Desmond Carrington has died aged 90
The long-time Radio 2 presenter died “peacefully” following a long battle with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Desmond used to prevent a Friday show every week, The Music Goes Round, before stepping down last October due to ill-health after hosting the programme after 35 years.
Dave Aylott said: “It is with great sadness I announce that Desmond Carrington has passed away.
“Desmond, who was 90, passed away peacefully this afternoon after a long battle with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. I ask that our privacy is respected at this time.”
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Desmond hosted his radio show, The Music Goes Round, for 35 years
Broadcaster Jeremy Vine has also paid tribute to the late star. He wrote on Twitter: “Really going to miss Desmond Carrington. His show was one of the best things about @BBCRadio2 and he was a sweet, bright, modest man. RIP.”
Director of BBC Radio Bob Shennan said he was "warm, caring and generous".
"He was a natural broadcaster and a key part of the BBC Radio family.
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very sad time."
Head of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie said The Music Goes Round was “full of musical gems an treasures” and the presenter would be “very much missed by his listeners”.
Speaking about turning 90 last May, Desmond said: “I’m one of the luckiest people in showbusiness – at home in beautiful countryside, doing what I love. It’s not work, it’s pleasure. Why should I stop?”
His radio shows – which were broadcast from his Perthshire home – were always opened with a warm welcome and rounded each programmed with a thank you to his listeners before delivering his trademark sign off “Bye just now”.
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Desmond as Doctor Anderson in ITV’s medical soap opera Emergency Ward 10
But the veteran DJ’s radio career began almost by chance.
While serving as an army officer in the Far East in the Second World War, he heard some broadcasts from Colombo in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from British Forces Broadcasting Services (BFBS).
He falsely claimed he was an experienced broadcaster and managed to secure a posting to Colombo where he started working on the station.
Desmond also had a career in TV, film and on stage. His first big role was the “heart-throb” Doctor Anderson in ITV’s medical soap opera Emergency Ward 10, a forerunner to the BBC’s Casualty.
“I’ve been broadcasting on radio, acting on television and also in the theatre for 70 years now,” he said last week in a special 90th birthday edition of The Music Goes Round.