Sounds of the 60s fans love Tony Blackburn but grumble over the new 6am start

New host who took over from Brian Matthew this Saturday seems to have gone down well with listeners

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Sounds of the 60s fans faced a much earlier start on Saturday morning when Tony Blackburn made his debut hosting the flagship Radio 2 show.

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Judging by the Twitter reaction most fans liked the new presenter who has taken over from Brian Matthew – but many weren’t too keen on being roused from their beds for the new 6am start time.

One said:

Another added:

But the general reaction the the new host’s performance was generally positive:

Blackburn opened his first programme with a light-hearted moan about the traffic, telling listeners that when he first presented a radio breakfast show in the 1960s the only thing he had to navigate on his commute into work were “pigeons in Regent’s Park”.

“Now there are cars,” he chuckled before introducing his first song, The Move’s 1968 hit Flowers in the Rain. As his fans will know, this was the first record he played on his Radio 1 Breakfast Show on Saturday Sept 30 1967.

He also tweeted a personal welcome to the show’s fans before he went on air:

As RadioTimes.com exclusively revealed last month, Sounds of the 60s moved from its old slot of 8am to 10am on Saturdays to a new time of 6am to 8am.

The job represented a boost for Blackburn who was taken off air in February 2016 following criticism of him in Dame Janet Smith’s report into the Jimmy Savile scandal. However in October last year he was given an hour-long show on BBC Radio 2 on Fridays at 7pm, Tony Blackburn’s Golden Hour, which he will continue to present.

Matthew, who is 88 and has hosted the programme since April 1990, presented his last edition on 19th November, but returned on Saturday 25th February for his final show.

Radio 2 will also launch an occasional series of programmes scheduled around Bank Holidays, and beginning on Easter Sunday called The Brian Matthew Years, reflecting on his life and times in the world of music. 

Comment: Sounds of the Sixties will go on – but it may never be the same again

The move came as part of a raft of changes to the Radio 2 schedule.

It saw Dermot O’Leary move from Saturday afternoons (3pm to 6pm) to an earlier slot of 8am to 10am with a brand new music entertainment breakfast show.

And at 9:15am each Saturday morning, O’Leary will Pause for Thought, featuring different contributors from a variety of faiths. 

In other changes, Zoe Ball was named host of a live Saturday afternoon slot from 3pm to 6pm and Anneka Rice was given a new flagship show The Happening with Anneka Rice.

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Starting on April 2nd, between midnight and 2am into Sunday morning, Scissor Sister Ana Matronic was given the job of showcasing the best disco music around in Ana Matronic’s Disco Devotion.