Belfast Telegraph

Tony Blackburn returns to Radio 1 to celebrate 50 years of the station

There will be a three-day pop-up radio station celebrating 50 years of Radio 1.

Tony Blackburn will return to BBC Radio 1 for a special show with breakfast host Nick Grimshaw as part of a three-day retrospective as the station turns 50.

The veteran DJ, who uttered the first words on Radio 1 in 1967, will kick off a three-day digital pop-up radio station that will broadcast 50 hour-long nostalgic shows made up of archive material from DJs across its history.

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Tony Blackburn and Nick Grimshaw in the Radio 1 Breakfast studio (Mark Allan/BBC Radio 1)

Blackburn will join Grimshaw on Radio 1 on September 30 to play clips from his show and share memories before the pop-up, dubbed Radio 1 Vintage, continues on DAB radio and online. The show will also be simulcast on Radio 2 and DAB.

Flowers In The Rain by The Move, the first song ever played on Radio 1, will also be played during the special broadcast.

The three-day event will include hour-long shows featuring the best of broadcasts by DJs such as John Peel, Noel Edmonds, Kenny Everett, Zoe Ball, Chris Moyles, Mike Read and Zane Lowe – with some of them sharing their own memories of their time on the air.

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There will be highlights from John Peel’s time on Radio 1 (BBC Radio 1)

They will also include some of the jingles recorded for the broadcaster by artists such as Abba, Jimi Hendrix and The Who.

Ben Cooper, controller of BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, said: “Radio 1 is one of the most famous radio stations in the world, it has a connection with this country and with people growing up and that is something that I hope people can enjoy for those three days with Radio 1 Vintage.”

Blackburn described launching Radio 1 on September 30 1967 as “undoubtedly, the highlight of my career”.

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Tony Blackburn in 1967 (BBC Radio 1)

He added: “Having worked on the great pirate radio ships, Caroline and London, being the first DJ on Radio 1 I saw first-hand the impact that the stations had on the British public.

“It is hard to imagine that there was a time when the BBC would only play 45 minutes of popular music per day and we, as teenagers, had to wait until 7pm in the evening for Radio Luxembourg to come on, and play the music we wanted to hear.

“I owe so much to Radio 1 for my long career, to have been there at the beginning and to still be part of the BBC, it has been amazing to see how it has developed over the years to changes in technology, music, demand and, of course, its ever changing audience.”

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Tony Blackburn in 1968 (PA)

Radio 1 will also celebrate its birthday year with programmes about the history of the Radio 1 Roadshow, the Live Lounge and the Official Chart.

There will also be a special Live Lounge Month in September, when different artists including Foo Fighters, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Royal Blood will pay a visit to the famous studio every week day.

While it is customary for the musicians to play their current hit and a cover of another contemporary song, during the month-long celebration they will instead be invited to play a hit from any time in the past 50 years.

Live Lounge Month will run from September 1 to 29.

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