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Wednesday, 16 January, 2002, 16:54 GMT
Sir Jimmy to quit lunchtime show
Young has hosted his lunchtime show for 28 years
Young has hosted his lunchtime show for 28 years
Broadcaster Sir Jimmy Young is to leave his daily BBC Radio 2 programme after 28 years at the helm.

The veteran will quit the show at the end of the year, but he will be staying at the radio station.


A high profile news and current affairs programme at the weekend will be a new challenge for me

Sir Jimmy Young
Young, best known as JY, will host a weekend current affairs programme in 2003.

He was recently knighted at the New Year's Honours List.

Sir Jimmy said he pleased to be staying with Radio 2.

He said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed 28 years of presenting 'the Prog' and I'm looking forward to one more year.

"A high profile news and current affairs programme at the weekend will be a new challenge for me."

His departure had been widely expected after Radio Five Live DJ Nicky Campbell said last year that he had been approached to take over the show.

As speculation about the veteran broadcaster's future increased, a group of MPs launched a campaign to keep the Jimmy Young programme on the air.

BBC Two's Newsnight presenter Jeremy Vine has recently filled in while Sir Jimmy was on a break and is one of the favourites for the job.

'Landmark'

Radio 2 controller James Moir said he was glad that the presenter has signed another year's contract.

He said: "I am pleased that his expert contribution to the debate on the issues of the day has been secured for the future.

"A weekend news and current affairs programme hosted by Jimmy will be an appointment to listen and a landmark series for the network."

JY was born in Cinderford, Gloucestershire, but his exact year of birth is unknown.

In the Who's Who, he simply lists his birth date as 21 September - and omits the year.

Sir Jimmy's first job was as a baker's assistant before he joined the Royal Air Force, spending seven years as a physical training instructor based in India.

A variety of jobs followed before he entered showbusiness in 1949, when he started singing on the radio.

Campaign

Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey launched a House of Commons campaign in 2001 to keep Sir Jimmy in his lunchtime slot.

His programme, which has been running since 1973, has become a favourite with politicians.

Mr Harvey told BBC News Online he was "very disappointed the BBC has gone and wielded the axe".

"They seem to have a desire for Radio 2 to become a trendy station, but where are Jimmy Young's listeners supposed to go?," the North Devon MP added.

He said of two possible successors to Sir Jimmy: "Jonathan Ross and Nicky Campbell are very good broadcasters. But their appeal is to a completely different genre of listener."

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Torin Douglas
"His interviews with prime ministers occasionally brought revelations"


Background

WHAT YOU SAID

FROM BBC RADIO 2
 VOTE RESULTS
Is it time for a new voice on Radio 2?

Yes
 53.19% 

No
 46.81% 

1459 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

06 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
Jimmy Young decision 'soon'
02 Nov 01 | Newsmakers
Jimmy Young: Too old?
21 Dec 98 | Entertainment
Radio 2 stays Young at heart
31 Dec 01 | TV and Radio
Sir Jimmy's joy at knighthood
16 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
Race on to succeed Sir Jimmy
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