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Tony Blackburn hits back at BBC complaints ‘Switch it off’

GMB: Tony Blackburn asked about ‘changes’ in BBC

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Tony Blackburn has been a broadcaster for 58 years, and he has seen many changes take place during that time. During his expansive career, he has hosted Radio 1’s Breakfast Show and BBC’s Top Of The Pops. The 79-year-old also was crowned King of the jungle when he took part in I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

In a new interview, Tony discussed the moment he was replaced by Noel Edmonds on his Breakfast Show.

He admitted that while they are great friends, things were “frosty” between them at one point.

The 79-year-old went on to say that it was the “first backwards step” in his career.

It led to Tony presenting a children’s programme, which was not his “thing”.

“I was also doing what was a sort of sex-and-soul show on BBC London at the same time,” Tony explained.

“It went out mid-morning and is one of the best things I’ve ever done.

“I was playing the music I love and we had people ringing in and I was chatting them up, being quite outrageous, rather like a shock jock.”

However, not everyone seemed to love the show as the Radio 1 controller called him up, asking him to “stop talking about stockings and suspenders”.

Tony explained when he put down the phone, it was the end of his career at Radio 1.

“I found out when I went into the BBC and the commissionaire said, ‘We’re going to miss you, Tony’,” the broadcaster added to Radio Times.

“Times change. In the same way that a mid-morning sex-and-soul show would be a hard sell today.

“It was totally harmless and got a big audience but nowadays everybody’s offended by everything, aren’t they?… I’ve always thought if you don’t like something, switch it off.”

In a recent appearance on GMB, Tony addressed the reports that the BBC is wanting to appeal to a younger audience.

The news comes after Ken Bruce announced his departure from BBC Radio 2 after 31 years.

Speaking to Richard Madeley and Charlotte Hawkins, Tony discussed Paul O’Grady’s exit and the broadcaster’s decision to move his show.

“There are a lot of changes at the moment,” he explained to the hosts.

“All radio stations want to appeal to younger people.

“Now I don’t think younger people are actually listening to the radio.

“They listen to other things like YouTube and things like that.”

“Our audience is basically over the age of 55,” he continued before adding: “And it will remain there as well.”

Tony’s full interview can be found in this week’s Radio Times.

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