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Tony Blackburn
Tony Blackburn
Tony Blackburn

Every Sunday between 12pm and 2pm Tony puts the soul back into your weekend, playing the songs he loves best.

Tune in from Midday to hear the biggest songs from Soul and Motown legends spanning five decades.

As always you can help Tony chose the music, whether it's Marvin Gaye, Barry White or Beyonce.

You can also catch Tony on the BBC iPlayer and listen again to his show for up to seven days.

About Tony Blackburn

Born in Guildford, Surrey in 1943, Tony was educated at Millfield Public School in Somerset and Bournemouth College.

The son of a doctor in Lilliput near Poole, Dorset, he made his first public appearance with the Ian Ralfini Dance Orchestra at the Bournemouth Pavilion while at college.

Having finished his education, Tony read in the music press that disc jockeys were wanted by a pirate radio station.

He applied, got the job, and made his first radio appearance on 28 July, 1964 on Radio Caroline South.


In 1966, he joined Radio London and introduced the first ever soul programme in the UK.

His soul programme and consequent weekly club nights called 'Soul Nights' became so popular it eventually took over Capital's 'Best Disco In Town Nights'.

Six thousand people were regularly turning up. Even Stevie Wonder went along on one occasion wanting thank Tony for introducing the UK to soul music.

It could be said that Tony commercialised soul music and in the process reinvented Radio London.

Tony joined the BBC Light Programme in August 1967 and made his first broadcast on the "Midday Spin" programme.

The first

When BBC Radio One started broadcasting on 30 September, 1967 Tony presented the daily "Breakfast Show" and was the first disc jockey on the new network.

He hosted the Breakfast Show until 1974 when he took over the morning show for several years, followed by Junior Choice. He remained with Radio One until 1984.

Tony then spent some time at BBC Radio London, before leaving to join Capital Radio on 2 July, 1988 to launch its new Capital Gold station where he presented his soul shows until December 2002.

Today, Tony presents the breakfast show for The Classic Gold Network, which transmits across 18 stations as well as presenting his soul show on BBC London 94.9.


Tony is a legend of the airwaves and has become a household name through his DJ-ing, TV Shows as well as inspiring the cult of the radio DJ. His passion for Soul music has been the main underlying factor in most of his shows.

Tony Blackburn 1968
Tony Blackburn and other DJs celebrate Radio 1's first birthday in 1968

Tony has 36 awards including, in 1989, the "Gold Award for Outstanding Contribution to Radio". He was also awarded the "Best Breakfast Show" (Contemporary Music) by Sony Radio Awards in 1993 and "The Radio Academy Music and Media Award" for outstanding contribution to Music and Radio in 1997.

Tony has made numerous television appearances over the years, including the hosting of his own show "Time For Blackburn" in 1969.

King of the Jungle

He is well remembered for hosting the BBC's world famous "Top Of The Pops" from the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s.

He continues to make regular guest appearances on a wide range of television shows. Tony's television appearance in 'I'm a Celebrity ... Get me Out of Here!' in 2002 was a huge success and he was crowned King of the Jungle.

Tony is still a big attraction on the DJ circuit, having toured many of the Rank Clubs around England in '99, challenging local radio DJs and Kiss 100's Bam Bam in a battle of the DJs.

Tony continues to make many personal appearances with his trademark 70s and 80s show, including his annual trek to one of Ibiza's top clubs - proving that he's THE original.

Call 020 7224 2000 or text 81333 starting your message with London.

Email Tony Blackburn

Tony's webpage



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