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Terry Wogan named the greatest BBC radio presenter of the last 50 years

The Radio 2 stalwart posthumously took the top spot in a poll of radio experts

Published: Monday, 25th September 2017 at 10:00 pm

Sir Terry Wogan has been named the greatest BBC radio presenter of the last 50 years in a poll of radio experts conducted by Radio Times.


Wogan – who passed away aged 77 in 2016 – first broadcast on the BBC in 1966 and went on the present the Radio 2 breakfast show for 28 years (across two stints).

Radio 1 favourite John Peel, who joined the station a month before it launched in 1967 and continued to broadcast on the network until his death in 2004, took second place. Peel, who is widely revered for his broad musical tastes, was also honoured for his work on his Home Truths series on Radio 4, which he presented from 1998 onwards.

The Today programme and Woman’s Hour’s Sue MacGregor took third place. McGregor, who also began her career at the BBC in 1967 is the highest placed female voice and current presenter on the list.

Radio 1’s longest serving DJ, Annie Nightingale took fourth place, while Alistair Cooke of Letter from America fame came fifth and Kenny Everett – who was sacked by both Radio 1 and Radio 2 – filled the sixth slot.

Woman’s Hour made quite the showing in the Top 10, with Jane Garvey in seventh place and Jenni Murray filling the tenth slot. Meanwhile Sorry I Haven’t a Clue chairman Humphrey Lyttelton came eighth and Radio 4’s PM presenter Eddie Mair took ninth position.

The poll, to mark 50 years since the launch of BBC Radio 1, and the creation of BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4, asked leading radio broadcasters, industry figures and critics for their top 15 broadcasters of the last 50 years from which the names were then ranked. Contributors included: former Heads of BBC radio, Jenny Abramsky and Helen Boaden, Ken Bruce, Paul Gambaccini, Bob Harris, Joh Humphrys, Shaun Keaveny, Bridget Kendall, Philip Pulman, Jenni Murray, Jeremy Vine, Steve Wright and Kirsty Young.

50 greatest BBC radio presenters:

1. Terry Wogan

2. John Peel

3. Sue MacGregor

4. Annie Nightingale

5. Alistair Cooke

6.Kenny Everett

7. Jane Garvey

8. Humphrey Lyttelton

9. Eddie Mair

10. Jenni Murray

11. Brian Redhead

12. Kirsty Young

13. John Humphrys

14. Melvin Bragg

15. Danny Baker

16. James Naughtie

17. Fi Glover

18. Linda Smith

19. Nick Clarke

20. Tony Blackburn

21. Sue Lawley

22. Paul Gambaccini

23. Corrie Corfield

24. Mark Radcliffe

25. Charlotte Green

26. Chris Evans

27. William Hardcastle

28. Mishal Husain

29. Alan Coren

30. Brian Johnston

31. Nicholas Parsons

32. John Arlott

33 Libby Purves

34. Peter Jones

35. Victoria Derbyshire

36. Steve Wright

37. Brian Matthew

38. Ken Bruce

39. Graham Norton

40. Patricia Hughes

41. Jeremy Vine

42. Peter Allen

43. Chris Morris

44. Sandi Toksvig

45. Nicky Campbell

46. Johnnie Walker

47. Paul Merton

48. Dapne Oxenford

49. Carys Matthews


50. Jimmy Young


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