Long-time BBC Radio 2 DJ Jimmy Young dies at age 95

Sir Jimmy was original Radio 1 DJ at station’s inception in 1967, moving to Radio 2 in 1973

Veteran broadcaster Sir Jimmy Young, who spent almost three decades at BBC Radio 2, died “peacefully at home” with his wife Alicia by his side this afternoon. File photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire

Veteran broadcaster Sir Jimmy Young, who spent almost three decades at BBC Radio 2, died “peacefully at home” with his wife Alicia by his side this afternoon. File photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire

 

Veteran broadcaster Sir Jimmy Young has died at the age of 95.

The long-serving DJ, who spent almost three decades at BBC Radio 2, died “peacefully at home” with his wife Alicia by his side this afternoon, a family spokesman said.

Sir Jimmy was one of the original Radio 1 DJs at the station’s inception in 1967.

He moved to Radio 2 in 1973 and filled the early afternoon slot until he retired in December 2002.

The spokesman said: “Legendary broadcaster Sir Jimmy Young died peacefully at home this afternoon. Jim’s wife Alicia was with him.”

Sir Jimmy, who had a successful music career before becoming established as a broadcaster, interviewed each prime minister of the day during his time at the station, as well as many other leading world figures.

Margaret Thatcher featured on his show 14 times.

The queen is believed to have been among fans of the “housewives’ choice” during his time on air.

‘So very sad’

Sir Jimmy’s former Radio 2 colleague Ken Bruce said: “So very sad to hear about the death of my old friend Sir Jimmy Young. One of the most able broadcasters I ever worked with.”

Sir Jimmy was off air for several months after surgery before his Radio 2 tenure ended, but returned for his final fortnight.

The show is now presented by Jeremy Vine, who said he was “sad” to learn his predecessor had died.

LBC radio presenter Iain Dale tweeted: “Much respect to Sir Jimmy Young who died today, aged 95. The word ‘legend’ is overused, but not in his case. A true icon of radio.”

Time Team presenter and Blackadder actor Tony Robinson tweeted: “So sad. Such memories from my childhood and teens. I loved his versions of The Man From Laramie and Unchained Melody.”

Television presenter Piers Morgan tweeted: “Another giant of British broadcasting dies just months after his great friend & colleague Terry Wogan. ”

DJ Tony Blackburn said in a statement: “It is such sad news about the passing of Sir Jimmy Young.

“Jimmy was a legendary broadcaster, there at the very start of Radio One and then, for so long, the voice of Radio 2.

“I was proud to know Jimmy and call him a friend. I interviewed him just a couple of years ago and, although he was in his early 90s then, his mind was as sharp as ever.

“2016 has been a terrible year for losing iconic figures from our youth. Today we lost another.”

Sir Cliff Richard said: “My first memory of Jimmy Young was as a singer. As a teenager I bought his records Unchained Melody and The Man From Laramie.

“The fact that he could switch from pop star of his time to a top radio presenter speaks highly of his ability to succeed regardless of what he chose to do.

“He was a great ambassador for our musical profession. We will miss him.”

Press Association