Radio 2 presenter Desmond Carrington dies, aged 90

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Desmond Carrington
Image caption,
Carrington suffered heart failure on Christmas Day 2015

Long-time BBC Radio 2 presenter Desmond Carrington has died aged 90, his partner and producer has said.

The veteran broadcaster - who left Radio 2 in October last year, ending a 70-year career - died "peacefully" following a long battle with cancer and Alzheimer's disease, Dave Aylott added.

Carrington presented his Friday show, The Music Goes Round for 35 years, before he stood down due to ill-health.

Director of BBC Radio Bob Shennan said he was "warm, caring and generous".

"He was a natural broadcaster and a key part of the BBC Radio family," Mr Shennan said.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time."

Head of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie said The Music Goes Round was "full of musical gems and treasures", adding that Carrington will be "very much missed by his listeners".

Image source, @theJeremyVine

The veteran DJ's career began almost by chance while serving as an army officer in World War Two, when he heard broadcasts on British Forces Broadcasting Services (BFBS) in Sri Lanka.

Falsely claiming he was an experienced broadcaster, he managed to secure a posting to Colombo and started working on the station.

On his demobilisation and return to Britain in late 1946, he then resumed his acting career and appeared in stage shows and several short films.

His first stint on radio was in 1946, as a member of the BBC Drama Repertory Company, when he also began working as an independent producer making programmes for Radio Luxembourg and the BBC.

On television, he landed the role of "heart-throb" Doctor Anderson in ITV's medical soap opera Emergency Ward 10 - a forerunner of Casualty, which drew audiences of 19 million viewers in the 1960s.

Image source, @BBCRadio2

However, he was best known for his weekly Friday evening programme, The Music Goes Round, which was broadcast on Radio 2 for 35 years, starting in 1981.

Originally pre-recorded, Carrington began to broadcast live from home on the day Princess Diana died - 31 August 1997 - after agreeing that a pre-recorded programme would not be appropriate.

He always opened with the introduction "evening all, from home in Perthshire", signing off with his trademark phrase "bye, just now".

On his retirement, BBC director general Tony Hall paid tribute to the broadcaster's "huge contribution" to broadcasting.

"He is a natural broadcaster who exudes great charm, and his weekly programme brings joy to listeners both at home and around the world," Lord Hall said.