Radio 2 presenter Desmond Carrington dies aged 90

The beloved music presenter's career in broadcasting began back in the 1940s

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Radio 2’s “warm, caring and generous” presenter Desmond Carrington has passed away at the age of 90 after a career in broadcasting that spanned eight decades. 

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Carrington died on 1st February after a long battle with cancer as well as Alzheimer’s Disease. 

His Friday night Radio 2 series The Music Goes Round aired for a grand total of 36 years before he signed off the show in late 2016 due to ill health. At the time he announced plans to spend more time with his cat, Golden-Paws. 

The beloved radio star began his broadcasting career in the 1940s. He fought in the army during World War II, and was soon posted to Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he joined the British Forces Broadcasting Service. 

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After returning to the UK following demobilisation, Carrington became a radio producer and an actor. In the 1950s, he began presenting Movie Go Round for the BBC Light Entertainment Programme. This station later became Radio 2. 

Carrington’s most famous programme was originally called All Time Greats, but later became The Music Goes Round. It was a curated selection show, combining songs from across the eras according to a weekly theme. 

He was awarded the Golden Badge of Merit in 1989 and voted Radio Personality of the Year in 1991.

On 28th October 2016, he opened his final show with the same song that had kicked off the programme back in 1981 – Up, Up and Away by the Johnny Mann Singers. He closed with Mel Tormé’s That’s All, signing off with his trademark phrase, “Bye, just now.”

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Carrington’s partner and producer Dave Aylott said: “It is with great sadness I announce that Desmond Carrington has passed away. Desmond, who was 90, passed away peacefully this afternoon after a long battle with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. I ask that our privacy is respected at this time.”

Bob Shennan, Director of BBC Radio and BBC Music, added: “Desmond was a warm, caring and generous man who was much loved by the Radio 2 audience and all those who had the pleasure of working with him during his illustrious career.

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“He was a natural broadcaster and a key part of the BBC Radio family. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time.”