Thursday 17 August 2017

Sounds Of The 60s broadcaster Brian Matthew dies aged 88

By Lucy Mapstone

He stepped down from his long-running radio programme in February.

Radio 2 presenter Brian Matthew, who hosted the long-running Sounds Of The 60s programme, has died aged 88, the station has announced.

The broadcaster, who was once dubbed Britain’s oldest DJ, stepped down from the popular programme after 27 years in February.

A statement released on behalf of his family said the “beloved” Matthew died on Tuesday night.

Tributes poured in from the likes of Tony Blackburn, his Sounds Of The 60s successor, radio DJ Simon Mayo and The Who.

Brian started broadcasting in 1948 in Germany and trained as an actor before joining the BBC in 1954.

After Radio 2 was launched in 1967, he became one of the station’s first DJs and hosted programmes such as Saturday Club, Thank Your Lucky Stars and Late Night Extra, but was best known for presenting the long-running Round Midnight programme, which won the 1987 Pulitzer Publishing Award.

In April 1990 he began presenting Sounds Of The 60s, which won a Gold Sony Radio Award in 1996, until a special farewell episode earlier this year in which he said he was “saddened to leave”.

The BBC said he left the show because of ill health.

Tributes to the “outstanding” Matthew were led by the BBC’s director-general Tony Hall, who said he had “entertained and engaged millions over generations”.

He added: “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.”

Head of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie said: “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.’

Director of BBC radio and music, and former controller of Radio 2, Bob Shennan said: “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.”

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