David Jacobs quits Radio 2 show for health reasons


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The Independent Culture

Broadcasting veteran David Jacobs is to step down from his weekly BBC Radio 2 show after a radio career stretching back almost seven decades.

The 87-year-old has announced he is to leave his regular Sunday show for health reasons after a final edition next month.

He has been suffering from Parkinson's disease and has been treated for liver cancer which has kept him off air for some time during the past two years and he said it was with "sadness" that he had decided to stop.

But the presenter - whose hour-long David Jacobs Collection programme is broadcast on Sunday nights - said he hoped to host occasional shows later in the year.

Jacobs has hosted his current show for 16 years.

Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan said: "It's a word that is overused, but David Jacobs is truly a unique broadcaster.

"He has been an integral part of the BBC for so many years and is loved by his listeners and Radio 2 colleagues alike. Since 1998 he has embodied the sound of Sunday evenings and I am already looking forward to his special programmes later in the year."

Jacobs - whose final show will be aired on 4 August at 11pm - said: "Over the past two years Radio 2 has given me time to be treated for liver cancer and Parkinson's disease.

"My producer, Alan Boyd, has been a tower of strength in so many ways and I thank him profusely. We shared a love of so many records and wonderful music. I will not stop collecting but my sadness will be that I cannot share them with all my loyal listeners. But rest assured, I will be back from time to time."

Jacobs first became an announcer in 1944 on the BBC General Forces Programme's Navy Mixture while he served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

He went on to join the BBC as an announcer and newsreader and his celebrated shows over the years have included Housewives' Choice, Pick Of The Pops, Any Questions? and Melodies For You.

On TV he was known for his 1960s pop show Juke Box Jury, as well as hosting What's My Line? and the Eurovision Song Contest for many years.

Jacobs collected an honorary Sony Gold Award for his outstanding contribution to radio and later was admitted to the Sony Hall Of Fame.

His colleague Desmond Carrington - just four days his junior - is now thought to be the oldest regular presenter on Radio 2.