BBC Radio 2’s Brian Matthew dies aged 88

Brian Matthew, long-serving presenter with BBC Radio 2, has died at the age of 88.

Brian presented a final edition of his Sounds of the 60s programme in February, after news at the start of the year that he was to leave the show following a period of ill health.

He had hosted the 60s-themed programme since April 1990, and before that presented Radio 2’s arts magazine Round Midnight from 1978 to 1990.

Brian was due to present some Bank Holiday specials called The Brian Matthew Years, the first of which would air at Easter on 16th April. The BBC says this programme was postponed due to Brian’s ill health and so in its place will be a show broadcast in 2007 where Brian looks back over his career and remembers some of his classic interviews.

Lewis Carnie, Head of BBC Radio 2 added: “Brian was one of this country’s most popular and best-loved presenters, delighting millions of listeners with his memories and favourite tunes on Sounds of the 60s for 27 years. On behalf of everyone at Radio 2, we send love and our best wishes to his family at this difficult time.”

Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Radio and Music, and former BBC Radio 2 Controller says: “Brian was a radio legend. For decades, his voice was the sound of Saturday mornings, giving pleasure to listeners on Sounds of the 60s with his wit and warmth. He will be sorely missed.”

Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC said: “Brian Matthew was an outstanding broadcaster who entertained and engaged millions over generations. He had a wonderful style of delivery and a real connection with his listeners. Brian was a true broadcasting great. We will all miss him and of course, that voice.”

Brian joined the BBC Light Programme in the late 1950s, presenting Saturday Skiffle Club, later Saturday Club and then Easy Beat from 1960. Other shows he was involved with include The Beatles Story in 1972 for Radios 1 and 2, and weekend afternoon programme My Top 12 on Radio 1 from 1973. He was given the Radio Academy’s Gold Award at the Sony Awards in 2008.

Click here to read radio historian David Lloyd’s obituary piece on Brian Matthew.

Brian’s death was announced accidently on Wednesday, after the BBC received incorrect information. A correction was broadcast later the same day saying he was alive but critically ill. Here’s how it was announced on BBC Radio 2.

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3 Comments

  1. Eoinindahouze says

    RIP Brian

  2. Paul says

    My Saturday mornings were incomplete without a marvellous dose of 60s music from Brian’s show. The historical facts and information he added between the hits was astounding. All those snippets were of great value too. The music simply took us all back to that decade of innocence and charm where we felt the world was changing for the better after the years of austerity following the dark days of war and rationing.
    I always played the air guitar to Foot tapper and my wife air drummed as the credits faded out to the 10am news.
    We will all miss SOTS as a Saturday morning favourite.
    We’re it to be resurrected it would lose its originality and charm.
    Thank you for years of radio pleasure, Brian. You will be greatly missed.

  3. Tom Ripley says

    So very sad the hear thus your will be missed very much I loved listening to your show on the radio RIP Brian.

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