Veteran BBC radio broadcaster Brian Matthew has died aged 88. His family confirmed his passing on Saturday (8 April) morning.
Born in September 1928 in Coventry, he began his radio career in the army, working as a programme presenter and newsreader on the British Forces Network in post-war Germany. He went on to work at Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
It was the beginnings of a distinguished career in radio and TV. He worked at the BBC from 1954 to 2016 and also served as the host of ITV show Thank Your Lucky Stars, introducing bands including The Beatles and the Rolling Stones to a television audience.
He returned to radio in 1990 to host Radio 2's Sound Of The '60s. However, he was ousted from the position earlier this year amid concerns for his health after suffering a fall. Tony Blackburn took over the role.
Expressing his shock at the decision to replace him he said at the time: "I was ready and willing and able to go back. I enjoyed doing the show very much. I did it for 25 years. I feel very disconcerted, I must say. I do admit I'm a bit of an antique, but that's never seemed to matter until now."
Following a public backlash at his unceremonious dismissal, 5,000 people signed a petition demanding he be reinstated. He was subsequently invited back to the BBC for a series of specials. He presented his final show on 25 February 2017.
Last week, the BBC were forced to apologise after prematurely announcing his death. The corporation released a statement informing fans that the 88-year-old had passed away on Tuesday night (5 April). It was later revealed that he was in a critical condition in hospital.
Explaining the embarrassing gaffe the BBC issued a second statement saying: "We were informed by close family and friends that Brian had passed away in the night. They have since been in contact to say that he remains critically ill. Our thoughts remain with his family at this very difficult time."
Leading the tributes following the news of his passing today, Head of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie said Matthew would be "sadly missed by us all".
He was a "much loved and valued presenter on Radio 2 - by both the audience and his colleagues", added Carnie.
"He presented Sounds of the Sixties' for 27 years and we had hoped to be able to carry on working with him in a new series where he could share his memories from his distinguished career with us," he said. "Sadly it was not to be."
Tributes have been pouring in on social media as fans of the radio star lament his passing and the BBC's 'shabby' treatment of the much-loved broadcaster.