBC London 94.9, presenting a Monday evening soul show, and in addition to that, in April of the same year, he also took on the Saturday lunchtime show.

He also hosted the breakfast show on Classic Gold, with co-hosts Laura Frey (Laura Pittson) for four years and latterly Erika North and Sandy Warr. Although his Monday evening show on BBC London 94.9 ended in July 2004, he still continued to present the Saturday lunchtime show for the station.

In June 2004, he was temporarily suspended from his show on Classic Gold for playing songs by Cliff Richard, in defiance of a ruling by the head of programmes that Richard's music did not match the station's 'brand values'. The dispute made national headlines and was even referred to in Parliament, with Leader of the House Peter Hain voicing his support for Blackburn. He was reinstated, amid rumours that the episode was merely a publicity stunt. The station started adding Richard's songs to their playlist after public reaction to this.

He performed in a science fiction audio play based on the Doctor Who television series by Big Finish Productions - The Rapture. He played himself as a DJ, in an Ibiza nightclub where sinister forces are brainwashing the patrons.

In 2002, he appeared in the first series of the British reality TV series, I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, which he eventually won. Blackburn also occasionally fronts competitions on GMTV, including "The Clues Brothers" (a parody of The Blues Brothers), with fellow DJ Keith Chegwin.

In February 2006, Blackburns house was renovated in an episode of How Not to Decorate.

In 2007, Blackburn was part of Beat The Boys on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. His obstacle was 'Tony Blackburn's Wheel of Steel' and he made a few appearances on Never Mind the Buzzcocks between 2001 and 2005, appearing alongside guests such as Slash and Gary Moore.

After leaving Classic Gold, Blackburn continued with his Saturday Lunchtime show on BBC London 94.9 and also took over a three-hour soul show on the KMFM network in Kent each Sunday afternoon. Blackburn made celebrity guest appearances on Channel 4's Countdown in early October 2007.

1980s and 1990s

In early 1980 he took over Junior Choice on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8-10am, while continuing to present the Sunday chart show until the end of 1981 - being succeeded by Tommy Vance. During 1982 BBC Radio 1 dropped the name Junior Choice and the show became the Weekend Breakfast Show which Blackburn continued to host until his final show on 23 September 1984. In addition to his BBC Radio 1 weekend show, he joined BBC Radio London in 1981, where he presented the weekday afternoon show. It was here that he showed his love for soul music.

Having left BBC Radio 1 after 17 years he took over BBC Radio London's weekday mid-morning show in 1984, mixing soul music with guests and phone-ins until 1988 when he joined Capital Gold presenting the breakfast show for many years, later moving to the drivetime slot until early 2002 when he took over the Weekday Evening Show from 8-10pm, playing soul music.

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Living octopus

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