Desmond Carrington, who enjoyed a radio career spanning six decades, has passed away at the age of 90.
BBC Radio 2 announced the sad news in its 8pm news bulletin on Wednesday, and presenter Jo Whiley paid tribute, saying Desmond was suffering from cancer and Alzheimer’s. Scroll down to hear the audio.
He retired from his Radio 2 show, The Music Goes Round, in October last year due to ill health. The station announced last month that it was producing an hour-long tribute to the broadcaster, which was already scheduled to air at 10pm on Wednesday 1st February before news of his death was announced.
Desmond began his broadcasting career in the 1940s, first as an actor in radio plays and then as a broadcaster for military radio whilst stationed in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
On his return to the UK, Desmond became a radio producer, as well as continuing his acting career on TV. In the 1950s he began presenting Movie Go Round for the BBC Light Entertainment Programme, the station that would become Radio 2.
He was awarded the Golden Badge of Merit in 1989 and voted Radio Personality of the Year in 1991, six decades into his career.
Bob Shennan, Director BBC Radio and BBC Music said: “Desmond was a warm, caring and generous man who was much loved by the Radio 2 audience and all those who had the pleasure of working with him during his illustrious career. He was a natural broadcaster and a key part of the BBC Radio family. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time.”
Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 adds: “Desmond’s weekly Friday evening programme, ‘The Music Goes Round’, was full of musical gems and treasures, and he will be very much missed by his listeners. He had an illustrious, long career and we are so glad he was part of the Radio 2 family for so much of it.”
Tributes are being paid by listeners, celebrities and colleagues via social media:
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) February 1, 2017
— BBC Radio 2 (@BBCRadio2) February 1, 2017
My tribute to Desmond Carrington who died today. A broadcasting great. BLOG https://t.co/s0ZDJubacv
— David Lloyd (@DavidLloydRADIO) February 1, 2017
— Chris Hawkins (@ChrisHawkinsUK) February 1, 2017
— Petula Clark (@Petula_Clark) February 1, 2017
— Gerald Jackson (@geraldradio) February 1, 2017
How spooky that Desmond Carrington has died on the day that a tribute programme looking back on his career was due to air. RIP.
— Matthew Gormley (@MatthewPGormley) February 1, 2017
Radio 2 stalwart #DesmondCarrington dies at 90. So sad, just 3 months after he retires from a 7 decade broadcast career. Bye, just now
— Gavin Matthews (@GavinMatthews2) February 1, 2017