Jan. 29th, 1943
Guildford, Surrey, England, UK
Tony Blackburn's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Born in the town of Guildford, Surrey in 1943, Tony was educated at Millfield Public School in Somerset and Bournemouth College. The son of a doctor from Lilliput near Poole, Dorset, he made his first appearance in public with the Ian Ralfini Dance Orchestra at the Bournemouth Pavilion while still at College.
In 1964, Tony joined pirate broadcaster Radio Caroline as a DJ. He rapidly became successful on the basis of his informal, American influenced presentation in the face of the much more staid style of his contemporaries. After a short spell on Radio London, Tony was hired as the first of a new generation of DJs for the BBC's newly established pop station, Radio One in 1967. The first DJ heard on the new station that was to change the face of British music, his "Breakfast Show" programme soon became popular, ensuring that he rapidly became a household name (who can forget Arnold the dog!) and ran for 10 years. Also in 1967, Tony started a 17 year run as one of the regular presenters of the TV programme "Top of The Pops".
Not content with being a popular DJ, Tony also had a moderately successful career as a recording artist. Although not the strongest of vocalists, he even made the lower reaches of the UK charts twice ("So Much Love" #31 in 1967 and "It's Only Love" #42 in 1969) and three albums of songs were released in the late 60s/early 70s. The last of these, on the RCA label, featured songs written by the best songwriters of the day, including "Chop Chop", "Dusty" and "Cindy" by Chinn & Chapman (famous for writing hits for Sweet, Mud, Suzi Quatro and Smokie) as well as one of a number of versions of "House of Cards" penned by Lynsey De Paul and Barry Blue but no further hits were forthcoming.
Tony also took over presenting the Radio One weekend children's show for a while, resulting in an album "Pops for Tony Tots" and eventually moved from the Breakfast Show to the mid-morning slot. Just as he was in danger of becoming passÚ, he started presenting a soul show on BBC Radio London which re-established his talents as a DJ. By 1988 he was to be heard on Capital Gold in their own "Breakfast Show", winning a prestigious Sony Radio Award along the way.
At present, Tony is a member of the Manchester radio station Jazz FM's team and still tours British clubs and universities with his very own 70s style disco. Also he is occasionally to be seen on British TV, particularly in programmes devoted to those heady days of the 70s.
- Is vegetarian.
- He appeared in Phil Collins' single 'Two Hearts' in 1988.
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