Sir Jimmy Young, David Hamilton, Pat Sharp, Johnny Beerling and more have all appeared on a special programme celebrating 50 years of Tony Blackburn on-air.
Three and a half miles off the coast of Frinton on July 25th 1964 Tony played his first song, Rag Doll by the Four Seasons at 4pm on The Big Line Up. The same song was also played at 7pm Friday 25th July 2014 to open to the special show.
Tony had dozens of special guests during the three hour show, including Noel Edmunds who replaced Tony on Radio 1 breakfast in 1973. Tony and Noel had a friendly long conversation about their relationship over the years, to which Noel joked “This is the nicest you’ve ever been to me!”
Jimmy Young said: “We’ve had some good times together on Radio 1,” who started at the BBC in 1949. He then went on to work at Radio 1 in 1967 when he was 46 years old. “I almost talked myself out of the job because people will think I’m a dinosaur!,” he said.
The special programme also included lots of old jingles and songs from the time, including the first song played on Radio 1 – The Move with Flowers in the Rain. It was presented live from BBC London and included recordings from a ‘secret party’ held earlier in the week.
Johnny Beerling, Tony’s first producer and former Controller of Radio 1 also joined in on the show. He said: “A remarkable achievement. Just think I started out known as the boy who went to get the biscuits for Arnold!”
Prime Minister David Cameron had this message for him: “Hugh congratulations to Tony Blackburn, I do feel like I’ve grown up with him. There are people like him in broadcasting that you feel have had a major impact on your childhood. Tony’s been a real feature of the music scene, you can tell how much he loves his music, many congratulations, keep at it!”