Tony Blackburn gets second lifetime achievement award

Tony Blackburn Tony Blackburn began his radio career in 1964

Tony Blackburn will receive a lifetime achievement award from the Radio Academy for the second time in his career.

Blackburn, 71, who celebrates his 50th anniversary in broadcasting in July, will pick up the Gold Award on May 12, the first person to get the accolade twice in the Radio Academy Award's 32-year history.

The Academy's organising committee believed his 50th anniversary 'could not go unrecognised'.

John Myers, chair of the committee, said that the radio presenter is 'an icon of British broadcasting, with a commitment to and a love for radio that remains unmatched by just about anyone in the medium today'.

Blackburn, host of Radio 2's Pick of the Pops, said: 'I am truly honoured to be receiving the Gold Award for the second time in my career. I can only assume the Academy thought I'd be dead by the time my 50th anniversary came around and wouldn't have to worry about me.

'Ever since I joined Radio Caroline in July 1964, I have made a living out of my passion. Being a radio presenter, in my opinion, remains the greatest job in the world.'

He also thanked his listeners, adding: 'Without you on the other end of the microphone, I'm just a man, in a room talking to myself for hours on end.'

Blackburn joined the BBC Light Programme in August 1967 and made his first broadcast on Midday Spin. When BBC Radio 1 commenced broadcasting in September 1967, the DJ presented the daily breakfast show, becoming the first disc jockey on the new network.

He hosted the breakfast show until 1974, and he remained with Radio 1 until 1984.

Blackburn - who also has his own show on Radio Berkshire - continues to work six days a week, for the BBC and for commercial radio.

The Radio Academy first honoured him with a lifetime achievement award in 1989, on reaching his 25th year in radio.

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