DJ Tony Blackburn will be returning to the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show when the station celebrates turning 50 years old later this September.
The first presenter to broadcast on Radio 1 on 30th September 1967, Blackburn will be back in the host’s chair alongside current presenter Nick Grimshaw for the special anniversary broadcast.
Other former Radio 1 DJs including Chris Moyles, Simon Mayo and Noel Edmonds will also feature in the three-day celebration, which will see the launch of a special new station called Radio 1 Vintage featuring music compilations and best moments from the past five decades.
In total 50 one-hour shows will be made, featuring archive clips from the likes of John Peel, Pete Tong, Annie Nightingale and Jo Whiley.
“Launching Radio 1 on 30 September 1967 is, undoubtedly, the highlight of my career,” Blackburn said. “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.”
He added, “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.”
BBC Radio 1 Controller Ben Cooper said that it was going to be “a lot of fun reliving that pop culture and great music”, but confirmed to the Guardian that the celebration would not include a look back at the station’s ‘darker history’, and that disgraced former Radio 1 DJ Jimmy Savile would not feature.
“I think that part of Radio 1’s history is well documented, so for obvious reasons we are not going to go there,” Cooper said.