Beryl and Betty bow out at the top
History-makers Beryl and Betty are bowing out of broadcasting on a wave of unimagined glory.
Beryl Renwick, who is 86, and 91-year-old Betty Smith - who became the oldest ever winners of a Sony Gold in May - will present their final Radio Humberside programme on Christmas Day.
The hour-long tribute will see the pair link up once again with co-host and producer David Reeves, who spotted their potential six years ago.
'They were cheeky, they had a voice and they had personality,' considered Reeves, after the pensioners gatecrashed his studio during a visit to BBC Hull.
Within weeks they had joined him on-air for his Saturday early evening show, giving their unfettered take on anything from pop music to latest news.Say what they like
'The very fact that these girls say what they like about whatever they want gave the programme a unique voice and a strong connection to an audience of all ages,' Reeves told Ariel.
The trio enjoyed an easy chemistry, and its star pensioners become a hit with listeners while earning industry plaudits. The Sony judges presented them with the entertainment prize, describing them as a 'joyous, entertaining double act'.
End Quote David Reeves Presenter and Producer, Radio Humberside
As much as I thought I was getting the best out of them - they too were getting the best out of me”
Their experiences at the ceremony in London feature in the Christmas special among the highlights of the two stars. Reflections from friends and family will also be in the broadcast, together with some of Beryl and Betty's most memorable moments on-air.
Reeves, for one, will miss his foils. 'Beryl and Betty are the embodiment of the idea that it's best to be yourself on the radio,' he said. 'As much as I thought I was getting the best out of them - they too were getting the best out of me, allowing me to create something truly special.'
Betty's failing health has prevented the three broadcasting together since the summer and has prompted the decision to call time on the careers that came late in life.
'In a quiet moment I tell Beryl and Betty that we've achieved praise and recognition that some broadcasters can only dream of,' Reeves said. 'I don't think the day will ever come when we stop shaking our heads in amazement and don't think that we're dreaming.'
Beryl and Betty with David Reeves Christmas Special, December 25, 1-2pm, Radio Humberside