Brian Matthew to record final Radio 2 show

Brian Matthew will be back on BBC Radio 2 to host a final farewell version of Sounds of the 60s.

The station announced last week that Brian was too ill to continue but was criticised by listeners and the industry after he said that was “absolute balderdash”.

The BBC says that Unique, the production company that makes the show, met with Brian recently and agreed that, due to his extended bout of ill health, it felt like the “right time for him to step off the weekly treadmill of presenting the show”.

The BBC has since said Brian will have the opportunity to say goodbye to his listeners in a special programme at Easter.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Brian said: “They have now rearranged everything so I’m supposed to be recording another programme. It will be a farewell, as far as I’m aware.

“A friend called me and said people were unhappy about me going, and that is so gratifying in itself.” Told about the thousands who had signed the petition, Matthew said: “My goodness, that is absolutely marvellous.”

Brian first joined the BBC in 1954 and hosted Saturday Skiffle Club on the Light Programme from 1957, which became Saturday Club the following year. In the early 60s he regularly interviewed The Beatles and other acts on his Easy Beat shows. He went on to present My Top 12 on Radios 1 and 2 in the 70s and then became presenter of the Radio 2 arts show Round Midnight from 1978 to 1990. He has hosted Sounds of the 60s since March 1990.

Brian received the Gold Award at the Sonys in 2008.

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