Tony Blackburn to Receive the Prestigious Gold Award at the 2014 Radio Academy Awards

Tuesday 22nd April: The Radio Academy today announces that broadcasting legend Tony Blackburn is to be the recipient of the highly prized Gold Award, in what is his 50th year of radio broadcasting, at the 32nd Radio Academy Awards.

Tony will be presented with this special award in front of over 1100 guests representing the entire UK radio industry at the glittering Radio Academy Awards ceremony, which takes place in The Great Room of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on the evening of Monday 12th May.

The Gold Award lies within the gift of the Radio Academy Awards Organising Committee and is a lifetime achievement award, which recognises a substantive body of work over at least two decades.

This is the first time in the 32 year history of the Awards that a broadcaster has received the landmark Gold Award twice. Tony was first awarded the honour in 1989 to mark his 25th year in radio, however the Committee felt that his 50th anniversary could not go unrecognised and this ‘double-award’ not only applauds his longevity, but also his love of the medium and remarkable work ethic which continues to this day. Tony continues to work 6 days a week for both the BBC and Commercial Radio. 

In bestowing the honour for an unprecedented second time, the Chair of the Committee, John Myers said: “Tony Blackburn is not only loved by his listeners, but also by his fellow broadcasters right across the UK. He has become an icon of British Broadcasting with a commitment to  and a love for radio that remains unmatched by just about anyone in the medium today. 50 years on the air and still going strong is a remarkable achievement and we are thrilled to mark this occasion with the prestigious 2014 Gold Award”.  

Tony Blackburn said: "I am truly honoured to be receiving the Gold Award for the second time in my career. I can only assume The Academy thought I'd be dead by the time my 50th anniversary came around and wouldn't have to worry about me! 

Ever since I joined Radio Caroline in July 1964 I have made a living out of my passion. Being a radio presenter, in my opinion, remains the greatest job in the world. I want to thank everyone who has given me a job, the amazing artists whose music I have played and, most importantly, the listeners who have listened to me for the past 50 years. Without you on the other end of the microphone, I'm just a man, in a room talking to myself for hours on end. "

Tony Blackburn’s 50 years in radio is a true landmark and a remarkable achievement. Starting out in 1964 at Radio Caroline (who also celebrate their 50th year this year), he joined the Big L, Radio London, in 1966 to present the UK’s first ever soul programme. In 1967 he moved to the BBC and was the first DJ to broadcast on BBC Radio 1 when it launched on September 30th, presenting the station’s Breakfast Show until 1973. Leaving Radio 1 after 17 years in 1984, Tony presented BBC London’s weekday mid-morning show before leaving to become one of the launch presenters on Capital Gold. 

In 2010, Tony became the host of BBC Radio 2’s Pick of the Pops, which he still presents every Saturday afternoon. 

Over his 50-year career, Tony has broadcast on Capital Gold, Real Radio, Classic Gold, Smooth Radio, Jazz FM, KCFM and currently presents shows on BBC London 94.9, BBC Radio Berkshire, the Magic network, BBC3CR and KMFM as well as BBC Radio 2. He was also the first winners of the television programme I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! In 2002, and was this year honoured by ITV’s popular Life Stories programme.

The Radio Academy is also delighted to announce an additional two awards partners, blinkbox music and PPL, who join PRS for Music, SGPB Hambros and RCS to support the UK’s most prestigious radio accolades, the Radio Academy Awards.

Paul Robinson, CEO of The Radio Academy said: “We are honoured to add blinkbox music and PPL as awards partners to the already announced partners, all of whom have a deep and intrinsic connection to radio and with whom we will deliver an outstanding 2014 Radio Academy Awards.”

“PPL is delighted to be a partner for the first time of the Radio Academy Awards 2014,” said Peter Leathem CEO, PPL. “The Awards recognise and honour the very best across the complete breadth of what radio, both the BBC and Commercial, offers us all as listeners every day 24/7 throughout the UK. We are all extremely well served and it is fitting that, given the importance of music on radio, PPL recognises, on behalf of our 75,000 members, the richness of the medium and the many talented people who make it all happen.”

Mark Bennett, MD, blinkbox music said: “2014 is a really exciting year for us here at blinkbox music as we continue to provide listeners with a wealth of great music and programming, so we are delighted to be part of the most prestigious awards for the UK Radio industry. We’ve heard it’s a great night and look forward to celebrating with you.” 

For further information contact:

Kate Etteridge / Karen McNamara at LD Communications

T: 0 207 439 7222

E: kate.etteridge@ldcommunications.co.uk / Karen.mcnamara@ldcommunications.co.uk

Riza Jones / Mandy O’Connor – The Radio Academy

T:  020 3174 1180

E: riza@radioacademy.org /mandyo@radioacademy.org