“Radio stations want to appeal to younger people,” Tony Blackburn says on GMB

Tony Blackburn was on Good Morning Britain earlier to talk about his days as a pirate radio DJ and his upcoming appearance on Absolute Radio to mark the 55th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act, but he was also asked about what’s going on at Radio 2.

This followed yesterday’s announcement that Paul O’ Grady is leaving Radio 2 later this month and other changes coming to the station including Steve Wright’s departure and Tony’s show being moved to a different time slot.

GMB host Charlotte Hawkins asked Tony about the changes and accusations of ageism with the suggestions that older presenters are being pushed out.

Richard Madeley jokingly warned Tony: “You still work for them so you better watch what you say.”

Tony laughed and responded: “Yes there are a lot of changes at the moment and going on, all radio stations want to appeal to younger people.

“Now I don’t think the younger people are actually listening to radio.”

Richard replied: “Couldn’t agree more.”

“They listen to other things like Youtube and Spotify,” Tony continued. “But they’re after a younger audience, but I think basically our audience is over 55 and it will remain there.

“The hope is that as people get older, they eventually find radio stations and particularly Radio 2. So, there are a lot of changes, Paul O’ Grady is going, I guess that’s his choice.”

Richard cut in, mentioning Paul’s show recently being changed to a 13-week run and asked why he’d want to share his time slot with someone else?

Tony said that he didn’t know, then joked: “Regrettably I’m not management Richard, if I was, I’d have myself on 24 hours a day!”

As a true radio person, Tony is known for his passionate views on it and its listeners, particularly older ones. In 2019 he received a lot of positive reaction to a tweet he posted which said: “It’s important that we in radio realise more than ever that the older listener is more important than ever as younger people are not listening to radio or watching TV anymore the way they used to. I hope that as the young get older, they will love radio as we do.”