Blackburn was dismissed in February after the BBC sided with Dame Janet Smith over inconsistencies he was said to have given in evidence to historic sexual abuse enquiry.
Veteran disc jockey Tony Blackburn is set to return to BBC Radio 2 in January next year, nearly 12 months after he was sacked from the BBC earlier in 2016.
Blackburn, 73 years old, was taken off the air and dismissed from the corporation back in February after director general Tony Hall said that he had failed to co-operate fully with the Jimmy Savile abuse enquiry.
“I do not seek to criticise the BBC for decisions it has made in the past,” Blackburn said in a statement on Wednesday (October 19th). “I have had a difficult year personally, but I'm pleased to be returning to the BBC and can't wait to get behind the mic again.”
Tony Blackburn is returning to BBC Radio 2, nearly a year after he was dismissed
Blackburn was the first-ever DJ to broadcast on the brand new Radio 1 back in September 1967, and spent 17 years with the station, also presenting ‘Top of the Pops’ on the BBC, before becoming one of the launch presenters on Capital Gold. In his career spanning six decades, he has been one of the most famous radio personalities at the BBC.
In February, he was sacked because of inconsistencies in statements he had made regarding claims he had been part of a group of celebrities who had seduced a 15 year old girl in 1971.
He will now return to Radio 2 in January, presenting an hour-long evening show on Friday nights. He thanked his fans for their “lovely messages” in a tweet following the announcement of his return this week.
However, the corporation also re-iterated that it stood by its original decision to dismiss Blackburn this year. “The BBC stands by the findings of Dame Janet Smith and the decision it made to take Tony Blackburn off air at the start of this year based on Dame Janet's preference for the documentary evidence relating to meetings that took place over Tony Blackburn's statements.”
When he was fired, Blackburn had angrily accused the corporation of making him a “scapegoat” for its own “cover up” of abuse.