Tony Beard, a presenter on BBC Radio Devon for over 30 years, has died at the age of 79.
He presented his Sunday request show on the station for three decades and became very popular in the county. Tony was recently honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Gillard awards for his “contribution to local radio”.
The station posted a tribute on Facebook, saying: “Friends and colleagues here at BBC Radio Devon will miss him deeply, as we’re sure you and all of his devoted listeners will too”. Hundreds of listeners replied with their own thoughts and memories of Tony.
Tony was diagnosed with bladder cancer last year and was known as the “Wag from Widecombe”. He died peacefully on Saturday morning.
BBC Radio Devon editor Mark Grinnell said: “Our thoughts and sympathies are with Tony’s wife Wendy and family.”
Former colleague Kevin Stanley has also written this blog, where he says: “I tuned in this lunchtime to hear Darren (Cox, Tony’s co-presenter for 17 years) – a tremble in his voice as he shared memories with listeners. It turns out that when Tony first appeared on Radio Devon, some thought it was an actor putting on a comedy Devonian accent.”