Jimmy Young dies aged 95, Veteran broadcaster died “peacefully at home” with his wife Alicia by his side this afternoon, a family spokesman said.
Jimmy Young was one of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs when the station went on air in 1967. He moved to BBC Radio 2 in 1973 and hosted the early afternoon slot until his final show in December 2002.
Having changed his mind about presenting a new weekend show, Young’s departure from BBC Radio 2 was a contentious one: he wanted to stay on in the afternoons and was unhappy that he was being moved as the station sought a younger image.
“Just so that we’re all singing from the same hymn book, it was not my idea to go – I didn’t want to leave you at all and I know from your messages that you don’t want me to go either,” he told listeners on his final programme. “Nothing to do with me guv.”
After military service in WWII and a number of jobs, Young began his showbiz career as a singer and became known as Britain’s answer to Frank Sinatra.
His heartthrob status saw him score two number one hits, Unchained Melody and A Man Called Laramie, in succession in 1955 – the first British singer to do so.
As a broadcaster, he was known as the “housewives’ choice” and interviewed each British Prime Minister of the day during his years on BBC Radio 2.
Young and the late Terry Wogan, who passed away in January aged 77, were close friends and also colleagues at BBC Radio 2.
When news of Young’s departure from the station was announced in 2002, the Limerick man said: “I’ve always loved the old fellow. And you have to say he’s a bloody good presenter. He may be approaching 100 but I like him because he still manages to make me look young.”