Brian Matthew

Brian Matthew

Infobox Radio Presenter
name = Brian Matthew
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birthdate = birth date and age|1928|9|17|df=y
birthplace = Coventry, West Midlands, England
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station = BBC Radio 2
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country = UK
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Brian Matthew (born 17 September 1928 in Coventry) is a veteran British broadcaster, who became well known in the 1960s. He is still broadcasting on radio for the BBC, having presented "Sounds of the 60s" since 1990, often employing the same vocabulary and the same measured delivery he used in previous decades.

Matthew started broadcasting in 1948 in Germany, and trained as an actor at RADA before joining the BBC in 1954. He became popular in the days of the BBC Light Programme, hosting "Saturday Club" (originally called "Saturday Skiffle Club", starting in 1957 and changing to its more familiar name in 1958) and "Easy Beat" (starting in 1960). At the time, there was little pop music played on BBC Radio, certainly when compared to the huge demand for it among young people, and the shows attracted audiences into the millions. Virtually all the big stars of the era, including The Beatles, appeared on the shows.

On television, he is probably best remembered as the presenter of "Thank Your Lucky Stars" (ITV 1961-66).

The influence of "Easy Beat" on radio declined due to the rise of offshore radio from 1964 onwards; when BBC Radio 1 launched in 1967, "Easy Beat" was axed, and "Saturday Club" was taken over by another presenter, Keith Skues (formerly of the "pirate" Radio London), before it was also axed in 1969.

In 1973 Brian, with his deep soft voice, fronted a new radio series entitled 'My Top 12' which lasted for an hour on weekend afternoons (as well as being on 247 metres medium wave was broadcast simultaneously also in FM stereo sound when Radio 1 joined the Radio 2 FM frequency 88-91 MHz). My Top 12 was arguably BBC Radio 1's equivalent to Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. The programme was later presented by 'whispering' Bob Harris and Noel Edmonds. Guests in 1974 included Rod Stewart, Joni Mitchell and Neil Diamond.

This long-running series used a simple but effective format; request a well known music personality to list their favourite records of all time and invite them into the studio to record their comments, their life and loves and, of course, play the records.

Later, Brian Matthew returned to prominence as the host of BBC Radio 2's arts magazine "Round Midnight", from 1978 to 1990. Since April 1990 he has hosted "Sounds of the 60s" (a programme first presented in 1983 by Keith Fordyce) on the same network on Saturday mornings, playing many of the records he initially played on "Saturday Club" and "Easy Beat".

Matthew announced at the end of his show on 26 August 2006 that owing to an undisclosed illness he would be taking several weeks off his Radio 2 show, for the first time in sixteen years. Johnnie Walker was the main host in his absence, with recordings of Matthew's "A to Z of the Beatles" feature also being employed to maintain his presence in the programme. Sandie Shaw, Joe Brown and Suzi Quatro were also guest hosts. Matthew returned to the show on 10 February 2007, informing the listeners that a viral infection contracted while in hospital for a minor operation had required an extended period of time in hospital, followed by several weeks of recuperation at home.

Brian Won A Sony Gold Award in 2008: To celebrate an impressive record of more than 50 years of national and international radio broadcasting. For that lifetime career and in recognition of a truly outstanding contribution to UK radio.”

External links

* [ BBC Radio 2 "Sounds of the 60's"]

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