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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Lifetime award for radio legend
Tony Butler with the award
Tony Butler received the award at a London ceremony
Veteran West Midlands broadcaster Tony Butler has picked up a major honour at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Butler, who has won the lifetime achievement award, first presented for the BBC in 1963 and has been credited with inventing the football phone-in.

He worked for commercial station BRMB for 10 years and has also presented three TV series for BBC Midlands.

The BBC WM sports host ended his acceptance speech by saying: "I don't know what else to say. I'm speechless."

I feel very humble and absolutely delighted
Tony Butler

He sparked controversy recently when he said the Royal Navy's Faye Turney, who had been held hostage by Iran, should not be serving in the armed forces.

Butler later apologised for telling listeners: "If she gets her head chopped off, it will serve her right." He said his "words came out wrong".

The presenter joined the Birmingham Post and Mail as a trainee reporter in 1951 at the age of 16 and later completed his national service before working for The Daily Telegraph.

He first presented sport in the Midlands for BBC regional radio in 1963 and was part of the first BBC broadcast from the former Pebble Mill studios before joining BRMB in 1974, working as their head of sport.

'Cloud nine'

Butler, who became well known for his catchphrase "on yer bike", re-joined the BBC to work for regional TV programme Midlands Today and presented Biking Butler, Sporting Butler and Boating Butler.

On the radio he also presented breakfast shows on BBC WM for five years and commercial station Xtra AM for four years.

He told the London ceremony: "I am very honoured. I feel very humble and absolutely delighted. I am on cloud nine.

"Thank everybody very much indeed, in particular (the) WM team. It is a team (effort)."

The broadcaster currently presents a football phone-in on BBC WM from Mondays to Thursdays at 1900 BST.




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