Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid as radio broadcasting legend Sir Jimmy Young dies

By David Wilcock

Veteran broadcaster Sir Jimmy Young has died at the age of 95.

The long-serving DJ, who spent almost three decades at BBC Radio 2, died "peacefully at home" with his wife Alicia by his side yesterday afternoon, a family spokesman said.

Sir Jimmy was one of the original Radio 1 DJs at the station's inception in 1967. He moved to Radio 2 in 1973 and filled the early afternoon slot until he retired in December 2002.

He was instrumental in bringing Northern Ireland's Gloria Hunniford into the national limelight.

In 1981 she landed a stint standing in for him on his radio show. Part of the job involved a pre-programme banter with the master himself. Gloria proved an instant hit with all concerned and the following year she got her own Radio 2 show.

The Young family spokesman said Sir Jimmy's wife Alicia was with the legendary broadcaster when he died peacefully at home yesterday.

Sir Jimmy, who had a successful music career before becoming established as a broadcaster, interviewed each prime minister of the day during his time at the station, as well as many other leading world figures.

Baroness Thatcher was a guest on his show 14 times. The Queen is believed to have been among fans of the "housewives' choice" during his time on air. Sir Jimmy's former Radio 2 colleague Ken Bruce said: "So very sad to hear about the death of my old friend Sir Jimmy Young. One of the most able broadcasters I ever worked with."

Sir Jimmy was off air for several months after surgery before his Radio 2 tenure ended but returned for his final fortnight. The show is now presented by Jeremy Vine, who said he was "sad" to learn his predecessor had died.

Television presenter Piers Morgan said: "Another giant of British broadcasting dies just months after his great friend and colleague Terry Wogan."

Belfast Telegraph


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