Tony Blackburn sacked by BBC over the Jimmy Saville inquiry and the future of Pick Of The Pops.


photo by Andrew Crowley. © The Telegraph

Chris Giles… Oh dear I love his Saturday show….I will miss it…

Pete Fairless… I don’t suppose he was an employee, so ‘sacked’ is probably not true.

Jim Breeds…. It’s interesting, is this. I watched the press conference this morning and realised that “A7” in the report was Blackburn by comparison with the details of his public statement that I had already read. Then they later openly referred to him by name. The crux of it is that he denies being interviewed by Bill Cotton and someone else in the 1970s, and the BBC are adamant that he was. I don’t know the truth any more than any other onlooker but I can’t see what he (Blackburn) would have to gain by lying when all he needed to say to the enquiry was, “yes, I was interviewed”, and the enquiry would have noted that and then moved on. Point is, if he is telling the truth, then the enquiry is at danger of appearing to continue to cover up that nothing was followed up by senior management at the time, and that the BBC is lying about it now. The BBC cannot allow that impression to be formed so they had to let him go. It’ll be interesting to see what comes out if he does press ahead with legal action.

Chris Giles… It was talked about on Jeremy Vine as well… And maybe he just cant remember giving a statement …crikey he is 73…. But I’m sure he would have said yes I did if he had a done…. And the way BBC have released this today, when they knew and had seen about this report days ago before the public knew why didn’t they sack him them….. No they’ve done it and now it looks like he was part of of the crowd abusing girls… When it’s not that at all…. I think they have treated him very shabbily… To cover their own backs…I hope he does press ahead with legal action….he has done nothing wrong.

Emma Rix…. dont blame him he has been a scapegoat for the bbc because they knew about that scumbag savilie

Alan Esdaile… All a bit odd, still could not understand anymore on the news tonight. Like Jim says all it appears down to is a Yes or No question. Now he is being made to look like he is hiding something and tainted with the same brush.

Allyson Breeds… I’m staying on the fence for this one, remember when Savile died, there were calls for him to have the equivalent of a state funeral, he almost did. His ‘gold’ coffin was taken on a ‘farewell tour’ of Leeds. When the accusations started about what he had done, many people defended him, after all he was a ‘national treasure’ I’m not saying Tony has done anything wrong, just I’m not jumping on any bandwagons yet.

Tony May… If only everyone was prepared to wait until the truth becomes clear like you Allyson.

Paul Sleet… I guess Blackburn knew about Savile while all the executives and producers were completely ignorant. Of course.

Pete Fairless… Who knows, we weren’t there. Without a transcript, I wouldn’t even want to guess.

Chris Giles… Well tomorrow’s not going to be the same without Tony’s “Pick of the Pops”

Jim Breeds… The programme still in the schedule but no named presenter. I wonder if someone else will do it.

Chris Giles… It won’t be the same… If someone else is presenting it… He did make a lot of recordings for it some weeks… I shall boycott it…

Alan Esdaile… I’ve just heard that Mark Goodier will host this weeks Pick Of The Pops. So rather boring then.

Tony Ham… No more triffic ten or faberlous five!

Alan Oliver… Just been listening to him this afternoon. He sounds like a 1980’s DJ. Not a good sound!!

Jim Breeds… Oh no.

Chris Giles… I won’t be listening… This isn’t good.

Virginia Davis… Will just have to focus on the music then.

Alan Esdaile… Can’t think of any dj that would replace Tony Blackburn’s spot on Pick Of The Pops. Never ever as good as Alan Freeman but got used to his style, music passion for Motown and cheesiness.

Mick O’Dowd… Brian Matthews is a goodie but he already does Sounds of The 60’s on Saturday mornings. Always thought his knowledge and voice were perfect. Johnnie Walker could also be a contender.

Chris Giles… Agree I like Brian Matthews and Jonnie Walker listen to them as well.

