DJ Tony Blackburn to receive royal honour at Windsor Castle

DJ Tony Blackburn will be made an OBE in a ceremony at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

The broadcaster, 81, has appeared on BBC and commercial radio stations for nearly six decades, and became the first DJ on BBC Radio 1 when it launched in 1967.

He will be honoured for his services to broadcasting and to charity after being named in the King’s New Year Honours list late last year.

Blackburn presented a series of high-profile radio and TV shows including the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show and Top Of The Pops, while he also won the first series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2002.

The Oldie Lunch
Blackburn joined the Queen, then Duchess of Cornwall, for her 75th birthday celebrations in 2022 (David Rose/PA)

Along with choreographer Dame Arlene Phillips, he also called for an independent commissioner for older people and ageing last April.

He said when his OBE was announced: “Receiving this honour is truly unexpected and very humbling.

“When I first replied to a New Musical Express advert looking for DJs, back in 1964, I never imagined that nearly 60 years later I would still be doing something I love so much.

“To still be in a radio studio a few times a week, being welcomed in to so many listeners’ homes, sharing mine and their memories, and playing the music I love is simply wonderful.

“It really is the best job and to receive this award is the icing on a very lovely cake.”

Mary Portas and Maddie Hinch are among the other famous faces set to collect honours at the event.

British Chambers Commerce Annual Global conference
Portas had a string of TV shows during the late 2000s and 2010s (Yui Mok/PA)

Retail consultant and broadcaster Portas, 63, is best known for her commerce-based TV programmes such as Mary, Queen Of Shops.

She also led a Government review into the state of the British high street in 2011, and will be made an OBE for her services to business, broadcasting and charity.

Hockey goalkeeper Hinch won Olympic gold with Team GB in 2016 and was champion at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham two years ago.

The 35-year-old will be made an OBE for her services to the sport after announcing her retirement last year.