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Broadcaster for 50 years

By Isle of Thanet Gazette  |  Posted: July 06, 2012

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THE former Radio 2 broadcaster Don Durbridge has died in Spain after a short illness. He was 73.

Don first broadcast to the nation in 1955 at the age of 16 as co-host of the BBC Light Programme's Younger Generation. In 1974, he joined Radio 2, as a continuity announcer and newsreader and was also a regular cover presenter, stepping into the shoes of Terry Wogan, Jimmy Young and Ed Stewart as well as hosting such shows as Family Favourites, Friday Night Is Music Night, and Night Ride.

He also worked for many years for the forces' radio service, BFBS, including at the Munich Olympics in 1972 where he secured a worldwide scoop – an exclusive interview with the swimmer Mark Spitz, who'd won an unprecedented seven gold medals.

Born in Glasgow in 1939 and raised in south London, Don adopted Kent as his home. In 1984, he was part of the launch team for the county's very first commercial radio station, Invicta Sound. In the late 1980s and early '90s he worked for BBC Radio Kent as presenter of the popular nostalgia music show Remember When, and was also the match day announcer at Gillingham Football Club.

After a short time in Malta, he returned to the UK in 1997 and joined Saga's new national digital service, Primetime Radio, where he hosted the late night show, 'In Mellow Mood'.

When Primetime ceased broadcasting in 2006, Don emigrated to Spain.

He is survived by his first wife, Yvonne, who lives in Margate in Kent, and also leaves a daughter, Moira, and a grandson, Teddy.

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