Radio 1 celebrates a milestone - The Big 50

Radio 1 is turning 50 - and its first DJ is back to celebrate.

Tony Blackburn, 74, the inaugural host of the breakfast show in 1967, returns to the station with current incumbent Nick Grimshaw.

The special breakfast show, kicking off at 8.30am, is part of a three-day retrospective planned by station chiefs.

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A three-day, digital pop-up radio station will broadcast hour-long, nostalgic shows made up of archive material.


Blackburn said that when he uttered the first words on Radio 1, he had no doubt the station would last the course.

“When I opened it up, I thought this is going to go on forever... I thought it would go on for a long, long time,” he told the Press Association.

“I remember the first broadcast like it was yesterday. It’s not something you forget too easily because it was very special. I came in at about 6 o’clock in the morning and we opened up the station at 7 o’clock.”

The pop-up, three-day digital radio station, dubbed Radio 1 Vintage, will feature archive clips from Noel Edmonds, the late John Peel and Kenny Everett, Zoe Ball, Chris Moyles and more.


Grimshaw and Blackburn’s show - also airing on Radio 2 - will feature previous Radio 1 DJs as guests, archive content and hit records from over the years.

Flowers In The Rain by The Move, the first song played on Radio 1, will also feature during a special broadcast.

Station controller Ben Cooper said: “Radio 1 is one of the most famous radio stations in the world, it has a connection with this country and with people growing up and that is something that I hope people can enjoy for those three days with Radio 1 Vintage.”

Radio 1 Vintage will be available live on digital, online and via BBC iPlayer Radio and UK Radio Player.