Radio 2 presenter Brian Matthew has said he is “saddened to leave” as he signed off as host of the long-running Sound Of The Sixties programme.
Brian, 88, has presented the staple Saturday morning show for 27 years and the BBC faced fierce criticism after it announced he would be leaving the station as a regular host in January.
The veteran disc jockey hosted a special farewell episode of the show on Saturday morning which featured a compilation of highlights from the programme’s history.
Brian’s final appearance left listeners tearful and the BBC was slammed as “shameful” for axing the fan favourite.
Earlier this year, the broadcaster revealed a new voice would take his spot as presenter after Brian suffered an “extended bout of ill health”. He later hit out at the decision and labelled their comments “balderdash” in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
Saturday’s show closed with Billy Fury’s Last Night Was Made For Love and also featured Elvis Presley’s In The Ghetto and The Beatles’ She’s Leaving Home.
As the last track played out, Brian said: “That 1962 top five hit by Billy Fury brings me to the end of my reign as presenter of Sounds Of The Sixties and I must say I’ve enjoyed every minute of my 27 years in this chair.
Shameful treatment of Brian Matthew, SOTS and 3.4 million listeners.— J R Tyler (@Jrtyler) February 25, 2017
“I’m saddened to leave but I’ll be back on Radio 2 in the near future with something new, so keep your eyes open for further information.”
He added: “This is your old mate Brian Matthew saying that’s your lot for this week, see you again soon.”
Listeners aired their dismay at his departure on Twitter, with James Reeve (@JamesHReeve) writing: “End of an era. Brian Matthew stands down from ‘Sounds of the Sixties’. Another bit of our lives slipping away.”
Meanwhile several fans also hit out at the BBC.
Shame on the BBC for ditching Brian Matthew time they gave listeners what they want— Bryce Lawrence (@ScrumMachine) February 25, 2017
When it announced the presenter’s departure in January, the BBC said it planned to run a series of special programmes with him in the future.