Jim Breeds… I was never a fan of Blackburn until he took on Pick of the Pops – he rescued it from the horror that were the Dale Winton years – it was dreadful then, imho, and Blackburn made it something worth listening to. So Mark Goodier for the next four weeks while they decide who will take over permanently. Can we start a “Say No To Noel Edmonds on Pick of The Pops” petition now?

Paul Tansley… If I was Blackburn I wouldn’t want to come back to POTPs after this…He doesn’t need the work so I would concerntrate on getting back his reputation which is more important.

Andre Martin… He is a known product TB and could easily go anwhere and take a lot of his followers along for the music and his particular style – Mr Magic I knew used to drive some people mad, but the music was the thing and he does understand that era so well. There are few broadcasters today who actually know their music and have a personality to put this over in an entertaining manner.

Jim Breeds… He’s holidaying in St. Lucia at the moment.


Alan Freeman’s last Pick of The Pops on Radio 1 – 1992


source: David Lloyd’s Radio Moments

For those of you that have never heard it, or just want to hear it again here is the scoped audio (with no music) of Fluff’s final Radio 1 POTP on 27 December 1992:

Jim Breeds…  I still have a couple of his Saturday afternoon Radio 1 shows on cassette, I think. And some Peel shows.

Mark Gilham… Legend

Mick O’Dowd…  I second that emotion Mark

Alan Esdaile… I third that Mark

Alan Pepper… Not ‘ arf pop pickers !! What else do you all have taped from the 70s ? I have a Robbie Vincent SOUL Show 1976 Get on down !!

Alan Freeman – Pick Of The Pops

Alan Esdaile…Great memories of listening to Pick Of The Pops on a Sunday Afternoon and taping on a reel to reel tape recorder. Microphone held close to the radio but usually ruined with someone coming in the room and talking or teas ready or turn that music down and it would always be when you are recording your favourite track!

Andre Martin… Might have some early programmes from 1965 working on a contact

John Storer… About 1969, my uncle gave me a Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder, together with four of five tapes. Most of the tapes contained recordings that my uncle had made with us as kids, including him playing his clarinet and saxophone (he was an excellent jazz player). However, one of the tapes had “Property of the BBC” stamped on the box and also on the plastic reel itself. It contained a complete edition of “Pick of the Pops” with songs by Cliff, The Shadows, Joe Brown and The Beatles amongst others long forgotten by me. The Beatles song was “Please, Please Me”, so guessing it was from 1963. Played it loads of times, then … yep …. recorded over it! Doh!

Jim Breeds… I have loads of Pick of the pops on cassette tapes. Some of them must be with Fluff Freeman. I used to take them to parties and we’d all be bopping away in someone’s front room when the tape playing would suddenly include news bulletins, weather forecasts and travel updates, lol.

Steve Thorpe… Used to tape the Top 20 on a Sunday evening, had a collection going from around 75 to 78, lost quite a number but still have a few, mainly Tom Brown and Simon Bates.

Chris Meachen… OK pop pickers, picture this.. Emerson, Lake & Palmer at the empire pool,- quadraphonic sound system gives dreadful delay effect at back of hall… Meachen goes off in search of sonic sweet spot & finds empty seat just behind mixing desk; turns to person in next seat;- that’s right, it’s Fluff Freeman…. Bloody nice bloke, as it turned out….

Carol Ann Bolton… My dad bought me a tape recorder when I was 10, but he rigged a lead directly from the radio into the tape machine. That was before it’s time and I had clear recordings of music and radio programmes. D.I., in the late 50s, early 60s. My dad was a very clever man.

Mick O’Dowd… He was Pick of The Pops. No-one has really captured the same mood. Brian Matthew is another with The Sound of The Sixties on Saturday mornings. He’s got such an authoritive voice and certainly knows what he’s talking about.

Jim Breeds… Not ‘Arf. I think I also have some recordings from the radio of Alan F’s Saturday afternoon shows too. And a couple I recorded of the John Peel show.