Tony Blackburn addresses once ‘frosty’ relationship with Noel Edmonds

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Tony Blackburn, 79, who was the first ever BBC Radio 1 DJ when it officially launched in 1967, has spoken about his once strained relationship with fellow broadcasting titan Noel Edmonds, 74. The presenter has explained how relationships once became “frosty” with the star after he replaced him in his former role.  

DJ Tony was axed from the Breakfast Show in 1973, with Noel coming in to replace him for the next five years until 1978. 

While he confirmed his friendship with the presenter, Tony has admitted in a recent interview that Noel taking up his old role did cause a bit of tension between the pair. 

“He was five years younger than me, good-looking and very good” Tony recalled.

“I was married and had a child and thought ‘this guy could be challenging me a little bit’, and he did.


“We’re great friends but it was frosty between us for a while,” he admitted in an interview with Radio Times. 

Tony first rose to fame broadcasting on the pirate stations Radio Caroline and Radio London in the 1960s.

He then went on to enjoy mainstream success when he joined the BBC Light Programme in 1967, shortly before he joined BBC Radio 1 later that year. 

The star has worked for many of the UK’s biggest broadcasters, including Capital London and Classic Gold Digital.

He can currently be found on BBC Radio 2, BBC Local Radio, and British Forces Broadcasting Service.

The star also won over the public back in 2002 when he became the first winner of ITV reality TV series I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!.

Meanwhile, Noel has hosted radio and television programmes over an incredible 50-year career in broadcasting. 

As well as his well-known work with the BBC, he has also joined projects on Sky and Channel 4. 

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Many fans will remember Noel for popular shows such as Noel’s House Party, which ran between 1991 and 2000. 

He also hosted popular game show Deal or No Deal, which ran from 2005 all the way up until 2016. 

Both Noel and Tony were regular presenters on Top of the Pops, appearing on the show together between 1973 and 1978. 

Noel also followed in Tony’s footsteps by appearing in I’m A Celebrity back in 2018.

In contrast to his colleague’s successful win, however, Noel was first to be booted out of the jungle.

Read the full interview with Tony Blackburn in this week’s edition of Radio Times. 

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